There are a range of reasons why homework is beneficial to student learning. Homework enables students to become independent learners, encouraging a sense of discipline and the ability to take ownership of one’s own learning, and it helps to reinforce and consolidate information presented in the classroom, thereby helping pupils to develop a deeper understanding of topics covered in lessons.
According to the EFF:
homework has a positive impact on student learning, on average + 5 months of progress.
The Nature of effective homework
In order for homework to be truly effective, it must be properly planned and relevant. Homework should aim to develop student understanding of given programmes of study, whilst helping pupils review and embed previous learning. Key research, according to the EFF, suggests that:
➢ homework that is linked to classroom work tends to be more effective;
➢ homework that includes feedback has a higher impact on learning;
➢ it is important to make the purpose of homework clear to pupils.
Homework should be:
• Clearly explained to pupils, as well as aims;
• Differentiated or relevantly scaffolded where necessary to ensure all students can benefit from it;
• Where possible, tasks should be set to ensure students can meet their individual targets / areas for improvement such as through ‘DIRT’ (Directed Improvement and Reflection Time);
• In music and drama, reflective homework should always be submitted via DPR.
• Amount of time given for completion of homework should be appropriate to the task;
• Timely feedback should be given to ensure pupils are aware of the next steps for progress.
Year 7-9 students:
➢ No more than 45 minutes of homework per subject per week.
➢ Core Subjects (English, Maths and Science) - two pieces of homework per week (Year 7 have a 50% timetable reduction up until Christmas).
➢ In PE, no homework is to be set. However, students are expected to attend at least one after school club a week.
➢ Foundation subjects – one piece of homework per week.
➢ Core subjects - two pieces of homework per week.
Homework allocation in the Creative Arts & PE
➢ For Years 7, 8 and 9, homework should be set once every three weeks (twice over a half term). The first should be a pre-learning activity, and the latter a reflective piece.
➢ Years 10 & 11, homework should be set once every week (approximately 1 hour).
➢ In PE homework will only apply to KS4 Option classes. Homework is to be set as follows:
- 25% of option is theory examination prep. During this unit, homework will revolve around exam questions – to be set once a week (approximately 1 hour).
- 75% of option is controlled assessment / practical. Two pieces of homework per unit should be set: the first a pre-learning task, the latter a reflective task.