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RationaleHomework is typically defined as any tasks “assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours ”.This, however, does not include time spent on revision of school work or studying for tests and examinations.
Homework plays an important role in the holistic development of a child. For a new skill or knowledge to have long-lasting effects, distributed and sustained practice is necessary. Furthermore, homework assignments have a positive impact on the personal development of the students. It helps to develop good study habits and foster independent learning. It also has the prospects to foster partnership between parents and school in the child’s learning, hence reaffirming the important role of parents in education.
Guiding PrinciplesAs a general rule of thumb, the types and purposes of homework designed and disseminated are as follow, encapsulated in the acronym PEP:
|Type||Purpose||Examples of Homework|
Provide opportunities for students to gain background information on a unit of study so as to be better prepared for the coming lessons.
Provide opportunities for students to pursue knowledge collaboratively and independently so as to build on their prior knowledge and allow for the application of higher-order thinking.
Provide opportunities for students to reinforce learning or consolidate newly acquired skills or knowledge so as to facilitate the retention of facts and understanding of concepts.
Daily Time AllocationAs the process of learning is cumulative and progressive, when assigning homework, teachers have to calibrate it against the students’ readiness as well as the level of proficiency needed of the task at hand. It is important to remember that it is the quality of learning and not the quantity of homework that matters.
Non-Completion of HomeworkTeachers will work with students to find out the reasons for any non-submission of homework. If need be, a parent-teacher conference will be arranged. If the child is medically excused from school for an extended length of time, arrangements can be made on how the child can be supported with homework and other areas of academic needs.
Responsibilities of StudentsStudents are to
- understand what is expected for each task and ask questions to clarify expectations
- inform the teacher if a task is not understood or if there will be difficulty completing it on time
- record homework tasks in the students’ handbook, share the information with parents and return to school with the students’ handbook each day
- establish a homework routine that is free from distractions
- complete homework assignments to the best of their ability, in proper form, legibly written, grammatically correct and check for errors before submission
- submit assignments on time
- speak with teachers and/or parents regarding homework concerns
Responsibilities of ParentsParents are to
- create a home environment free from distraction, conducive for studying and completion of homework; with good light and space for studying (best that homework be completed at a desk or table)
- set a regular study timetable each day that is not to be interrupted by family plans, school activities or television and with a definite beginning and ending time
- supervise and provide on-going support for students’ learning
- ensure their children have the materials they need to complete their homework (paper, coloured pencils, etc.) and a safe place to store them
- be mindful not to overload their child with too many out-of-school activities
- check their children’s students’ handbook for the daily list of homework assignments so that parents and children can both monitor progress on work
- be encouraging and supportive, praising their children for their effort in completing their homework
- work in partnership with teachers to support their children’s learning and development. If a concern is observed, contact the teachers to clear up any misunderstandings, troubleshoot problems and be better informed about the students' learning progress. Parents/Guardians who have queries about homework should not hesitate to make an appointment to see their child’s Form/Subject teacher(s).
 Cooper, H. (1989a). Homework . White Plains, NY: Longman.