This section looks to offer practical advice and outline the procedures linked to homework for students and parents/carers.

There is no doubt that regular homework can play a significant role in the learning and progress of young people and that the regular completion of homework contributes to a student’s academic achievement and to the development of wider life skills. With the pressures on Key Stage 4 and 5 students with the external exams, homework throughout school life encourages students to take ownership of their learning, developing their own organisation and time keeping skills.

Why is homework important?

  • Homework offers students an opportunity to practice and develop skills.
  • Homework offers students an opportunity to consolidate the knowledge and understanding that they have developed in the classroom and gives students useful time to reflect on their learning.
  • Homework encourages students to learn how to organise and manage their time.
  • Homework encourages students to take greater responsibility for their own learning and can facilitate the independent learning skills that are so important in school and in later life.
  • Homework can help students to develop greater resilience and resourcefulness. Students can develop the confidence to deal with frustration, to overcome difficulties and to solve problems.
  • Homework can offer opportunities to pre-learn materials and content prior to learning, in order to allow for deeper learning to take place in the classroom.
  • Homework tasks can be an opportunity for the teacher to assess a student’s understanding of class work. This may reveal areas of difficulty that can be addressed. For other students, homework may provide an opportunity to stretch their thinking and delve more deeply into issues.

Homework can promote the development of important key skills such as literacy, numeracy and ICT.

At Sprowston Community High School we use Doddle in order to set, record, share and support homework. Doddle offers a range of resources for students to use in order to support their learning across all their subjects and also for teachers to share important resources electronically, safely and easily. It also offers a platform for parents to see and monitor what homework has been set and whether deadlines have been met or progress made. For students it also offers the opportunity for instant feedback from quizzes and online assessments. 

The amount, frequency and nature of the homework will be based on the subject teacher’s professional judgement and reflect the nature of the individual subject and your child’s current level of achievement. Homework will increase in length and frequency as your child progresses from Year 7 to 11 and on into Sixth Form. Year 7 students will only receive homework in their first half term from English, Maths, Science and MFL in order to assist with their transition and developing their organisational skills at a new school. Sprowston Community High School supports the view that a healthy balance between homework and other life enriching activities should be maintained. Students should aim to plan their work so that they do not create ‘pinch points’ which result in unnecessary pressure.

In order to attain the maximum benefit from homework, your child is responsible for completing homework assignments on time and as directed. If homework deadlines are not met then teaching staff will always offer a 24 hour extension in the first instance. If this deadline is then not met, a Central Leadership Detention (CLD) for Homework will be set. This is a detention sat by students after school (3.25-4.15pm) which offers the opportunity for this specific homework to be completed. Parents and carers will be notified of when the detention will take place, along with a reminder to students via SIOMs and their form tutor, as well as a note on the day of the detention.

It is very important to us that there is an effective partnership between home and school so that we can work together to ensure that all students are supported in their learning and are given the opportunities to achieve to their potential and beyond. We will endeavour to share as much information with parents and carers through the student journal, Doddle and the school website.  Parents and carers can find information linked to the taught curriculum and topics linked to homework that your children will be receiving within the Faculty section of the website.

What should I do if...

1. My child does not have enough homework

If your child has a couple of days when they appear not to have any homework, try and encourage them to do some independent work around a subject they have been studying. This could include wider reading and internet research. It may also be useful to get them to practice and develop skills by using Doddle via the school website for pre-learning and revision of topics, or websites such as PiXL Maths App for KS4 and BBC Bite Size. These all provide opportunities for students to “test” their knowledge and understanding of a topic, often in fun and engaging ways.

If you feel that there is a prolonged period where your child does not appear to be receiving homework in a particular subject, you should make contact with the class teacher concerned and voice your concerns/queries. This can be done via the journal or through phone or email. If the issue persists, please contact the relevant head of department.

