This policy is designed to ensure consistency across the college in terms of homework setting and
marking. This policy aims to ensure that students are given the opportunity to develop specific skills,
knowledge and understanding outside the classroom, taking into consideration workload for both
teachers and students.
Rationale: Why is homework important?
Learning at home is an essential part of good education. Regular homework is important, as it serves
as an intellectual discipline, establishes good study habits, eases time constraints on the amount of
curricular material that can be covered in class, and supplements and reinforces work done in
school. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility, and brings home
and school closer together. It helps students to become confident and independent in their learning,
which will help throughout their time at school, and in adult life. Homework can also give
opportunities for long term research and enquiries, and it gives students valuable experience of
working to deadlines.
Homework has been extensively researched. The evidence tells us that students in schools which
give more homework perform better. Research has shown that if a student completes an hour’s
homework per school night for five years, it is the equivalent of an extra school year.
Another important benefit of carrying out homework tasks is that it can also involve parents and
others in the students’ work. Research here tells us that where parents and carers are involved in
the learning of their children, these students are more successful at school.
The importance of regular homework habits
At Blessed Edwards we endeavour to set regular homework that is impactful. Homework will be set
at least once a week in the majority of subjects. There will be exceptions for subjects which are
practical-based. There are a variety of tasks which will be set out in this policy. In order to foster
good learning habits at home, we will expect students to be working on homework each school
night, with a break on a Friday night. We also expect some work preparation to be carried out at the
weekend, fitting in with family and other commitments. It is not possible to say exactly how much
time each night a student will spend studying at home, however here are some guidelines:
In Years 7 and 8, students should be spending 30 minutes to an hour on homework each
night, for four nights and one to two hours at the weekend.
In Year 9, students should be spending a minimum of one hour per night for four nights and
approximately two hours at the weekend.
In Year 10, in order to give dedicated time to GCSE homework tasks and carry out ongoing
revision, we expect students to work for a minimum of 90 minutes each night, for four
nights and for 2-3 hours at the weekend. In the lead up to assessments, students will need
to increase the hours of study for extra revision.
In Year 11 we expect students to work for a minimum of 2 hours each night after school for
four nights and 4 hours at the weekend. This will increase in the lead up to mock
examinations and the GCSE’s.
Examples of homework tasks:
- Reading: Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only
perform better in tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary,
increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. One Department
for Education study showed that there “is a difference in reading performance equivalent to
just over a year’s schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those
who read for up to 30 minutes per day”. At Blessed Edward Oldcorne we recognise the
importance of reading and expect that every student should be reading every day for a
minimum of 30 minutes.
- Learning spellings and definitions of key vocabulary: Without a sufficient understanding of
words students cannot understand others or express their own ideas. Vocabulary is
important across the curriculum. It is intimately connected to both effective reading and
writing skills, and these skills in turn are necessary for doing well in school. Research studies
have shown that in most cases students have to see, read and interact with words 5-7 times
before they are admitted to long-term memory.
- Quizzing: Quizzing is proven by research to have a significant impact on long term memory
retention. Quizzing homework is designed to enable the students to develop the skills
needed to be effective learners. It is a simple yet effective memory strategy that instructs
students how to chunk, memorise and recall key elements of learning. It is essential that
students master this skill as the new GCSE specifications require an even stronger command
of subject knowledge. Quizzing enables students to master information at home by ensuring
that it is memorised over a longer period of time. It will hugely reduce the pressure of exams
as the learning is spread over a number of years.
- Flashcard creation and use: Flashcards are another way of quizzing and are a powerful tool
to aid memorisation of key facts. Research shows that when made correctly, flash cards test
knowledge so long-term memory is increased and therefore aiding recall in exams at the end
of the course. Flashcards exercise the mental process of active recall and are a quick way of
testing what you know. Students need to remember what they learn making this method of
homework effective when testing themselves in recall of subject knowledge multiple times.
- Flipping the classroom: The flipped classroom requires students to carry out simple research
for the next lesson so that they are more prepared for new learning. Students have greater
opportunity to ask the teacher questions if they have read around a topic first and then they
can and participate and are informed and collaborative work that reinforces learning.
Teachers can also spend more time looking at skills and misconceptions than on delivering
new content if it’s been studied beforehand.
- Online: Interactive online packages such as Method Maths and My GCSE Science support
students’ learning by testing what they have learnt in class and then providing instant
feedback. The online packages through the use of self-marking quizzes and teacher
feedback, give students a clear picture of their progress and helps them take steps to
improve their results.
These are just a few examples of the different types of homework activities that teachers will assign.
Teachers will continue to set tasks that are relevant, meaningful and impactful.
Responsibility for implementation of homework
The role of the Class Teacher:
To set purposeful homework which is relevant to the course of study
To give full and comprehensive instructions for completion
To ensure appropriate resources are available
To set deadlines for completed work and ensure that they are met
To provide feedback
To provide help and support as and when required
The role of the Form Tutor:
To monitor that homework is being recorded and completed
To check that the planner is being signed by the parent or carer
To carry out meaningful conversations with students who require additional support with
the completion of homework tasks and inform subject teachers of any issues
To note and respond to any comments written in planners by parents;
Form tutors should draw the attention of the relevant Head of Year of students who
regularly have difficulties with homework so relevant interventions can be implemented
The role of the Head of Department
To monitor the quality and quantity of the extended learning set
To ensure that marking of homework is carried out in line with the School’s feedback policy
Monitoring and Evaluation
Heads of Department will ensure their departmental homework guidelines support the school
policy. They will also undertake quality assurance to ensure that homework is allowing students to
progress in their learning. This may involve work scrutiny/review, learning walks, lesson
observations, pupil voice and collaborative moderation during planning meetings. Line Managers will
review implementation of the homework policy each year.
Creating the right environment for learning at home
We encourage that all parents support the college homework strategy in the following ways:
aim to provide a reasonably peaceful, suitable place in which students can do their
homework or help students attend other places where homework can be done, such as the
make it clear to students that they value homework, and support the school in explaining
how it can help them make progress at school
encourage students and praise them when they have completed homework
expect deadlines to be met and check that they are
check that tasks have been set in line with the homework timetable
sign the homework planner once a week
encourage and support your son/daughter to read for at least 30 minutes every day