Scoil Ghobnatan – Homework Policy
Here in Scoil Ghobnatan we view homework as an integral part of your child’s education.
We at all times endeavour to promote homework in a positive way and would hip that parents would adopt a similar positive attitude.
1.Why give homework?
- To re-enforce what the child learns during the day.
- To provide a link between teacher and parent.
- To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
- Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, ie it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with Senior Classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
- Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their own individual ability – no more, no less.
2.How often is homework given?
- Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are some exceptions:
- If homework has been neglected during the week.
- At the discretion of the class teacher, in Senior Classes, some project work or revision work may be undertaken at weekends.
- Sixth Class may be given some homework exercises at the weekends (not usually the full amount of homework)
- 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 extra homework may sometimes be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, has not made a suitable effort or has presented untidy work.
- When problems arise e.g. when homework is not done or is not done to appropriate standard, parents will be alerted. In serious cases the school will send a formal letter to the parents.
3.What is the content of homework?
- Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks.
- This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.
- Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
- Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart”, is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
4. How much (time) homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior Infants – Up to 15 minutes
Senior Infants – Up to 20 minutes
Rang 1 Up to 30 minutes
Rang 2 Up to 40 minutes
Rang 3 UP to 50 minutes
Rang 4 Up to 1 hour
Rang 5 Up to 1 hour 15 minutes
Rang 6 Up to 1 hour 30 minutes
Homework is given from Monday to Thursday. Normally there is no homework at weekends or on a school day just before a public holiday. However, children in middle and senior classes may sometimes be required to work independently on projects or revision work at weekends. For children attending a Resource Teacher it may be necessary to work out a compromise between the Class Teacher and the Resource Teacher as to what homework might be appropriate.
5. How much should parents give?
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
- Providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework.
- Preventing interruptions or distractions, like TV or other children
- Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty
- If a child has difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
- Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child.
6.How often should parents monitor homework?
· Parents should check and sign the child’s homework journal/notebook every evening. In Infant Classes, where children do not have a homework journal, parents can sign homework in the child’s copy/workbook.
· If children attend after school homework club, parents are asked to check and sign the homework journal. If homework hasn’t been completed at homework club, this must be completed at home.
· 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.
· Ideally, all written messages to/from your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal. (From time to time children will get typed notes regarding various school activities/school closures etc. Please check your child’s school bag regularly for these).
· Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework as it is completed. Teachers will also endeavor to make sure that homework is taken down properly.
7. How often do teachers monitor homework?
· Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal 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 a week.
· Some items of homework or classwork may be checked by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning experience for children.
· When homework is not done, or is carelessly done on a regular basis, parents will be alerted. An account of meeting/phone call will be kept. In severe cases, the school will send a formal letter to parents stating that homework is not being done or is not being satisfactorily done.
When should parents communicate with the teacher about homework?
· When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
· When your child cannot do homework because s/he cannot understand some aspect of it.
· If the time being spent on homework is very often longer than the recommended amount of time.
When should homework be done?
Each family situation is different – both parents working, childminders etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched, soon after school, while your child is still fresh. However, some children need a break before starting homework. Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
REMEMBER: If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher, sooner rather than later.
Ratified by B.O.M. on 01/12/2016
James Stanton – Chairperson
Michael Walsh – Principal