As a general principal, the staff and governors of the school believe that all the children work hard during the day and they should feel that home is a place to play, relax and unwind. However, we also believe that children’s learning at school is most effective when it is supported and reinforced in the home environment. In the recent past, the DFE provided guidelines for schools in the preparation and implementation of a homework policy. These guidelines not only suggested formal timetables and structures for homework for all year groups but also emphasised that ‘homework’ was not just about the formal, timed tasks. It is also argued that homework could be given the widest meaning – so that, for example, when parents and children shared domestic tasks such as cooking, shopping, laying the table etc. this would all support their children’s learning in school. The staff and governors at Forncett share this wide view of homework and we hope the following policy will prove workable and unite both concepts of ‘homework’.
1. The Aim of this Homework Policy
a. To continue to develop an effective partnership between the school and the parents, and other carers, to assist and promote the children’s overall learning.
b. To consolidate and reinforce particular skills, such as literacy and numeracy.
c. To encourage children, particularly as they get older, to develop the skills necessary for working on their own for sustained periods. This becomes increasingly important as children get into Year 6, since it helps to ensure that they will be well equipped and ready for high school.
The DFE regards shared reading as an important activity which should take place in addition to homework. The school agrees that this is a invaluable and vital activity and encourages parents and other carers to read both with and to their children throughout their time at school. The teachers are always happy and willing to assist with this activity by providing children with books suitable for their age, and reading level, and parents should always feel free to discuss any aspects of their children’s reading with the teachers.
3. The Role of the School
a. Each class teacher will provide each pupil with a homework task, during most weeks in accordance with their own class policy, which parents and carers will be informed about in their child’s class newsletter. Each class teacher will also notify parents and carers of their class expectations and procedures in relation to reading. This task will be individually tailored to each child’s needs and abilities – except where it will assist the overall learning experience. However the class teacher will explain the feedback expected from the task – if say spellings are sent home it will be made clear when they will be tested or, for older children, if a piece of written work is to be marked and reviewed, when that will take place.
b. The class teacher will reinforce the homework task promptly and appropriately, by ensuring that the work is marked and/or testing tables and spellings on a regular basis.
c. The class teacher will be available and willing to discuss with parents and other carers any aspects of their children’s homework. The class teacher will provide a description of the homework tasks and provide parents with an opportunity to write their own comments about the homework set. Parents should not feel pressurized into writing reams of comments each week. However they should feel free to use the opportunity for comment whenever appropriate.
d. The staff and governors of the school will carry out a formal review of this policy annually. However, parents should feel free to make comments about the policy in general, as well as comments about a specific homework task, whenever appropriate.
4. The Role of Parents and Other Carers
a. To encourage the children to complete all varieties of homework to the best of their abilities and to praise them when they do so.
b. Wherever possible to provide a reasonably peaceful and suitable environment in which the children can perform the homework tasks set.
c. Wherever possible and in particular with young children, to be on hand whilst the tasks are being carried out to provide support and assistance.
d. Wherever possible, to aim to spend some time each day reading with or to each child as appropriate.
e. To provide each class teacher with comments and feedback on homework and their children’s learning through formal and informal discussions as and when necessary.