• Ryehills100317_66 (Large)
  • Ryehills100317_61 (Large)
  • Ryehills100317_46 (Large)

Homework Procedures

Summary:

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

Homework at Rye Hills School 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 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 but we do not promote setting homework for homework’s sake.

Setting homework – the principles of good practice:

  • It is set as an integral part of learning and not as a time-filler or for its own sake;
  • It extends and reinforces skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through the taught curriculum;
  • Students’ age, ability and aptitude is taken into account when setting appropriate homework tasks;
  • Tasks offer a level of challenge yet also offer realistic opportunities for successful completion;
  • There is awareness when choosing tasks that many students may not have the same degree of access to resources both in school and at home, e.g., ICT, books, etc.

When homework operates successfully in Rye Hills School:

  • Students clearly understand its relevance to their progress and how it will benefit their learning;
  • Parents clearly understand why it is set, and are willing to engage with the school and support us in ensuring its completion;
  • Teachers set it according to clearly-defined criteria (such as the principles of good practice outlined above), and take sensible account of workload / organisational issues for themselves and students;
  • The school responds to non-compliance with a  non-confrontational and fair approach, that engages parental support;
  • The school makes available space, resources and time outside the taught day for students to complete tasks where working at home may be problematic e.g. through operating catch up sessions as and when necessary and through the homework club, allowing students access to staff support, resources and ICT equipment.
  •  

The school’s library is available for students to access for the completion of homework every evening until 4pm.

(See appendix for further subject-specific information regarding homework).

 

In light of the above, the school will therefore operate homework according to the following:

  • Homework tasks and opportunities should be clearly identified when issued to students and their functions in reinforcing or extending learning made explicit.
  • Homework should not just be of the ‘finish classwork’ genre since this penalises those pupils  who cannot work quickly, however, homework may involve improving, developing or ‘polishing’ a piece of work by acting upon a teacher’s written or verbal feedback.
  • Controlled assessment at KS4 is completed in class time and under teacher supervision, however, teachers may set practice controlled assessment essays, controlled assessment preparation and/or note making to take into controlled assessments (if permitted by the individual exam board). Teachers should regularly set KS4 students exam questions as homework, in order to prepare students for their written examinations and to reinforce/ practice exam technique.
  • Homework (other than guided revision tasks) should not be set when students are on study leave, immediately before examinations (even if for another subject) or during an examination period. The focus during these periods should be revision.
  • Homework will be set for all students according to the needs of the learner and the learning situation, rather than according to an inflexible timetable. Account should be taken of the quantity and frequency of lessons within the fortnightly cycle, and on this basis, students may not receive homework in every subject, every timetable cycle. It is, however, very unlikely that a student will go more than two cycles without a homework task being given, although this is acceptable in certain areas in which extended assignments or projects are more appropriate. Students in KS3 will not normally be given more than one task per subject, per week, but this will be acceptable in KS4 for core subjects. Where classes are split between more than one teacher this does not mean twice as much homework!
  • Students are entitled to receive feedback on the quality of their homework and given next step comments/areas to improve within a reasonable timespan. As a general rule, students should receive feedback at the very least before the next task is set. This feedback may include verbal feedback. Subject areas should outline how feedback will be given and recorded for homework within their subject-specific marking procedures.
  • When a task is set, due account will be taken of the time necessary for completion and the pressures faced by students in meeting the requirements of several subjects. As a minimum, students must be given at least two school evenings to complete a routine task, and longer for more extended pieces of work (e.g., KS4 assignments and extended projects, such as in English). For example, a homework task set on Monday should be collected in at the earliest on Wednesday unless it is necessary for the development of a task ready for the following lesson (e.g. finishing preparation for a presentation).
  • The length and nature of the task should reflect the ability of the students in the class. As a guideline, students in KS3 should expect to find homework tasks taking between 15 and 30 minutes, and students in KS4 between 30 and 60 minutes. However, as a maximum, no single task should exceed 30 minutes in KS3 and 60 minutes in KS4, unless it is clearly stated in advance that the task set is an extended project, set over several weeks (e.g. such as the extended projects set in English). Students, who are being required to catch up on work which is missing, inadequate or late, may be asked to exceed these time limits, but homework should never be set as a punishment.
  • Due account must be taken of the availability of resources (e.g., if every child has internet access/ books).
  • Sometimes it will be necessary to set differentiated homework tasks to ensure that there is an appropriate level of challenge for all students in the class.
  • Pupils will be given a homework diary to record their homework. Teachers should ensure that homework tasks are either displayed on the board or on a printed hand-out where students struggle to write down what is required. It is good practice, wherever possible, to display tasks on the board and set tasks at the beginning of the lesson, rather than rushing it at the end, allowing ample time to clear up any misconceptions or queries from students and to ensure that students have recorded their homework into their diaries. Both Parents/Carers and Form Tutors should routinely check that homework is being recorded and completed by looking through student diaries and signing it each week. Form tutors should also monitor homework via the daily Progresso behaviour reports. Form tutors should offer guidance and organisation advice to any students flagged up as routinely failing to record or complete homework tasks or if they routinely fail to have their homework diary signed by a parent or carer.

