Following consultation with staff, students, parents and the Board of Management, the following is the homework policy of Scoil Íde. The new policy will be implemented in February 2019.
Aims and objectives of homework
- To encourage pupils to develop the skills needed for independent learning.
- To consolidate, reinforce and extend the skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the classroom.
- To check that pupils have understood work completed in class.
- To develop links between home and school by giving parents an insight into what is happening in school and to share in their child's learning.
- Homework is generally given 3-4 days each week in the Infant classes and 4 days a week from 1st class upwards.
- Sometimes, at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off ” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
- Please note that extra homework may sometimes be given if a child has not completed homework, not made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.
- Unfinished class work may be sent home from time to time to complete at home.
- Some project work may be undertaken at weekends or prior to preparation for secondary school tests, some homework may be given at weekends.
The content of homework
- Tasks and assignments given for homework should be meaningful.
- A focus will be placed on quality homework over the quantity of homework.
- Differentiated homework may be given where necessary.
- Children, for the most part, should be able work independently.
The following are the guidelines in our school for homework:
3 to 4 days a week. Homework is not assigned on Fridays.
Infant classes will get a selection of the following activities for homework:
- Sight vocabulary/phonics cards
- Little books/shared reading books
- Fine motor activities
- Oral language activities
- Worksheet or written activity
- Grow in Love home links workbook activity
Monday to Thursday. Homework is not assigned on Fridays.
Children are encouraged to read at home daily whether assigned or not.
A choice of the following activities will be given at the teacher’s discretion:
- Spellings (English and Irish)
- Grow in Love home links workbook activity
- Written activity (English, S.E.S.E or other)
- Irish (oral, reading or writing)
- Physical education activities
- Learning poems/songs/prayers/facts
- Project work
- Music (e.g. recorder practice)
- Google classroom/Google Docs or other online homework assignments
*Children may be given an extended time to complete homework particularly in the case of project work.
How much time should be spent doing homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent doing homework. Different children will complete the same amount of homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Infants 10-15 minutes
1st-2nd Class Up to 30 minutes
3rd-6th Class Up to 40 minutes
We suggest that you set a timer for your child when they are doing their homework as it keeps them focused.
How much help should parents give?
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
- Providing them with a suitable place, suitable materials and time to do their homework.
- Preventing interruptions or distractions, like television, mobile devices or other children.
- Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help if the child has difficulty.
- Parents should check over the homework to ensure that it is completed.
- If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by doing the homework for the child. In this case, the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
- Reading with and to your child at home is a most valuable experience. Parents should try to do this as often as possible.
How often should parents monitor homework?
- Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal or sheet (infant classes) every evening even if they have done their homework in Homework Club or at a minder/crèche.
- The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
- Written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal.
- Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly on the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
How often do teachers monitor homework?
- Ideally, teachers try to check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework every day.
- As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week.
- Some items of homework may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
- When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
- When your child cannot do homework due to personal circumstances.
- If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
When should homework be done?
- Each family situation is different - both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done soon after school while your child is still fresh, however, some children may need a break before starting homework.
- Homework should never be left until the morning time before school.
Homework is not intended to be a stressful experience between the adult and child. Should this be the case, please contact the class teacher.
Signed: Patrick Meghen
Board of Management