At Penwortham Priory Academy we believe that learning should not be restricted to the activities and experiences that students have at school and during lessons. Learning is a life-long process both inside and outside of school. We believe that homework provides invaluable opportunities for students to engage with their learning outside the classroom environment.
Homework therefore consolidates and extends learning that has taken place within lessons and gives students the opportunity to work independently and prepare for future lessons, practice examination techniques or further develop appropriate skills and enhance knowledge. Our aim is for this to be structured, meaningful and coherent for all concerned. Homework also gives parents the chance to support their child’s progress and encourages dialogue about school experience.
For each Unit/Scheme of Work there will be meaningful homework in order to reinforce learning and promote independence. This might be set weekly, fortnightly, depending on how to best enhance learning at that point in the curriculum. We have a flexible approach to homework inasmuch as we don’t enforce a rigid timetable to avoid the risk of homework just being set for the sake of it. Students will always engage more fully when they see that a task has a clear purpose. We believe in quality not quantity, so there won’t be an arbitrary increase at Key Stage Four – instead the work will be more focused towards GCSE exam preparation. This is to allow time for more intense revision or preparation periods at various ‘hotspots’ in the GCSE courses.
Ultimately homework will incorporate a range of activities, appropriate to age and ability, that will be submitted at set times before the end of each half term. We will offer variety in the types of homework set, in order to capture different approaches to learning. This will also include support with organisational, note-taking and revision skills. Some homework will have the scope to be adapted to meet individual learning styles and needs; this means not everyone in the class will necessarily receive the same task.
Where will it be recorded?
Homework set will be recorded on Doddle. Students have the option, should they wish, to record it in their planner. A deadline will also be set. Students with a particular learning need will be given support by the teacher to ensure homework is recorded accurately and the task is understood.
Expectations and Support
Teachers are expected to:
- Set time aside during lessons for homework to be fully explained. This can be carried out by the teacher or lead learners.
- Allow enough time for the homework to be completed to an acceptable standard i.e. not for the next working school day or extensive homework over holiday periods.
- Set homework that is achievable and doesn’t need additional support from teachers or parent.
- Ensure that they check the homework has been completed by questioning, quizzing, peer or self-assessment or individual reflection on their progress.
- Ensure that missing homework is logged and followed up appropriately.
- Provide opportunity to consolidate learning.
Students are expected to:
- Listen to homework instructions in class and engage with Doddle to ensure instructions are read thoroughly
- Log via Doddle that the task has been completed by clicking ‘submit’.
- Complete homework to the best of their ability and ensure the deadline is met.
- Inform the class teacher if they are having any difficulties with the work, well before the deadline date.
Parents can support by:
- Engaging with Doddle to see what homework has been set, when the deadlines are, etc.
- Discussing homework tasks with their child in order to help and encourage them, particularly with the basics of reading, writing, spelling and numeracy. (Please ensure that homework is the work of the student and avoid helping with homework to the extent that it is no longer a true reflection of the student’s achievement.)
- Further support could be given in the form of testing student’s knowledge and recall.
- Checking their child’s homework when it has been completed – insist on good standards of presentation in diagrams and written work.
- Notifying the school of any issues or problems that may prevent the completion of homework.
- Encouraging their children to review their learning when there is no specific homework task set.
Rewards and Sanctions
If we are to truly see homework as an extension of the learning experience that occurs in school, then we have to measure the effort and application put in by students in the same way as we would in our classrooms. That means we will praise good effort and award achievement points to students who apply themselves successfully to the task set. We will also employ sanctions where appropriate for failure to produce what is expected. This will be in the form of an after school detention. If the situation escalates further, the sanction becomes more serious, and senior leaders become involved, just as it would with any misdemeanour in the school.