 

Non-Compliance:

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):

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 Progresso (5 negative behaviour points).

Further non-compliance, should be dealt with as follows:

  • A 30 minute detention with the subject teacher.

  • If the homework is still outstanding or the student fails to attend the 30 minute detention, a 60 minute whole school detention will follow.

  • If the work is still outstanding then the sanctions in the Climate for Learning policy apply.

Appendix 1:  Further subject specific homework information

English:

Within the subject of English students will actively participate in both regular week by week homework tasks as well as longer project based activities.

In the case of project work, the tasks are designed to last the length of topic or unit of work and will be completed by the whole year group. These are designed to develop a greater level of independence in completing larger pieces of work outside of the classroom as well as give students the opportunity to be creative in their approach and production of each piece. Students will be responsible for:

  • Their own approach to the task
  • How they will present the information
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Seeking out relevant help and support from school and home where it is needed

Longer project based homework will be supported by smaller regularly set homework which will be decided by individual class teachers. These will consist either of pieces being set on a week by week basis to support individual activities or in the form of a homework plan which will be given to students at the start of each unit. Homework plans will again aid students it in their:

  • Level of independence
  • Creative approaches to the set tasks and selected tasks
  • Time management to complete tasks
  • Manage and meet deadlines
  • Inclusion in the setting of homework tasks to support their individual needs and interests

Students will demonstrate their participation and completion of homework activities by regularly updating the homework log in the front of their exercise book.

In Key Stage 3 there will be fortnightly spelling tests and research based reading activity.

In Key Stage 4 the majority of homework set will be reading, learning, development of skills, controlled assessment preparation, revision and practice exam questions.

Maths:

Maths homework in Y7 and Y8 is set weekly on Thursday via www.mymaths.co.uk. Students must complete the task to 70% or better by the deadline of the following Wednesday, or they will be invited to attend maths catch-up. A leader-board is displayed on the maths corridor, displaying the highest performing class and the highest performing students per class.

Maths homework in Y9 is set on a half termly basis on www.mymaths.co.uk. Students have designated sections of work to complete by the final Thursday of the half term. Failure to complete to 70% or better will result in them attending a catch up club at the start of the following half term.

In Key Stage 4 students are expected to complete revision tasks on www.mymaths.co.uk in the way they did in KS3. Teaching staff regularly check student progress and encourage pupils to complete all sections relevant to the tier of exam entry. In Y11, this revision is linked closely to the Students’ Achievement Rewards system.

Music – GCSE:

G.C.S.E. Music students are expected to practise their chosen instrument/voice regularly throughout every week. This can be any length of time and the more practice the better, but it should not be less than at least 15 minutes per day or half an hour every other day throughout the two year course, including holidays. It is impossible to gain a ‘C’ grade or above without regular serious practise at home. As this is on-going and a regular part of the week, it is not necessary to record this in the homework diary.

