At Blessed William Howard Catholic High School we encourage our students to develop independent study skills in order to consolidate learning and support progression. Opportunities are given in normal lessons for independent work and study but it is only outside the classroom that students can acquire the discipline of working on their own. Learning at home is an essential part of good education and the involvement of parents and carers in homework and home learning is encouraged. We expect all students to do homework of a suitable kind.
Home learning: Aims
• To stretch and challenge all students
• To improve students attitude to learning outside of school hours
• To develop students skills in lifelong learning
• To allow students to become more responsible for their own learning
• To prepare students for GCSE controlled assessment and study in key stages 4 and 5
What is home learning?
Home learning is out of school hours learning. The tasks are introduced in lesson time and staff provide ‘stepping stone’ guidance to help students complete all tasks set. The tasks and their deadlines will be available on Show My Homework and can be accessed by parents, students and staff using this platform.
Structure of Homework
Homework is to be set regularly over the fortnightly cycle and should be set in accordance with the maximum time for completion guidelines outlined for each key stage within this document. It is up to the subject to decide how and when homework is set across the fortnight within maximum time for completion guidelines.
Expected frequency and completion time of homework
Expected amount of homework to be set per fortnight
KS3 - Y7, Y8
1 hour per subject
KS4 - Y9, Y10
1.5 hours per subject
KS4 - Y11
2 hours per subject
KS5 – Y12, Y13
4 hours per subject
At KS5 all students should aim to complete 4+ hours of independent study in each of their chosen subjects. This independent study will include structured tasks set by the teacher to help consolidate or prepare for learning that has or will take place in the classroom. The remainder of the time each week should be used to research around the topics being studied, preparing adequate notes for revision purposes or consolidating learning by completing suitable exam style questions to develop the skills and techniques in preparation for examination.
Submission of Homework
All students regardless of key stage will be given a minimum of five school evenings in which to complete a particular piece as shown in the table below. Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well as school holidays, will not count as part of the five days.
Types of Homework
The nature and frequency of homework will vary according to both stage and subject. It is not appropriate, therefore, to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach however homework tasks set should reflect on going class work across the curriculum. They should also be set to help students prepare thoroughly for longer linear examinations that your child will take in the future. Below is a list of possible homework tasks that your child may be set across the year.
Homework may take the form of:
- A variety of tasks such as completing worksheets, watching videos or creating an informative poster to reinforce what has been used.
- Applying knowledge gained to examination questions to practise key examination techniques.
- Utilising success criteria to evaluate and improve work completed to make progress.
- Completion of extended writing under timed conditions to practise key study skills.
- A specific self-contained project, exercise or task, based on previous class work.
- Researching at home or in libraries using a variety of sources including ICT.
- Reviewing and, if appropriate, memorising what has been learnt in class including key spellings.
- Follow-up work to assessments by acting on next steps set to improve or repeat a piece of work.
In addition to the homework that teachers set, all key stage 4 students should revise their classwork regularly. This is particularly important when preparing for mock exams or GCSE examinations. It is expected that all students complete a minimum of 2 hours per week independent study in preparation for this. This should be logged in the planners on the day that they complete this work and will be monitored by form tutors when planners are signed.
This compulsory component will be set in addition to their regular homework and will help your child build the key skills required to succeed, not only in examinations, but also when faced with more challenging tasks later in life.
It is also acceptable for a class teacher to set additional home learning tasks in preparation for the completion of key pieces of controlled assessment within school. This could for example take the form of research to complete an extended piece of writing under controlled conditions, or revision for a controlled assessment examination.
Not all homework will be quality marked using a SWANs comment. This is especially relevant in the case of project based work where assignments are set over a longer time frame. It may be the case that some homework will self or peer assessed by students, given a light mark or may not be marked at all due to the nature of the task set e.g. research in preparation for a lesson. In order to remain transparent, when homework is set using Show My Homework, the class teacher will select how a piece of work will be marked when setting the work through this system.
The Responsibilities of all
Students should take responsibility for checking Show My Homework regularly and completing homework within the deadline. Students can access Show My Homework and print out homework at break, lunchtime and after school if they are unable to access a computer at home.
Parents should check regularly what homework their child has been set by accessing Show My Homework online. Clear instructions about the task set will be given through this, as well as submission date and suggested completion time. If there are any concerns about the amount or quality of work set, parents should contact the relevant member of staff listed at the end of this document.
Teachers should set homework on Show My Homework in line with this policy and provide feedback on homework that is set. Parents should be informed if homework is not completed on a regular basis. This is in line with sanctions listed in this policy and the challenge and support policy. All homework should be recorded on Show My Homework even when there is a paper based activity provided. Where possible, homework resources that are provided in lessons should be uploaded onto Show My Homework so that parents can access the activity that is being used. Teachers must keep a record of homework that is set and the homework that is completed. The setting of homework is automatically recorded through Show My Homework. Completion records can also be kept on Show My Homework, or using a paper based register.
Heads of Subject should monitor the relevance and quality of homework that is set by each subject teacher in their subject. They should also ensure that the level of challenge and amount of homework is appropriate.
Dyslexia Friendly- Inclusive Practice
Homework instructions are planned and written with dyslexia friendly strategies in mind. Show My Homework supports students who struggle with organisation and enables parents and carers full access to all homework set. This means that students can be fully supported at home to complete all tasks. If students find a particular task too challenging, or too much parental support is required, parents/families are encouraged to record this in the student planner.
Homework set should be clearly differentiated to meet the individual student’s needs. This will enable all students to engage with homework tasks and succeed with completion of these. For example students reading age should be considered when selecting text/worksheets for homework tasks. Longer tasks should also be ‘chunked’ down and scaffolding provided where appropriate.
For students that are working well below expected reading levels (more than 1 whole reading level) for their chronological age, tasks with a shorter time limit for homework completion should be set. This is to make allowances for the student’s cognition difficulties and their ability to remain focused for longer periods of time.
If homework is not completed appropriate sanctions are to be awarded in line with the school’s consequence system. Failure to hand in homework the first time results in a C2 lunchtime detention of 30 minutes. Continued failure to hand in consecutive homework will result in C3 40 minutes to an hour after school detention with the curriculum teacher.
Contact details for parents
If you have concerns about homework or problems with accessing Show My Homework please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance or your child’s Head of House r by email, or by phoning the school. If the query is subject specific, please contact your child’s subject teacher.
Head of Teresa House - Mr K Richards
Head of Don Bosco House - Mr R Burton
Head of Romero House - Miss R Whitehouse
Head of Kolbe House - Mrs G Nixon