Home learning is an invaluable opportunity for students to continue their learning outside of the timetabled curriculum. When home learning tasks are set and completed effectively, it becomes a crucial way of raising standards in achievement and encouraging young people to develop a positive attitude to learning that they will carry with them for the rest of their life.
Home learning enhances students' learning experiences and develops a sense of independence and ownership of their education. It is a key element of the central aims of the National Curriculum: the creation of successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve; confident individuals and responsible citizens.
Home learning enables students to:
- Consolidate the skills covered in school
- Develop independent study skills
- Develop research skills
- Have the opportunity to work independently or collaboratively.
- Demonstrate their understanding of a topic or concept
- Become independent learners and develop skills like independent enquiry and self management
- Access resources not available in the classroom
Home learning enables teachers to:
- Assess work and inform their future planning and teaching
- Give students individual feedback on their progress
Home learning enables parents/carers to:
- Engage with and support their child's learning
CURRICULUM AREA POLICY
In order to reflect the diversity of assessment used across curriculum areas, it is most appropriate for curriculum areas to adhere to a policy that reflects their subject's needs:
- When home learning will be set
- How much home learning should be set
- Types of tasks
- How home learning relates to the programme of assessment within a scheme of learning
- The reward and sanctions
- How and when home learning will be monitored
- How and when students will receive feedback on their work
Curriculum area teams will consider the most effective way of enhancing students' learning beyond the classroom and bear in mind that there are many models for doing this. For example in subjects with a strong focus on skills it may be appropriate to set weekly or fortnightly home learning tasks to consolidate work covered in lessons. However, other subjects may set a large project that runs over an entire half term and gives students an opportunity to explore an element of the topic studied in the classroom in depth.
Similarly, the way that students receive feedback will be clearly outlined. The curriculum teams have organised the scheme of learning so that a student completes regular assessments in addition to the embedded use of assessment for learning within lessons, it may be appropriate for example, for a curriculum area to use class books primarily for drafting work.
All aspects of home learning will be outlined in this overview policy document and followed by details of how each curriculum area will interpret and follow the policy.
Each Curriculum Team Leader will produce a document that outlines this using the proforma provided and agree it with their link manager. Both the overview policy document and the curriculum area home learning details will be available to parents and carers on request and are displayed on the school website.
Home learning tasks set should reflect the DFE guidance amounting to the equivalent of the following
Time to be spent on home learning per week based upon a 'weighting system'
- 15 minutes of home learning at Key Stage 3 - per hour taught over the two-week cycle (30-45 minutes set IN TOTAL PER WEEK for English, Maths and Science)
- 20 minutes of home learning at Key Stage 4 - per hour taught over the two-week cycle (45-60 minutes set IN TOTAL PER WEEK for English, Maths and Science)
- 1 hour per hour taught for Key Stage 5 students
When will home learning be set?
Work will be set according to the details of individual curriculum team policy. Curriculum Team Leaders are responsible for ensuring that all members of their team set appropriate and challenging home learning tasks designed to help move learners forward and give feedback as outlined in the terms of the policy.
Home learning tasks
All tasks should be designed to have an impact on learning and achievement. Where tasks are started in class, they should only be set to be completed with specific criteria and where the teacher believes it will have an impact on learning. Tasks could include:
- Completing in-depth tasks started in classes e.g. completing a coursework essay or extending a piece of writing.
- Independent learning e.g. researching a project or preparing a speech on a specific topic
- Consolidation of work covered in lessons e.g. maths exercises
- Demonstration of a skill or concept
- Reading and related tasks to demonstrate understanding
- Use of ICT e.g. creating a PowerPoint or media text
- Drawing or art work
- Coursework assignments
- Revision tasks e.g. practice questions
- Project Work e.g. An in depth investigation of a topic over a half term period
In addition to the feedback offered in line with the curriculum team policy, students should be praised for effort and achievement in the work they complete out of school. This could include:
- P1, P2, P3 (Praise Points)
- Certificates/Praise postcards
- Positive notes in Learning Journals to parents/carers
- Letters home
- Excellent work may be celebrated in classroom display
- Good work or consistent effort may be acknowledged in achievement assemblies
If home learning tasks are not completed, teachers should first speak to the student and check that the task was appropriate to their needs.
