St. John of God National School
This policy was formulated in January 2004 by a sub committee of school staff and ratified by the BOM in February 2004.
The existing school policy dates from the 1980’s and it was prioritised by staff as an area for review in order to reflect current practise within the school.
Relationship to Ethos of the School
St. John of God National School seeks to enable each child to develop her potential. Homework encourages pupils to work independently and take responsibility for their assignments.
- To reinforce what the child learns during the day.
- To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
- To provide a link between parent and teacher.
Homework should be achievable by the child and should provide an opportunity to practise work already done. Sometimes with senior classes it is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity. Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their ability – no more, no less.
- 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. Homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.
- Homework will regularly contain reading, spelling, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing / colouring, collecting information / items and finishing work started in class.
- Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays but not on Fridays, or a school day immediately preceding Church / Public holidays.
- Children in middle and senior classes may sometimes be required to work independently on projects at weekends.
- Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher, principal or visitor, children are given a night free from homework as a treat or as an acknowledgement of some special occasion.
- Homework may sometimes be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.
Time given to 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 the quality and not the quantity that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior Infants0 – 10 minutes.
Senior Infants up to 20 minutes.
1st & 2nd Class up to 30 minutes.
3rd & 4th Classup to 40 minutes.
5th & 6th Classup to 1 hour.
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework to prevent interruption or distractions, like T.V. or other children.
- Children should do written homework unaided, parents should only help when the child has difficulty.
- In times of difficulty, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child.
- If for any reason homework is not completed, a written explanation is required from a parent.
Monitoring of Homework:
- Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening.
- 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 a child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal.
- Parents should check that a child records her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
- Ideally teachers check homework on a daily basis.
- Some items of homework ( and class work) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
Parent / Teacher Communication
Parents should communicate with the class teacher
- When the pupil cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
- When the pupil cannot do homework because she cannot understand some aspect of it.
- If the time spent at homework is longer than the recommended amount of time.
- If homework is regularly a stressful experience.
We will consider the policy successful if
- Satisfactory homework exercises and assignments are consistently submitted by pupils.
- There is parental satisfaction with content and quantity of homework
This policy is already current practise in the school.
Timetable for Review
This policy is to be reviewed every five years or as necessary
Ratified by Parents Association:______
Ratified by Board of Management:______