The Value and Purpose of Homework
Homework is an integral part of all courses. The purpose of homework is:
- To encourage and develop good study habits in a progressive way from S1 to S6
- To promote pupil responsibility and encourage independent thinking
- To extend or remediate course work and to reinforce existing learning skills
The Nature of Homework
Homework may take many forms:
- Preparation for future classwork
- Enhancement/consolidation of work done in class
- Research/investigation for project work
- Revision/preparation for assessments
- Completion of work missed during absence
The frequency and amount will vary according to the subject and stage reached, but will increase steadily as pupils progress through the school. We are aware of a growing number of pupils who have part-time jobs. While this is highly commendable, we would urge pupils to find a balance between employment, school work and social activities which does not harm their education or social development. Lunchtime study support classes are available for pupils who wish to complete homework at times when they have evening employment.
It should be noted that homework is not always teacher directed. The pupil who regularly revises work, whether it be present or past work, is reinforcing the learning experience and leads to improved exam performance. Pupils who take responsibility for their learning tend not to report tha they “have no homework”.
Support in School
Pupils experiencing difficulty with completion of homework should seek the help of the teacher concerned at a mutually convenient time. It is for this reason that homework is best not left until the night before it is due. Tackling homework as early as possible allows the pupil time to discuss any problems with the teacher and ensure they submit work to as high a standard as possible.
Parental Involvement in Learning
Parental engagement is a term that describes the interaction between parent and their child’s learning. This does not apply solely to attendance at parents’ evenings. It also includes working with the child at home, supporting in them in their learning outwith the classroom. Research has concluded that parental engagement has a significant impact on the attainment and development of children as the progress through school.
- Providing the right environment for the child to work at home;
- Assisting in the management of time;
- Checking presentation, handwriting and spelling;
- Helping with revision by asking questions about what has been learned in school;
- Reading with younger children, or even secondary school children whose literacy skills are comparable to those in primary.
Most of these do not require any knowledge of the work being undertaken. It should be added that a number of pupils may, when asked, suggest they do not have homework. A telephone call to their Head of House should be made if this is the case.
Completion of Homework
All pupils are expected to complete homework on time.
Parents will be informed when a pupil fails to meet homework deadlines or produce work to a standard expected of them. Parents are normally appreciative of such advice and express a willingness to assist the school in addressing such issues.
A positive and organised approach to homework will help pupils gain confidence in their coursework and progress towards their individual goals.
It is advisable for pupils from S1 onwards in Modern Languages to have access to a French or Spanish dictionary at home to help in the completion of some homework tasks. Pupils are shown how to use them. These can be purchased through the department, sometimes at a reduced cost, if desired.
Parents should note that it is not essential for pupils to have access to a computer at home for any subject studied at school. Fully supervised access to computers is available on arrangement during lunchtimes and after school.