Homework Policy

Our School’s Mission Statement states:

Grange National School with the cooperation of parents, aims to encourage each child to reach their full potential in a safe supportive environment. It aims to inspire and challenge every child to learn and grow into realizing their full potential, valuing themselves and being respectful of others.

 

At Grange National School, we believe that with the cooperation of parents, homework can greatly benefit each pupil and enable them to develop their potential. We believe that primary school pupils whose parents supervise their homework are at a significant advantage in comparison to pupils who complete their work without any monitoring. Homework is part of a continuous learning process. In this school we regard homework as important for the following specific reasons:

 

  • It allows pupils the opportunity to revisit, revise and consolidate skills learned in class.
  • It can help pupils to make more rapid progress in learning.
  • It can involve parents and family in the pupil’s work, to their mutual benefit.
  • It gives pupils an opportunity for independent learning and study.
  • It forms a link with the methods of study crucial to success at secondary school and in later life.

 

Homework also enables the teacher:

  •  To monitor pupil progress with a view to improving standards.
  • To provide pupils and parents with clear and relevant feedback.
  • To suggest strategies for improvement and goals to be achieved.
  • To seek extra resources to support those pupils in need of additional help or additional challenge.

 

Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. The teacher in class normally prepares it. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.  

 

By the time a child reaches 6th class he/she should be able to work independently and to a high standard. This is only possible when a child has been doing homework consistently well throughout primary school. A child who has not developed good habits with regard to homework may find the transition from primary school to secondary school extremely difficult.

When is homework assigned?
Homework is usually given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays.

Extra homework may be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, not made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.

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.

The importance of reading, reading, reading

While homework may not be assigned at the weekend it is in your child’s best interest for him/her to read at weekends and during holidays.

Homework Journal

Every child (Junior to Sixth included) should have a homework journal.

A school homework journal is available for purchase from the office.

How the journal is used:

Pupils from 1st to 6th write the homework assignments into their homework journal. This should be written in a manner that is easily read.

Parents/guardians may use the Journal to write notes to the class teacher with regard to problems encountered in the homework or explanations for why homework has not been completed.

It is a good idea to make a note, in the journal, of the time it takes for the pupil to complete the night’s homework. Parents are asked to note that the time written down should be the time taken without  breaks/time spend looking for books/pencils etc.

If the time taken consistently exceeds the following estimation of time required by an individual class group the parents should consult with the class teacher. It may be necessary for the teacher to reduce the amount of homework for that particular pupil. It may also indicate difficulties that might require more investigation on the part of the school.

The following is a rough estimate of the minimum time which your child may be expected to spend on his/her assigned homework. The times given are for sustained periods of work (i.e. from start to finish of homework without breaks). For example in 5th and 6th it would be reasonable to expect an average child to take 50-60 minutes to complete his/her homework to a satisfactory standard.

Infants 15 -20 mins Third Class 40 – 45 mins
First Class 20 -25 mins Fourth Class 40 – 45 mins
Second Class 30 – 35 mins Fifth & Sixth Class 50 – 60 mins

Some children may be finished more quickly than others.

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 but these aspects of homework are very important.

Reading Homework: The average child should be able to read the assigned text fluently and confidently. This requires practice and a child who doesn’t prepare his/her reading will fall behind other children who do make the effort. (In the case of children who have a reading difficulty separate reading assignments may be given and the child may not be asked to read aloud in front of his/her peers). Reading out loud is a skill in its self. The child needs to practice reading at a suitable speed and using correct intonation.

The back of the school journal contains useful pages for the explanation of absences – the relevant part can be cut out and the pupil can present it to his/her teacher on returning to school.

School notices and notes to parents may be folded and placed in the journal.

What is expected of pupils?

  1. Pupils (1st – 6th ) are expected to write down every homework assignment in a legible manner in their homework journals. Homework assignments are displayed on the whiteboards at school and pupils are given ample opportunities to write them into their journals.
  2. Pupils are expected to bring home the required books and copies for their homework assignments.
  3. Pupils are expected to do all of their assignments to the best of their abilities. When it is obvious that the homework has not been done to an acceptable standard (taking into consideration a pupil’s usual standard and the standard of the class), a pupil may be asked to do the assignment again.
  4. In the case of written assignments the writing should be done in a neat and legible style.
  5. Pupils are expected to give the same priority to non-writing tasks as they would to writing tasks (e.g. Reading and memorization of spellings, tables and poetry are very important parts of homework and should not be skipped over.)

How can parents/guardians help?

