Inchicore National School Homework Policy
Our School aims to provide a happy, secure, friendly learning environment where pupils, parents, ancillary staff and Board of Management work in partnership, where each individual is valued, encouraged and respected for their uniqueness and facilitated to reach their full potential in a positive and supportive atmosphere.
Aims of Homework
Why give homework?
- To re-inforce what the child learns during the day
- To provide a link between teacher and parent
- To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
- Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity
- Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.
The Homework Environment
Suggestions for parents as follows:
- To provide a quiet place- no music or T.V, or distractions.
- Flat clean surface
- Negotiate when homework is done with the child: important in so far as possible to establish a routine and adhere to this.
How often is homework given?
- Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are two exceptions:
- If homework has been neglected during the week
- In senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends
- Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given
- Please note extra homework may be sometime be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.
- A weekly homework sheet and assignments are evaluated at the end of each week.
- Homework is taken down from the board into a homework diary on a daily basis
What is the content of homework?
- Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks
- This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work
- Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class
- Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
How much time for homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior/Senior Infants Up to 20 minutes
Rang 1/Rang 2 Up to 30 minutes
Rang 3 /Rang 4 Up to 40 minutes
Rang 5/Rang 6 from 45-60 minutes
Homework is given from Monday to Thursday. Normally there is no homework at weekends or on a school day just before a public holiday. However, children in middle and senior classes may sometimes be required to work independently on projects at weekends.
How much help should parents give?
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
- Providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
- To prevent interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children
- Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty
- If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem
- Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child. If it’s not enjoyable, shared reading should not be done.
How often should parents monitor homework?
- Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening
- The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers
- Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal (additional pages available at the end of the journal)
- Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed
- Inchicore National School Newsletters and other letters to parents are folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis.
How often do teachers monitor homework?
- Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day
- As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week
- Some items of homework (and classwork) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
Effective communication of Homework Policy to Parents
- Class group meeting with parents at the beginning of the school year
- Included in the starter pack for Junior Infants
- 1:1 teacher-to- parent contact if necessary
Group parent/teacher class meetings are held at the beginning of the school year when the class teacher would:
- Give outline of the curriculum programme for each class level (as appropriate)
- Give an overview of homework policy/ why homework is given/ role of the parent
- Explain effective use of the school journal as a way of communicating between home and school on homework and for other issues.
Monitoring and support- the role of the parents
The group acknowledged that family circumstances vary and it made the following general guidelines
- To provide a suitable environment for the child as outlined in this document
- To show interest in child’s schoolwork and homework
- To be available to support the child
- To check the child’s home/ school journal or homework sheet and to sign it
- To listen to reading, tables, pieces to be learned by heart
- To communicate with the class teacher/ school if there are any difficulties or problems
- To ensure homework is a happy/ relaxed time- routine for child, patience shown by the parent.
- To check that the child understands the task given
- To ensure that the child does his/her best
- To ensure that it is all the child’s own work- mistakes and all!
- To encourage the child and praise his/her efforts
Monitoring and support- The role of the teacher
- To be consistent regarding the amount and type of homework given.
- To ensure that homework is at the appropriate level for the pupil
- To ensure that enough time is given to children to take homework down
- To check and correct homework
- To explain to parents what their role is in relation to homework (at meeting at beginning of the year)
- To monitor the child’s work and recognize success with praise and encouragement
- To ensure that homework is a positive experience- not to be associated with punishment.
- To maintain open communication with parents- to collaborate with parents if difficulties arise in relation to homework.
Special Educational Needs
- Homework should be modified where necessary to cater for diverse needs and strengths.
- Clear communication between home and school will help teachers to know when to modify homework.
- There should be clear communication between class teachers and learning support/ resource teachers to ensure homework given is appropriate.
When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
- When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
- When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect
- If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
When should homework be done?
- Each family situation is different - both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school while your child is still fresh, however, some children need a break before starting homework.
- Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
Remember If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.