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Homework and Independent Learning Procedures

Summary: 

Learning beyond the school day is seen as an important tool for reinforcing knowledge, understanding and skills. This document outlines the academy’s current procedures for homework and independent learning.

Homework at Rye Hills Academy is regarded as an integral part of our students’ learning, and considered to be an aspect of curriculum entitlement. Homework is seen as an important tool for reinforcing and extending our students’ learning. It is also seen as a major contributor to the development of social skills, in that it teaches students self-motivation, organisation, resilience and responsibility. In addition, homework is seen as an excellent vehicle for the growth of important learning skills such as researching, planning, investigating, consolidation of skills, wider reading, literacy and numeracy development. We believe that all students, irrespective of age, ability and aptitude, benefit from regular, structured homework that is appropriate to their needs.

Rye Hills Academy Homework and Independent Learning Procedures – KS3 and KS4:

  • Where and when appropriate, meaningful homework/independent learning tasks will be set by teachers which support, enrich, extend, consolidate and develop student learning, progress and independence. This will enable students to embed learning.

  • Teachers will differentiate tasks accordingly; provide clear guidance on the desired outcome; agree deadlines for submission and ensure students record this information in their planners.

  • Homework/independent learning tasks will be marked by the teacher in a timely manner; this will enable the student to reflect on the quality of their homework.

Homework/Independent Learning Tasks may include:

  • Literacy/Numeracy activities

  • Project based work

  • Extended writing tasks

  • Online homework tasks e.g. Hegarty/Seneca/Quizlet

  • Spellings/vocabulary learning

  • Creative tasks

  • Research tasks

  • Exam Practice e.g. drafting answers to exam questions

  • Revision and preparation for tests/exams

  • Extra-curricular and enrichment activities in and out of school (COVID-19 guidelines permitting).

SEND Homework:

Nurture Groups: Year 7, 10 and 11.

Students in the Nurture Group have student support lessons instead of language lessons / an additional GCSE and this time may be used for the completion of homework.  

Non-Compliance: 

Where deadlines are not met appropriate sanctions will be given. The parents/carers of those students who repeatedly miss deadlines, or do not produce work of the expected standard will be contacted. This will enable staff to work with parents/carers to support the student in finding solutions, and reinforcing the value of homework.

In cases of non-compliance, the following should apply as a general rule but teachers may use their professional integrity when deciding upon the best course of action (e.g. they may ask a student to complete the work at lunchtime or at break if they feel this is more appropriate ensuring that the student is given the opportunity to use the toilet and, if at lunchtime, have their lunch). This is currently not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Where a student fails to return work by the due date and without a reasonable excuse (medical, prior agreement, absence) they should, in the first instance, be given a day’s grace to comply, with the offence recorded by the subject teacher on Cloud School. Further non-compliance, should be dealt with as follows: 

  • A 15-minute detention with the subject teacher.

  • If the homework is still outstanding or the student fails to attend the 15- minute detention, a 30-minute detention with the subject leader will follow.

  • This will increase to a 45-minute SLT detention and if the work is still outstanding then the sanctions in the Behaviour Policy apply.

  • Where longer than 15 or 30 minutes is needed to complete the work then a detention may be set that is longer in length when necessary to allow the work to be completed.

Some of the above is currently not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. See appendix on page 4 for updated non-compliance guidance.

Covid-19 Appendix for reopening September 2020

  • Following school closure throughout the lockdown period, revision of what is taught in school and self-study is even more important.

  • Retrieval style tasks are set at the beginning of every lesson (spiral starters) to help students recap previous learning and close gaps in knowledge but it is vital students are also working independently as best they can at home to complete homework and revision tasks to support their learning in school. 

  • With Google Classroom now well-established and accessed by the large majority of our students, teachers have been encouraged to set homework tasks via this platform to make it easier for students to organise. Homework tasks on Google Classroom will have deadlines which will appear on their ‘to do’ list. Students will then be able to use the Google Calendar app on their phone to get reminders about homework tasks and due dates.  There is no requirement to submit the homework tasks on Google Classroom (this can be done however the student wishes) but it makes it easier for anyone who is absent to see what has been set. 

  • Our school library would normally be open every day, available for students to work quietly and complete homework before tutor time, during tutor time, at break and at lunch. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions this is currently not possible. 

  • Where a student fails to return work by the due date and without a reasonable excuse (medical, prior agreement, absence) they should, in the first instance, be given a day’s grace to comply, with the offence recorded by the subject teacher on Cloud School. Further non-compliance will result in a department detention. Teachers will make it clear to students when they are expected to be at the detention and for how long. Detention information should be written in the planner by the student to avoid potential double bookings.

  • On a Monday, Y11 students who are struggling with homework or need extra support are being invited to attend an additional support session. The aims of this intervention are to cover missed homework, complete homework due in, catch-up on work missed on Google Classroom and revise.

  • We will revisit this document as and when COVID-19 restrictions change.