G.C.S.E. Music students should take the responsibility of researching new key words from the lesson at home every week. These words should be recorded in the diary in the lesson, under the initiative of each individual student and not necessarily directed by the teacher. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure key words and information from the lesson is followed up by research at home.

Students of music should be listening to all kinds of music on a regular basis in the home environment in a more analytical way than would normally be the case.

When appropriate, G.C.S.E. Music students should develop musical ideas on their chosen instrument/voice ready for the composing aspect of the course. This can take the form of listening to existing music of a similar style, working out chord patterns/melodic structures/rhythms in an experimental and creative way and analysing existing chord sheets and scores.

When instructed, students should revise key words and information in preparation for a test or practice exam. This should be recorded in the homework diary and on the Music department’s homework log in the student file.

Music - KS3:

Students are given homework every lesson.

The homework will generally be ‘flipped learning homework’ where students will be expected to prepare at home for the following practical lesson. This will be student choice and will depend on the practical skill development chosen by the student in the lesson. For example, if a student is developing keyboard skills, then the choice could be to practise at home (if the student has a keyboard) practice at lunchtime and/or after school music clubs on the school’s instruments (if the student does not have a keyboard at home) or watch a tutorial on YouTube to learn how to improve and progress when in the next practical lesson. This preparation could apply to guitar development, drum kit development and singing development.

Some homework will be preparation for the next lesson through listening to specific styles/genres and/or pieces of music on YouTube relevant to the learning within the project in order to develop listening and thinking skills. This style of homework leads into the development of personal qualities in the lesson where students will discuss with other students the learning acquired by listening to or watching performances or pieces, by expressing verbally their understanding and opinions.

Another aspect of homework could be the research of information acquired in the lesson to broaden understanding or to research key words or other aspect of the next lesson. Pair discussion and discussion with the teacher will assess the level of knowledge acquired and logged on the music homework log.

Art:

  • Non-compliance issues. A ‘day’s grace’ is not relevant as all homeworks are preparation for the following lesson. Most lessons are only once a week.
  • Homework to be set once a half term.
  • Homework can be a flipped learning task. This is variable and timely.
  • KS4 weekly commitment to at least 2 hours which should include skills practice.

PE:

KS3 PE students receive home learning tasks once a term (once every 6 lessons). The tasks are designed to develop knowledge and understanding in their current PE topic. PE tasks are explained and parents and carers sign the planners to show home learning tasks have been completed.

KS4 PE students have a GCSE PE exam specific book/revision guide which covers the whole course. Each lesson students will complete exam style questions based on the topic they have just covered.

All students are encouraged to do independent learning at home to support the work done in class.

Students who are in an exam class receive home learning each lesson. Work is marked through either peer or teacher marking methods. Non exam classes will receive home learning every half term (once every three lessons), this work will support the study.

PE homework is set and expected to be handed in the next day, unless an alternative date has been agreed.

DT:

  • 1 per half term – Product Design (KS3)
  • 1 per half term – Food (KS3)
  • 1 per cycle – Product Design (KS4)
  • 1 per cycle – Catering (KS4)
  • 1 per cycle – Construction (KS4)
  • Every student of KS4 is issued with a revision guide.

Drama:

KS3

  • One piece of homework every half term
  • Non-compliance, first instance complete on a break or lunchtime
  • Further non-compliance – detention

KS4

  • Relevant homework – on average twice a half term
  • More around controlled assessment
  • More around exam in Y11
  • Non-compliance as above

Media Studies GCSE

Throughout Y10, students work towards completion of Controlled Assessments that must be completed in class. Homework consists of preparatory tasks such as storyboarding, photography and other practical tasks that take time that is better used outside of the classroom in the students’ own environments.

In Year 11, students are given practice exam questions and key vocabulary to learn every two weeks.

MFL:

In MFL all KS3 students have a vocabulary booklet for their current topic and are set 10 words to learn for a test every two weeks.

In addition to this, at KS3 they may also be asked to complete extra tasks to extend class work.

