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Homework Policy

Homework Policy

West Spring Secondary School’s Homework Policy

Definition

Homework is any learning activity that students are required by the school to complete outside of timetabled curriculum. Examples: Projects, research, e-learning, worksheets, 10 year series…

Objectives

Homework when used appropriately, can improve students’ academic ability, study skills and disposition towards learning. When used inappropriately or excessively, however, homework can impact negatively on students’ achievements and motivation and reduce their access to other activities that teach important life skills and time required to build meaningful relationships with family and friends.

Objectives for Students:

  • Practice | Effective use of homework provides mastery of learning.  Note – Checking for understanding should take place before the practice of homework, otherwise, it will reinforce misconceptions.
  • Process | Effective use of homework enables students to reflect/summarise/deepen understanding of concepts discussed in class, think of questions to ask, apply skills or knowledge learnt and synthesise information.
  • Values | Effective use of homework develops good study habits and skills, such as time management, self-evaluation and self-direction. It also allows for greater ownership and responsibility for independent learning.

Objectives for teachers:

  1. Pre-learning | Effective use of homework enables teachers to find out prior knowledge of students or what they are interested in learning.
  2. Checking for understanding | Effective use of homework helps teachers gain insights into student learning, so as to provide feedback, intervention and support.
  3. Review effectiveness of lesson | Effective use of homework reveals the effectiveness of lesson and allows teachers to reflect and improve the crafting and delivery of their lessons.

 

 Objectives for parents:

  1. Feedback on child’s learning | Effective use of homework provides timely information to parents of the learning progress of their child.
  2. Involvement in child’s learning | Effective use of homework gives parent’s the opportunity to be involved in their child’s learning and helps to strengthen the parent-child relationship.
  3. Considerations for Homework | When planning homework, teachers need to reflect on the rationale and type of learning they want the homework to reinforce.

 

Quality of Homework

Should be

  • well-designed to bring about the intended learning outcomes
  • interesting and purposeful
  • related to class teaching
  • clearly defined so that students understand what is required of them
  • within the students’ capabilities and developmental readiness
  • using resources readily available to students
  • differentiated to meet the different needs and abilities of students

Quantity of Homework

The school’s guideline in the quantity of homework to be given is:

Should

  • not overload the students as it can have detrimental effects on learning and pursuit of a balanced life.
  • be age-appropriate
  • be level-appropriate
  • homework should be given at least a notice of three days
  • homework to be reduced by at least 50% during weeks of common tests, school and national exams

Average for School

Level Daily (Hours) March/September Holiday (Hours) June/December Holiday (Hours)
WSSS 2 13 26

 

Rewards and Sanctions

To reward submission of quality homework the subject teachers should do the following:

  • praise for the high quality homework and good work ethics
  • sharing of quality homework with class as role model work
  • quality homework should be put up on display in the classroom
  • communication to form teachers and parents of quality homework

To intervene when homework is not completed:

Subject Teachers

  • support the students
  • discussion with form teacher
  • inform parents
  • to discuss with HOD/SH/LH on intervention measures
  • to work with DM on sanction to take, i.e detention
  • to work with DM and School Leader/FTSC

Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders

Educators, parents and students play an important role in ensuring that homework serves its intended purpose.

 

School Leaders

  • establish a school-wide policy on homework
  • communicate the school-wide policy on homework to staff, students and parents
  • ensure that there is coordination across subjects/departments on the frequency and quantity of homework given
  • monitor, review and evaluate the implementation of the school homework policy through inputs by SMC, teachers and students
  • engage parents on homework matters and encourage parents to provide suitable home support and supervision for students’ learning

IP Heads (HOD/SH/LH)

  • determine the requirements (mode, quality and quantity) of homework set by level/stream/subject
  • ensure all teachers are setting appropriate homework regularly and marking it
  • monitor, review and evaluate homework policy within their curriculum area through inputs by department/subject teachers and students

Pupil Development Head

  • work with FTSC/PTSC to monitor and support students who have difficulties with homework upon referral

 

Year Heads

  • monitor and support students who have difficulties with homework
  • discuss during level meetings and support teachers in strategies and interventions for students who have difficulties in homework

Form Teachers

  • include homework management as part of one-to-one discussion and class feedback sessions
  • give feedback to respective subject teachers on homework given
  • advise parents on issues of homework
  • provide inputs on homework load to SMC for review

Subject Teachers

As the main provider of homework, Subject Teachers must ensure that they carry out these effective homework strategies:

Assign regular, appropriate and effective homework

  • variety of work required to prepare students for examinations eg. mcq, structured, essay, composition, comprehension, integrated, sbq, practice
  • spread of homework throughout teaching of topic, not cluttered towards end of the topic
  • suitable for student profile eg. level, stream, students’ capabilities and developmental readiness
  • suitable for purpose eg. understanding of concepts, topical summary, drill and purpose, integration of a few topics, revision
  • planned teacher-prepared or/and modified worksheets
  • clarity of instructions eg. students understand what is required of them
  • presentation of homework is inviting/motivating for students who require more visual stimuli, sufficient space, appropriate font and size, clarity of printing
  • resources eg notes, textbooks, websites needed  to complete assignments are readily available to students
  • review the homework given before giving to students and anticipate difficulties

Give clear instructions

  • inform clearly reasons for homework and students’ responsibility for their work
  • set deadlines for work to be completed and ensure they are adhered to
  • articulate expectations of homework – no tolerance for incomplete, shoddy work and consequences for such work
  • require students to write down homework assignments in the student organiser

Give timely and developmental feedback

  • provide timely and developmental feedback so that each student will be aware of own progress
  • analyse weaknesses eg. carelessness, lack of working, insufficient vocabulary, no linkage, no matching statements
  • provide helpful comments to improve/develop to next level/lead students to think deeply
  • provide positive strokes eg encouraging words, stickers

Involve parents

  • communicate to parents on child’s progress or child’s shoddy, incomplete work
  • collaborate with parents on strategies to adopt at home to support completion of homework eg. conducive place, good lighting, table, quiet

 

Students

  • copy homework instructions for the task and deadline into the student organiser
  • class representative to record and track daily homework on the noticeboard
  • ensure homework is completed and handed in to meet the deadline
  • attempt their best for all work given, including asking questions if in doubt and completing the corrections
  • inform class/subject teacher if encounter homework difficulties

Parents

  • set regular study time each day for revision and completion of homework
  • help child establish a study area, with good light, space and free from distractions
  • support and assist when child face difficulties in completing homework
  • contact form teacher to update on child’s difficulties in completing homework, clarify any doubts
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