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Homework

Introduction

Homework provides students with opportunities to consolidate their classroom learning, prepare for lifelong learning beyond the classroom and involve family members in their learning.  The setting of homework takes into account the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle.  This includes sufficient time for family, recreation, cultural pursuits and employment where appropriate.

Teachers will ensure that homework set enhances student learning.

Teachers must ensure that homework:eachers must ensure that homework:

  • is purposeful and relevant to students’ needs
  • is appropriate to the phase of learning (early, middle and senior)
  • is appropriate to the capability of the student
  • develops the student’s independence as a learner
  • is varied, challenging and clearly related to class work
  • allows for student commitment to recreational, employment, family and cultural activities.

NB Occasionally, if work is not completed in class, teachers may ask for the work to be completed at home.  If this cannot be done at home, arrangements should be made for it to be completed before school starts the next day.

Planning

In setting homework, teachers must be cognisant of:

the need to check homework regularly and provide timely and useful feedback

the need to discuss with parents and caregivers any developing problems concerning their child’s homework and to suggest strategies to assist with their child’s homework.

the need to ensure there is an emphasis on helping students establish a positive routine of regular, independent study.

Time Allocation

Early Phase of Learning (Prep to year 3)

In the Early Phase of Learning, all activities at home or in play can assist children to develop literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills.

Homework tasks may include:

  • daily reading to, with, and by parents, caregivers or other family members
  • linking concepts with familiar activities such as shopping, preparation of food, local environment and family outings
  • conversations about what is happening at school
  • preparation for oral presentations
  • opportunities to write for meaningful purposes

Homework in the prep year, generally consists of daily reading, learning sight words and some phonics or number activity taking 5 to 10 minutes per night. Homework for prep students would not exceed more than 30 minutes per week.

In Years 1, 2 and 3 homework could be up to but, generally not more than one hour per week. (15 minutes per night)

Middle Phase (Year 4 to 9)

In the Middle Phase, some homework can be completed daily, over a weekly or fortnightly period and may:

  • include daily independent reading
  • be coordinated across different subject areas, for example setting a task such as writing a letter (English) to the local member of parliament (Civics) about a local environmental matter (Science)
  • include extension of class work, projects and research

Homework in Years 4 and 5 could be up to but generally not more than two to three hours per week. (30 minutes per night)

Homework in Years 6 and 7 could be up to but generally not more than three to four hours per week. (45 minutes-60 minutes per night).

Year 7 should progressively aim towards an hour per week night by the end of the year, as a prelude to secondary school study habits.

Helping students take responsibility for their own learning

Teachers can help students establish a routine of regular, independent study by setting homework on a regular basis, explicitly teaching strategies to develop organisational and time-management skills and providing opportunities to practise these strategies through homework, while clearly communicating the purpose, benefits and expectations of homework.

Students can take responsibility for their own learning by:

  • being aware of the school’s homework policy
  • discussing homework expectations with their parents or caregivers
  • accepting responsibility for the completion of homework tasks within set timeframes
  • following up on comments made by teachers
  • seeking assistance when difficulties arise
  • organising their time to manage home obligations, participation in physical activity and sports, recreational and cultural activities and part-time employment

Summary - Time Allocation

Prep to Year 3 – Could be up to but generally not more than one hour per week (15 minutes per night)

Years 4 & 5 – Could be up to but generally not more than two to three hours per week (30 minutes per night)

Years 6 & 7 – Could be up to but generally not more than three to four hours per week (45-60 minutes per night)

Year 7 – Should progressively aim towards an hour per week night by the end of the year