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At St Francis Catholic School students will be set homework which provides opportunities to
- consolidate their classroom learning,
- pattern behaviour for lifelong learning beyond the classroom and
- involve family members in their learning.
The setting of homework will take into account the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle. This includes sufficient time for family, recreation, cultural pursuits and employment where appropriate.
We believe that homework that enhances student learning:
- is purposeful and relevant to students needs
- is appropriate to the phase of learning (early, middle and senior)
- is appropriate to the capability of the student
- develops the student's independence as a learner
- is varied, challenging and clearly related to class work
- allows for student commitment to recreational, employment, family and cultural activities.
We believe that by using varied and challenging homework appropriate to students' learning needs, homework can:
- consolidate learning through revision and critical reflection (practising for mastery)
- applying knowledge and skills in new contexts (a topic of interest, an authentic local issue)
- pursuing knowledge individually and imaginatively (investigating, researching, writing, designing, making)
- preparing for forthcoming classroom learning (collecting relevant materials, items, information).
Considering students' other commitments when setting homework
In determining homework, it is important to acknowledge that students may be engaging in many different activities outside of school. These include a range of physical activities and sports, recreational and cultural pursuits. Older students may also have part-time employment. Some students have responsibilities as caregivers.
Homework appropriate to particular phases of learning
The following is to operate as a guide in determining the amount of set homework that students might be expected to undertake. It is of course open to parents to consult with a student's teacher about additional materials or practice exercises with which parents can assist their children at home.
- In the Prep Year, generally students will not be required to complete set homework.
- In Years 1, 2 and 3, set homework could be up to but generally not more than 1 - 1 ½ hour per week.
- Homework in Year 4 and Year 5 could be up to but generally not more than 2-3 hours per week.
- Homework in Year 6 could be up to but generally not more than 3-4 hours per week.
In the Early Phase of Learning (Prep to Year 3)
Many activities at home or in play can assist children to develop literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills. Homework tasks may include:
- daily reading to, with, and by parents/caregivers or other family members
- linking concepts with familiar activities such as shopping, preparation of food, local environment and family outings
- conversations about what is happening at school
- preparation for oral presentations
- opportunities to write for meaningful purposes.
In the Middle Phase (Year 4 to Year 9) some homework can be completed daily or over a weekly or fortnightly period and may include daily independent reading and be coordinated across different subject areas.
Teachers responsibilities include
- setting homework on a regular basis
- clearly communicating the purpose, benefits and expectations of all homework.
- checking homework regularly and provide timely and useful feedback.
- setting homework that is varied, challenging and directly related to class work and appropriate to students' learning needs and the time available.
- explicitly teaching strategies to develop organisational and time-management skills and providing opportunities to practice these strategies through homework
- giving consideration to other academic and personal development activities (school based or other) that students could be engaged in when setting homework
- discussing with parents and caregivers any developing problems concerning their child's homework and suggesting strategies to assist with their homework.
Students responsibilities include
- being aware of the school's homework requirements
- accepting responsibility for the completion of homework tasks within set time frames
- following up on comments made by teachers
- seeking assistance when difficulties arise
- organising their time to manage home obligations, participation in physical activity and sports, recreational and cultural activities and part-time employment.
- discussing with their parents or caregivers homework expectations
Parents and caregivers responsibilities include
- being aware of the school's homework policy
- providing a suitable environment for the student to work with minimal distraction for a set period of time
- contacting the relevant teacher to discuss any concerns about the nature of homework and their children's approach to the homework.
- helping them to complete tasks by discussing key questions or directing them to resources
- encouraging them to organise their time and take responsibility for their learning
- encouraging them to read
- encouraging them to take an interest in and discuss current local, national and international events
- helping them to balance the amount of time spent completing homework, watching television, playing computer games, playing sport and engaging in other recreational activities
- reading to them, talking with them and involving them in tasks at home including shopping, playing games and physical activity