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Frederick Gordon
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Homework Policy Primary School Uk

Spending home time on school work can cause tension within families, with stress and resentment on both sides. Children may see homework as taking time away from activities of their choice while parents are placed in a position of feeling compelled to make sure it is completed.

homework policy primary school uk

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While there is not much data available on how much homework primary school pupils do, a 2018 survey of around 1,000 parents found that primary pupils were spending an average of 2.2 hours per week on homework.

The homework done by primary school children can include reading, practising spellings, or revising for tests. Charity the Education Endowment Foundation suggests that the uses for homework at primary school include reinforcing the skills that pupils learn in school, helping them get ready for tests and preparing them for future school lessons.

However, it is possible that setting homework for primary school children has benefits that cannot be easily measured, such as developing responsibility and independent problem-solving skills. It could also help children develop habits that will be useful in later school life.

A common task set for homework in primary schools is for children to read with their parents. There is some evidence that this has a positive impact as well as providing enjoyment, but the quality of interaction may be more important than the quantity.

If the purpose of homework is to develop the relationship between home and school and give parents more stake in the schooling of their children then this may well be a positive thing. If this is its purpose, though, it should not be used as a means to improve test scores or school performance metrics. For the youngest children, anything that takes time away from developmental play is a bad thing.

In the past, the Department for Education advised that Key Stage 1 children should do an hour of homework each week, rising to half an hour per night in Key Stage 2. This advice was scrapped in 2012, giving schools more freedom, but many still follow the old guidelines.

In Years 3 and 4, most schools set two homework activities each week: typically, one literacy (such as a worksheet on collective nouns, or a book review) and one numeracy (a worksheet on bar charts).

Unsurprisingly, technology is playing an increasingly important part in homework. Some schools use online reading schemes such as Bug Club, where teachers allocate e-books of the appropriate level, or subscription services like SAM Learning to set cross-curricular tasks.

Tiffin boys' school, in Kingston, south west London, has limited homework to 40 minutes per night, saying pupils should have more time for their own interests.Head teacher Sean Heslop said boys had been doing up to four hours a night, and that what had been set was often "mechanistic" and "repetitive".Homework is not compulsory in England's schools but is officially encouraged.The government's guidelines for schools in England say children should be doing homework from the day they start primary school. REACTION TO THE CHANGE The boys absolutely love it - but there has been a mixed response from parents Sean HeslopHead teacher of Tiffin School Send us your comments They say 10 and 11-year-olds should be doing half an hour of homework every day, rising to between 90 minutes and two-and-a-half hours a night for older children.But research has cast doubt on its effectiveness, and has even suggested that too much is counter-productive. Some independent schools have abolished the practice.And earlier this year a teaching union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, called for an end to homework in primary schools and for it to be scaled back in secondary schools.Mr Heslop said the school had spent two years looking at teaching and learning in class time which inevitably had led staff to look at what homework was being set.Now it sets just 40 minutes per night plus 20 minutes of independent learning, which could include playing music or doing sport, for example.He said: "The self-discipline of going away and sitting by yourself and doing work is obviously a good thing, but we didn't need to do four hours of it."The more we looked at what was being set, it came over as quite mechanistic and repetitive."We thought, if there's one way to put students off learning, that's the way to do it." Daily homework guidelines Years 5-6: 30 minutesYears 7-8: 45 to 90 minutesYear 9: 1 to 2 hoursYears 10-11: 1.5 to 2.5 hours It was a case of quality not quantity, he said, with work being set in a more targeted way."The boys absolutely love it. But there has been a mixed response from parents."Some had said they were glad to have more time with their sons but others were concerned that less homework might have a negative impact on their exam results.He also said there had been a positive response from teachers, with one saying she was pleased she no longer had to set pointless homework - and mark it.Mr Heslop added: "Because it was four hours homework a night, not all work was being marked."We just feel it is a much more honest conversation that we are having with students and parents."HAVE YOUR SAYHomework at primary school is probably pointless Jeremy, PlymouthSend us your commentsA spokespersom for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "Homework is not compulsory, but we do encourage teachers to set children work to do outside school hours."A good, well organised homework programme helps children and young people to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful, independent, lifelong learning."Homework need not, and should not, get in the way of other activities that children do after school."In Wales, there is also no statutory homework requirement and it is down to the head teacher to decide what and how much is set. E-mail this to a friend Printable version Bookmark with: Delicious Digg reddit Facebook StumbleUpon What are these?

There are different homework policies around the world. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) keeps track of such policies and compares the amount of homework of students from different countries. For example, an average high school student in the US has to spend about 6 hours a day doing homework, while in Finland, the amount of time spent on after school learning is about 3 hours a day. Nevertheless, these are exactly Finnish students who lead the world in global scores for math and science. It means that despite the belief that homework increases student performance, OECD graph shows the opposite. Though there are some exceptions such as education system in Japan, South Korea, and some other Asian countries. In fact, according to OECD, the more time students spend on homework, the worse they perform in school.

So what Finland knows about homework that the rest of the world does not? There is no simple answer, as the success of education system in Finland is provided by many factors, starting from poverty rates in the country to parental leave policies to the availability of preschools. Nevertheless, one of the greatest secrets of the success of education system in Finland is the way Finns teach their children.

Now think about your personal philosophy regarding homework. I tend to subscribe to the belief that homework is a reinforcement of skills already learned, and should be completed without the assistance of a teacher or adult. Homework, in this view, is a way of forming habits to set them up for success later in their education by teaching responsibility, time management, and how to complete a task. This is more common with elementary/primary teachers, as we see importance in children playing and being active after school and spending time with family members, in addition to their homework. In older students the benefit and purpose of homework is more academic.

We all know that homework can be token, poorly defined or even given as a punishment. Homework can be a public relations exercise to make a school look good and a crowd-pleaser to keep parents happy.

Where effective schools do set homework, they guarantee that is it is in line with their global aims and vision for teaching, learning and assessment. In particular, both the level of challenge and the feedback are considered to ensure that homework promotes a greater love of school and interest in learning.

For more than a century, teachers, parents, administrators and educational policymakers have engaged in one of the most heated debates in the field of education: the utility of homework. Detractors of homework claim it deprives students of quality time spent pursuing enjoyable activities with family and friends and has the potential to lead to negative school-related interactions between children and their caregivers. These claims have historically been supported by the argument that research conducted in the past decades could not find a significant association between homework and academic achievement in primary school. So: is there any point in giving homework to primary school children? Or should we adopt a 'no homework' policy?


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