Homework is anything that children do outside the normal school day and that contributes their learning in response to guidance from the school. Homework encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by both teachers and parents and carers to support children’s learning. For example, a parent/carer who spends time reading a story to their child before bedtime is helping with homework.
Homework is a very important part of a child’s education and can add much to a child’s development. We recognise that the time and resources available limit the educational experience that any school by itself can provide; children benefit greatly therefore from the mutual support of parents/carers and teachers in encouraging them to learn both at home and at school. Indeed we see homework as an important way of establishing a successful dialogue between teachers and parents/carers. One of the aims of AIS is for children to develop as independent learners. We believe that homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
Homework plays a positive role in raising a child’s level of attainment. We also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child’s growth and development. While homework is important, it should not prevent children from taking part in the wide range of out-of-school clubs and organizations that play an important part in the lives of many children. We are well aware that children spend more time at home than at school, and we believe they develop their skills, interests and talents to the full only when parent/carers encourage them to make maximum use of the experiences and opportunities that are available outside of AIS.
The aims and objectives of homework are
We increase the amount of homework that we give the children as they move through school. Each cell on the Homework Grid represents 5 – 10 minutes per night. However this does not include reading. As the child moves up the school more cells are added to grid; language, reading and mathematics will be routinely part of the work given.
We set homework for all children as a normal part of school life. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the ability of the child. If a child has special needs, we endeavour to adapt any task set so that all children can contribute in a positive way.
We set a variety of homework activities including reading, writing, spelling and maths tasks. These are outlined on the Homework Grid, which is sent home fortnightly.
In addition to the set homework tasks we sometimes ask children to talk about or research a unit of inquiry at home prior to studying it in school. For example, in the unit on toys, (EC1) we ask children to bring examples into school to show the other children. Sometimes we ask children to find and collect things that we then use in their PYP lessons. Occasionally we ask children to take home work that they have started in school when we believe that they would benefit from spending further time on it. When we ask children to study a unit of inquiry or to research a particular subject, we encourage them to use the school library and the Internet and CD-ROMs if available at home.
As children move up through the school we expect them to do more tasks independently. In addition to work that supports other subjects, we set literacy and numeracy homework routinely and we expect the children to consolidate and reinforce learning in school through practice at home. We also set homework as a means of helping the children to revise modules of work to ensure that prior learning has been understood.
Parents/carers have a vital role to play in their child’s education, and homework is an important part of this process. We ask parents/carers to encourage their child to complete the homework tasks that are set. We invite them to help their children as they feel necessary and provide them with the sort of environment that allows children to do their best. Parents/carers can support their child by providing a good working space at home, by enabling their child to visit the library regularly, and by discussing the work that their child is doing. To support parents who find this difficult we provide a weekly homework club.
If parents/carers have any problems or questions about homework, they should, in the first instance, contact the child’s class teacher. If their questions are of a more general nature, they should contact the Principal.
It is the responsibility the senior management to agree and then monitor the school homework policy. Feedback from parents is a vital part of this process and is welcomed at all times