At KS4 all students have a vocabulary book/revision guide which covers the whole course. In Year 10 they are set 15 words to learn per week and in Year 11 they have 20 words per week.

Also, at KS4 there will be frequent extended written tasks in preparation for the controlled assessments.

All students are encouraged to do independent learning at home to support the work done in class.

Religion and Life:

At KS3 students receive home learning once a term (once every 6 lessons). The tasks are project based and written feedback slips are given out once the project is marked to be kept in class books, enabling students to reflect on their completed work. Exceptional work receives a postcard home.

KS4 students who are in an exam class receive home learning each lesson - this can be research tasks or reflective work but is mainly exam based tasks. Work is marked through either peer or teacher marking methods. Non exam classes will receive home learning every half term (once every three lessons), this work will support the study.

History:

History homework at KS3 should be set once a cycle. If it is research/project based it could be once a half term.

At KS4 every week revision homework or exam practice questions are set. If controlled assessment is being done there will be no homework in this period, because everything needs to be done in controlled conditions in school.

Geography:

KS3

Homework will be set once every two weeks. Homework tasks will vary between worksheets that reinforce knowledge and understanding from previous lessons, extended pieces of writing and/or research type projects. If a research type project is set over a number of weeks then this will be monitored fortnightly.

KS4

Homework will be set at least once a fortnight, although leading up to exams this may increase to once a week. The majority of homework tasks will be exam practice questions based on previous lesson content. Other types of homework tasks may be set where appropriate.

Homework will be marked in accordance with the department marking policy.

Sociology:

In Year 11, students are given practice exam questions and key vocabulary to learn when applicable.

At the end of each module there will be revision for the end of unit assessment.

Business Studies, IT, Computing and Leisure and Tourism:

KS3

Year 7- Computing is largely a practical subject and, as a result, homework will be limited. When homework is issued, it will usually be in the form of either planning or re-enforcement worksheets to ensure that all students will be able to complete it without computers. The department encourages students with access to computing equipment to download the free software being used in the classroom and further improve their skills at home.  Computing is taught twice a fortnight and therefore homework is set 3 times during a half termly project.  The title of the homework is set on the back of the students’ ‘Computing Progress Booklet’. 

Year 8 and 9 - As students continue their studies in Computing, homework will normally be an extension of work carried out in the classroom. This may take the form of reinforcement worksheets and questions to develop their higher order thinking skills. On occasion, students may be asked to carry out research in to the unit/topic being taught. To ensure all students can complete the research, they will be notified of access times to library and Computing classrooms. Again, Computing is taught twice a fortnight and therefore homework is set 3 times during a half termly project.  The title of the homework is set on the back of the students’ ‘Computing Progress Booklet’. 

Year 10 – ICT

Made up of the ‘Controlled Assessment Task’ where only two parts of this assessment can be completed as field research for homework.  Students are expected to complete up to 20 hours research.

Year 10 Business Studies

Initially they will be given short answer response questions to complete to help them become familiar with the topic being covered. As we progress through the course, pupils will be given extended response type questions based on case studies and past papers. Pupils will also have seven ‘end of topic tests’ which they will sit under closed book conditions.  As part of their homework, they will be expected to revise for these tests.

Year 11- Business, ICT and Leisure and Tourism

As pupils progress, the quantity and level of difficulty of homework will increase sharply. Pupils will be expected to spend approximately an hour a fortnight. This will be in the form of:

(1)              reinforcement of lessons by revising the extensive notes given out in class

(2)              additional worksheets given out for homework

(3)              numerous past paper questions

(4)              vocabulary booklet for revision

In addition, pupils can copy and take home any of the notes, PowerPoint presentations and past papers issued in class.

Science:

Homework will be set once a week and will be due a week later (as close as possible if no lesson).  Usually homework will be based on an extended exam question. However if one is not available a suitable replacement will be found.

For KS3: A practice test question taken from 'Testbase' that is targeted at the current topic studied.

For KS4: A practice exam question will be taken from 'ExamPro' that is targeted at the current topic studied. Particular attention will be given to 6 mark questions.