Where students are unable to offer a satisfactory reason for not meeting the deadline, the following procedure should be followed:
- A comment should be put in students' Learning Journal outlining the extended deadline and the consequence for not meeting it, e.g. after school detention.
- If a student fails to meet the extended deadline, a further comment goes into the Learning Journal and a C1 (Concern Point) should be logged on SIMS.
- In the case of key home learning pieces or assessment work, teachers may put students into a departmental detention to complete the work if they fail to meet the extended deadline or consistently fail to complete home learning tasks without any validated reason e.g. poor health, expected outcomes not fully understood or extenuating personal circumstances.
- Teachers should keep a record of missing homework so it can be shared with parents and carers on subject evenings and when writing reports.
- Heads of Learning should also monitor their year group and implement the necessary intervention procedures as necessary e.g. report card, monitoring of an individual student
If we want home learning to be effective and teach students the importance of organisation and time management, it is crucial that we address those times when students don't meet deadlines.
MONITORING AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Role of Student
- To write down tasks and deadlines in their Learning Journals
- To ensure that work is completed to the best of their ability
- To submit home learning tasks on or before the deadline set
- To inform the class teacher if they are having difficulties before the deadline Being away on the day that homework is set is not an excuse for not doing it.
- Problems with homework should be resolved before the deadline. If necessary, students should see the member of staff concerned for help.
- As in all things, we expect students to take pride in doing their best.
Role of Parent
- Parents/carers should support students with their home learning but accept that their role will become less important as students become more responsible and independent.
- Parents/carers should try and provide a reasonable place where students can work or encourage them to make use of the college facilities.
- Parents/carers should encourage students to meet deadlines.
- If parents/carers feel that insufficient or too much homework is being set, they should contact the teacher or tutor who will investigate the situation.
- Parents/carers should make it clear to students that they value home learning and support the college in explaining how it can help them to progress.
- Parents/carers should encourage students and praise them when home learning is completed.
Role of Class Teacher
- To follow the curriculum team policy in setting of home learning tasks
- To give full and clear instructions to enable students to complete tasks effectively
- Set clear and reasonable deadlines in line with the curriculum team policy. This must be a minimum of two evenings for completion of the work
- Follow the home learning policy in following up students who have not met deadlines
- Offer feedback to students within a reasonable time
- Provide help and support if a student is having difficulties
- Ensure all tasks are appropriate and differentiated according to students' needs
Role of Form Tutor
- To check Learning Journals and inform Head of Learning if deadlines are persistently not met on more than three occasions
- To check that students are recording home learning tasks and deadlines in their Learning Journal
- To check that Learning Journals are being signed regularly by parents or carers
Role of Curriculum Area Team Leader
- To monitor how assignments are being set in accordance with the curriculum team policy
- To ensure the quality of feedback given is specific, consistent and helpful
- To review the effectiveness of the curriculum team policy and make adjustments as necessary
- To respond to queries and concerns raised by governors, students, parents and carers about the amount, frequency and quality of assessment of home learning tasks.
Role of Heads of Learning
- To work in partnership with the Curriculum Leaders in monitoring individual students and their respective year group's completion of homework
- To monitor through the students' learning journals, the frequency of home learning
- To provide a record of all monitoring to the ELT link.
Role of ELT
- To monitor curriculum team policies for home learning and ensure they are in accordance with DFE guidance
- To evaluate staff, student and parent/carer response to home learning programme
- To review policy annually
- To respond to queries and concerns raised by governors, students, parents and carers
Assistant Principal: Learning and Teaching