It may be that your child is receiving homework but is not recording it effectively. If you are concerned about your child’s ability to handle and organise their homework, or that they just aren’t doing it, please contact your child’s form teacher who will be able to help co-ordinate an approach to tackling the issue. Alternatively you may wish to initially log on to the parent section of Doddle to see the Homework’s ‘set’, ‘overdue’ and ‘submitted’.

2. My child has got too much homework

Sometimes there are stress points in a term where students appear to be overwhelmed with deadlines and work. For some of our students this can make them unhappy and distressed. In the first instance, try and sit down with your child and plan where the priorities are and which work should be completed first. Occasionally, you may feel it necessary to contact your child’s class teacher to explain that they are finding the workload difficult and may need additional support. If you feel there is a general problem with your child receiving too much homework across all subjects, please contact your child’s form tutor who will take the time to co-ordinate an appropriate plan of support.

3. My child is finding the work too hard/easy

It may be that your child needs a break from the work and that, simply coming back to it later, will help. Sometimes asking other students for advice can be helpful, as can asking a parent to give their advice/support. There may also be websites that can help support basic understanding of topics and ideas, as well as using the resources within Doddle for each topic for each subject.

However, there are times when, even with support, a child simply cannot do the work. Please use the journal to explain to your child’s class teacher that they have attempted the work but require further help to complete the task.

If the work appears to be too easy, encourage your child to “add to it” and to carry out additional independent work and higher level questions. If they show this to the teacher they will be aware that your child can be pushed more and would respond well to more challenging work in the future.

How can I support my child with their homework?

Make sure your child has the following:

  • A quiet place to work, preferably with a desk or table and good light.
  • Equipment. This will include paper, pens, glue, scissors and a good quality dictionary.
  • Access to a computer and printer if possible. There is no doubt that access to a computer makes homework easier and allows students an opportunity to carry out independent research and to access useful websites (this, of course, comes with the warning of distractions such as Facebook). The school offers access to computers at lunchtimes and after school.
  • Time/Routine. Try and encourage your child to get into a regular habit with homework so that there is a specific time slot when they sit down and complete work.
  • Their journal. The journal should be a vital tool in the homework kit as students use this to record their homework in. When you sign the journal on a weekly basis, challenge your child if there is no recorded homework.

Responsibilities

The role of the student:

1. To listen to homework instructions in class

2. To copy down the instructions for the task and the deadline date into their journal

3. To ensure that homework is completed and handed in on time

4. To attempt all work and give their best

5. To inform their class teacher of any difficulties (where possible this must be done in advance of the deadline and not on the day the homework is due in)

The role of the form tutor:

1. To include homework in form time sessions where appropriate

2. To see that homework is being recorded

3. To check the student journal is being signed by the parent/guardian

4. To note and respond to any comments written in journals by parents

The role of the class teacher:

1. To set appropriate homework according to the department and school policy

2. To give full and comprehensive instructions

3. To set clear deadlines and ensure that they are met

4. To ensure that prompt and appropriate feedback is provided on homework tasks, be it in the form of teacher marking, peer and self assessment, grades, etc.

5. To provide help and support

6. To inform the Head of Department, Form Tutor, or Head of Year (as appropriate) of any issues

The role of the Head of Department:

1. To seek to enhance the quality of homework set including, where appropriate, mark schemes and success criteria

2. To monitor and evaluate homework within their subject areas

3. To ensure that homework is a regular item on meeting agendas

Homework Club

Great news! We run Homework Club after school for all students in Pathways in CM Block

The Homework Club is designed to encourage and support students in becoming more independent, enable them to overcome obstacles and to improve homework records.  It also gives the opportunity to use the internet for homework tasks. Stationery, equipment, access to computers and printers are also available. The Homework Club also offers peer support from Year 10 and Year 11 Duke of Edinburgh volunteers and Sixth Form students who help and encourage students with their work.

The Homework Club takes place at the following times and days:

Tuesdays 3.30pm - 4.30pm with Mrs Norman

Thursdays 3.30pm - 4.30pm with Mrs Vannucci

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