At Willingdon we attach great importance to the links that exist between home and school, since we believe it is by working together that we can ensure the best possible education for your child.
One important aspect of this joint effort is HOMEWORK.
The school believes that homework is an essential part of learning. It can contribute very effectively to raising achievement, for the following reasons:
- It gives students an opportunity to work independently, and to take responsibility for their own learning;
- It helps students to recognise the link between good study habits and higher standards of achievement;
- It helps teachers check that students have understood class work;
- It can be used to extend work covered in class;
- And it can strengthen liaison between home and school.
We believe that students can best benefit from the work they bring home if they have full parental support, and it is for this reason that we have taken this opportunity to outline the school’s policy on homework and the part you can play in ensuring that your child develops and maintains good homework habits.
Timing & Quantity of Homework
Key Stage 3 - Years 7 – 9
Homework in set weekly in core subjects (English, Maths & Science), fortnightly in other EBAC subjects and when it is appropriate in other more practical subjects.
A range of homework tasks will be set, as appropriate to individual subject areas, including written and reading tasks, learning, collecting information and objects, conducting simple experiments or making models, sketching or designing, and carrying out surveys and interviews. It is important to note that homework does not always take a written form.
It is difficult to draw up a formal homework timetable with specific evenings allocated to specific subjects, since students in any one tutor group belong to a number of different teaching groups being taught a particular subject at different times of the week. We need, therefore, as teachers and as parents, to help students see the importance of planning their time sensibly, so that work does not accumulate, and deadlines are not missed.
Adequate time will always be allowed for completion of work. Staff will avoid requiring homework to be done for the next day as far as possible, realising that students may have family or extra-curricular commitments on certain nights.
Students in year 7 should be spending approximately one hour per evening on homework. We do not, of course, wish to discourage students from spending more time than this if they are keen to do so, but we would not expect your child to struggle on throughout the evening with a piece of work that he or she found too difficult. If your child has worked conscientiously on the assignment for a reasonable amount of time, a note in the diary to that effect, to the subject teacher or tutor, would be very useful. We encourage students to carry out their homework tasks in a quiet place away from distractions, but recognise that this may not always be possible.
This year at Willingdon Community School we have introduced 'Show My Homework' for students and parents and you are encouraged to ensure that students meet their deadlines.
The Student Planner
Every student is issued with a Student Planner at the beginning of the new academic year. This is an important means of communication between the school and home.
Students are responsible for entering details of their homework in the planner.
Subject teachers will ensure that the task is explained clearly, both verbally and in writing on the board, with a date for handing the work in. Assistance will be given to those students who may have difficulty noting down the homework. Where a piece of homework is to extend over a number of weeks, students should make sure that they enter it up appropriately each week. Students should make sure they ask for clarification, if they are not clear about the homework set.
Tutors and subject teachers will check planners regularly to ensure that homework is being noted down and completed, and that you are being asked to sign the diary weekly.
Please use the planner if you wish to communicate quickly with your child’s subject teachers or with the tutor. Similarly, staff will use it to communicate with you. There is a section at the front of the planner which explains how students themselves should best use it as a personal planner, and a section on how you can help your child organise him/herself most effectively. There is also a section on how to record homework in the planner so that the task is clear and the due date not missed.
The diary can be used to inform you of any failure to complete or hand in homework. The new deadline will be stated, and any sanction to be imposed if this is not met.
Students can be given a break-time detention or an after-school departmental detention. If the problem continues, individual departments or your child’s Director of Student Progress will inform you of the situation, and may suggest a meeting to discuss the problem. Where there are problems in a number of subjects, a student may be put on a Homework Monitoring Report until the situation improves.
We hope that the above outline of our policy on homework will help you to support your child and to monitor the work that he/she brings home. If you require clarification on any of the points made above, or wish to discuss any aspect of the policy further, please do not hesitate to contact the school.