Parents \ Guardians can help their children with homework by

  • reminding him/her to do homework at a suitable time – not at bedtime and not in the morning before school.
  • providing them with a suitable place to do their homework and by trying to prevent interruptions or distractions such as television.
  • insisting that homework assignments are written down clearly in the homework journal
  • checking the written homework each night to ensure it is neat and tidy.
  • listening to oral work – spellings, tables, reading
  • providing further explanation or easier examples if a child encounters a problem with homework
  • writing a note in the homework journal explaining the problem that may have arisen in the previous night’s homework
  • enncouraging children to keep their copies and textbooks neat and tidy.
  • reading to younger children
  • encouraging older children to take an interest in current affairs through newspaper, television, internet etc.

Monitoring Homework in School

Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis, however with large class numbers However it may not always be 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. Sometimes, under the direction of the teacher, children themselves may check some items of homework or class work. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

Parents with children who greatly exceed the time recommended should consult the class teacher so that their child’s difficulties can be  investigated and homework more appropriate to the child’s ability be given instead.

There may be times when the children will not be given the usual amount of homework. It may also change from the usual format from time to time e.g. it may involve researching for a project or watching an educational programme on television.

However bearing in mind the need for consistency and regularity in a child’s life, the homework will follow a similar pattern most days.

N.B. When homework other than reading is set, pupils still need to include a daily reading routine, reading either to themselves or to others. Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure every day and parents are encouraged to read to their younger children every day.

Success Criteria:

Some practical indicators of the success of the homework policy will be:

Feedback from teachers, pupils and parents.

Satisfactory homework exercises and assignments submitted by pupils.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Class teacher: Assigns homework as outlined in policy and corrects homework.

Pupil: Children are encouraged to note their homework assignments in a homework journal and to complete their homework to an acceptable standard. Older pupils may be required to correct their homework in class

Parents/guardians: Make sure that homework is done to an acceptable standard and liaise with teachers informing them if their child is having difficulty with some aspect of homework. A parent may disclose a child’s difficulty in the child’s homework journal or may make an appointment to discuss the issue with the class teacher.

Tús Maith Leath the hOibre (A good beginning is half the work.)


 

(Note to Parents Re. Homework)

Grange National School Homework

The following is a rough estimate of the minimum time which an average child is expected to spend on his/her assigned homework on a given night. The times given are for sustained periods of work (i.e. from start to finish of homework without breaks). For example in 5th and 6th it would be reasonable to expect an average child to take 50-60 minutes to complete his/her homework to a satisfactory standard.

Infants 15 -20 mins Third Class 35 – 40 mins
First Class 20 -25 mins Fourth Class 40 – 45 mins
Second Class 30 – 35 mins Fifth & Sixth Class 50 – 60 mins

 

Some children may be finished sooner than others.

However if your child is consistently exceeding the time estimated for his/her class, please let the teacher know.

  • Every pupil (Junior to Sixth included) is required to have a homework journal.
  • Pupils (1st to 6th ) write the homework assignments from the class whiteboard into their homework journal.
  • Please make a note in the journal of how long it takes to do the homework (Do not include breaks or time spent looking for pencils etc.)
  • Please sign your child’s journal to indicate that you have checked that all assignments have been completed.
  • Pupils may be asked to redo an assignment if it has not been satisfactorily completed. A pupil may be assigned homework at a weekend if his/her homework hasn’t been done to an acceptable standard during the week.
  • Homework involving reading and memorization is just as important as written homework.
  • Please write a note in the school journal if your child found a particular assignment difficult. If your child is having consistent difficulties with a subject area, please arrange an appointment to discuss the matter with your child’s teacher.
  • Please write a note in the journal explaining why an item of homework has not been attempted or completed.
  • Sometimes children are absent from school through illness. It would be of benefit to the pupil if work missed was completed bit by bit following the child’s return to school. This is especially important for pupils in the older classes as preparation for secondary school when pupils have to catch up on work missed.
  • As your child gets older, he/she should be encouraged to work more independently – you the parent should be available to help when required but not have to be constantly at your child’s side for the duration of the homework.
  • Get your child into the habit of taking out the books and copies required and setting about completing each assignment – perhaps doing the items in the same order each night.
  • If your child is prone to moving about, taking breaks etc. get them to use a timer which they can pause when they stop working. It might be a useful exercise for them to be able to calculate the amount of time they actually spent on homework.

 

Monitoring Homework in School

As pupils move up through the school homework assignments get longer and more complicated. It may therefore not possible for a teacher to check each item of homework done by each pupil each day. Some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once a week. As pupils get older and have to learn to work independently, they may be required to correct some items of homework themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

 

By the time a child reaches 6th class he/she should be able to work independently and to a high standard. This is only possible when a child has been doing homework consistently well throughout primary school. A child who has not developed good habits with regard to homework may find the transition from primary school to secondary school extremely difficult.

 

Ratification:  4th /11TH 2014

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