This policy was drawn up as a result of whole staff collaboration, with the Board of Management, to ensure that homework is a positive and productive experience, which enhances the child’s learning.
Rationale: Why give homework?
a) To consolidate and re-enforce what the child learns in school.
b) To provide a link between teacher and parent, and promote partnership between home and school in supporting a child’s learning.
c) To develop concentration, good study habits / skills and independent learning.
When is homework given?
Homework is given from Monday to Thursday, and normally not at weekends. There are some exceptions:
- If homework has been neglected consistently during the week.
- In senior classes, project work may be undertaken at weekends.
- In 6th Class, as preparation for “Assessment Tests” & to develop good study skills before secondary school, revision work (not written) may be given on Thursday nights to be completed before the following Monday.
- Sometimes children are given “homework off” as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.
How long Should Homework Take?
Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time, depending on the child’s abilities, levels of focus and concentration, distractions, conditions in which homework is completed, time of the year etc. It is the quality and not the quantity of the homework that matters.
The following are general guidelines only:
- Junior Infants Up to 10 minutes
- Senior Infants Up to 15 minutes
- 1st Class Up to 20 minutes
- 2nd Class Up to 25 minutes
- 3rd Class Up to 30 minutes
- 4th Class Up to 30 minutes
- 5th Class Up to 45 minutes
- 6th Class Up to 1 hour
Types of homework usually given:
The following are just some of the types of homework that may be given across the class levels:
- Shared Reading / Library Reading
- Spellings – Learning and written work
- Learning of tables
- Learning of songs / poems / prayers
- Written assignments
- Mathematics questions
- Project Work
- Bringing in items connected with particular subjects / topics – e.g. historical artefacts
- Interviewing parents / grandparents / family on particular topics
Children with Special Education Needs
Homework is differentiated, when necessary, to ensure that children with special educational needs are accommodated. Children who attend Special Education Teacher (SET) may get additional or alternative homework, after consultation with parents and Class teacher. (E.g. alternative spellings etc.)
Special consideration is made to ensure that any such child would not be over-burdened with an extra work load. In some cases, homework given by the class teacher may be reduced for an individual child to compensate homework given by a SET.
How much help should parents give?
Parents should help by:
- Providing a suitable place and time to do homework.
- Encourage their child to do their best and try each item of homework.
- By giving a simple explanation only when a child is having difficulty.
Parents should not do the homework.
- Writing a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
- Enjoying shared reading with their child.
- Helping with Spellings, Tables etc.
How often should parents monitor homework?
- Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening. Parents may be also asked to sign tests, to ensure they are informed of their child’s progress.
- The school Homework Journal (1st. – 6th. Classes) is an important record of homework and a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
- Please ensure that your child uses his/her homework journal every night and ticks each item when completed.
- Please check your child’s journal for notes on a regular basis.
How often do teachers monitor homework?
Teachers should ensure that all homework set is prepared and explained well, and is at the right level for the class. Additionally teachers should ensure that all homework set is corrected. The frequency of this may vary:
Ideally, teachers like to check homework on a regular (daily) basis, when time allows.
As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often, e.g. every second day/once a week.
Some homework is corrected orally and checked by the children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
When should parents communicate with teachers about homework?
a) When a child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
b) When a child cannot understand some aspect.
c) If the time spent at homework is often longer than the recommended time.
If homework is not completed, and no written explanation is provided, or if homework is not completed to the best of the child’s ability, the teacher may decide to re-assign this homework for completion at another time. (E.g. lunchtime / another night / weekend)
When pupils are absent:
Parents should notify the school when a child is absent, or is due to be absent, for any reason.
a) If the child is well enough, homework can be provided by the class teacher, to be completed at home.
b) Otherwise, when the child returns to school, every effort should be made to ensure that he has not fallen behind.
When should homework be done?
Ideally, soon after school, before television is watched. Each family situation is different, however and working parents may need to check homework later. Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This can lead to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.
Implementation, Review & Communication
This policy adopted by the Board of Management on 21st September 2015. It is monitored and reviewed once every two years, or sooner if necessary. It is available to view on the school website and through the office in the school.
Next Review Date: September 2017