Homework can help students by complementing and reinforcing classroom learning, fostering good lifelong learning and study habits, and providing an opportunity for students to be responsible for their own learning. It can also provide another opportunity for parents to participate positively in their child’s education.
It is important for everyone to maintain a sensible balance between school work and play. We believe both quality of school work and general well-being are improved by regular participation in a range of both active and relaxing leisure activities.
Types of Homework
Reading (progressing from reading to, reading with, to reading alone) should be part of every student’s homework everyday. Because of this there should never be a day when a student has 'no homework'. Reading can be more valuable if parents read as well and discuss what they are reading with their children.
Practice exercises provide students with the opportunities to apply new knowledge, or to review, revise and reinforce newly acquired skills, such as:
- completing consolidation exercises for Mathematics – memorisation of tables
- practising spelling words
- practising words or phrases learnt in a Language Other Than English
- writing essays and other creative tasks
- practising and playing musical instruments
- specific revision for tests/quizzes
- practising physical education skills
- revising information/skills from current or previous topics
- providing opportunities for students to gain background information so they are better prepared for future lessons, such as:
- reading background material for History
- reading English texts for class discussion
- researching topics for class work
- watching particular TV shows
- collecting newspaper articles
- revising information about a current topic
encouraging students to pursue knowledge individually and imaginatively, such as:
- writing a book review
- making or designing an art work
- completing Science investigation exercises
- researching local news
- finding material on the Internet
- monitoring advertising in a newspaper
Prep to Grade 4
Our expectation is that Reading in some form as outlined under READING above will be completed every night. In the home environment we also believe that positive conversations between parents and students, highlighting all the good things about school is really important and should take place most nights of the week.
Parents can also play a really important role in involving students in home routines and tasks which require thinking and responsibility as well as the fun Maths and English that can occur while shopping, driving or cooking at home. Eg. (reading labels, talking about money, being involved in planning or researching weekend events and holidays).
Homework at the P-4 level should never involve more than 30 minutes.
At the P-4 level homework expectations in excess of the above may vary from teacher to teacher depending on the events of the term, week or day. All teachers are more than willing to discuss any homework issues with parents or parents may also wish to have a discussion with year level coordinators or the Principal as necessary.
Time allocations of up to 90 minutes a day for Year 7-10 with Year 5/6 generally not exceeding 45 minutes per day.
- homework will be noted in the Student diary – as a general rule students would have homework every weeknight (Remember that Reading is included in this allotment)
- at least one night per week should be dedicated to each of English/Maths fact learning activities with associated “testing” in school. If no specific homework entered, students should be doing reading/number facts revision etc.
- teachers/parents should sign the Student diary once per week
- homework could be continuation of classwork, projects or assignments, essays and research
- there should be coordination between teachers to avoid excessive workload, for students. If students are struggling with the workload they should discuss this issue with their home group teacher
- some homework may be scheduled over weekends and/or holidays
- it is reasonable for teachers to set more than 45-90 minutes homework if some or all of it is work that could have reasonably been finished in class
- teachers should monitor completion of set homework tasks and let parents know if it is not being done.
- teacher may require students to complete unfinished homework at recess/lunchtime in either supervised/non supervised conditions
- reading should be done every day
In Years 11 and 12, homework will generally increase, and require up to 3 hours per week day, with up to 6 hours on weekends during peak VCE periods.
A good rule of thumb for Year 12 subjects is that they require 1 hour of homework for every hour of classwork. At this level students generally should be independent learners. Independent learners complete homework specified by teachers but also are aware of their own needs in terms of ongoing review and revision of school work. They regularly devote significant amounts of time to these self identified needs. Parents should be clear about the school’s expectations for home study, and should discuss issues and concerns with their children and the school.
Care should be taken to ensure that undue pressure is not placed on students at this level, and that a balance is maintained between the demands of study and recreational pastimes. This can generally be achieved through good organization and planning, and builds on the effective study habits developed in earlier years of schooling.
Use of School diaries
Every student in Years P-12 receives a diary. If this diary is lost or mistreated (including graffitied) it will only be replaced at a cost of $10 to the student.
Teachers will make every effort to have students record the following information in their diaries.
- homework timetable
- specific homework
- type and number of work requirements
- special events
It is each student’s responsibility to put this information into their diaries when asked and if they are away, to catch up any relevant diary entries.
Parents and caregivers can help their children by:
- encouraging them to take increasing responsibility for their learning and organization
- observing and acknowledging their success and asking how their home and class work is progressing
- attending school events, displays or productions in which their children are involved
- encouraging them to set aside a regular daily session to read and complete homework
- setting an example by reading themselves
- contacting the relevant teacher to discuss any problems their children are having with homework
- helping them to complete homework by discussing key questions or directing them to resources. Usually it is better to encourage children to complete homework themselves
- helping them to balance homework and general home life including watching television, playing sport and engaging in other leisure or recreational activities
- checking whether homework for upper primary and secondary students has been set and ensuring they keep a homework diary
- reading texts set by teachers. Discussing their child’s response to the texts and asking to see work they complete in relation to these texts
- provide “educational” material for kids – books, computer games, other games, watch TV shows and discuss
- discussing homework in their first language, where English is not the main language spoken at home, and linking it to their previous experiences.
Teachers can help their students by:
- setting regular homework to help students establish a home study routine
- setting varied, challenging and meaningful tasks related to class work that are appropriate to the students’ learning needs
- giving students enough time to complete homework, taking into account home obligations and extracurricular activities
- assessing homework and providing timely and practical feedback and support
- making effective use of homework diaries for upper primary and secondary students
- coordinating the allocation of homework by different teachers in secondary schools
- helping students develop the organisational and time management skills needed for them to be responsible for their own learning
- ensuring that students have good information skills
- ensuring that parents and caregivers are aware of the school’s homework policy
- developing strategies to support parents to become active partners in homework