Homework Policy
Introduction
The staff came together to review this policy and record what is the current practice in the school.

Rationale

It was deemed necessary to review this policy as teachers felt there was a need to promote consistency and similar approach to homework throughout the school, especially when there is a change of staff in the school.

Relationship to the characteristic spirit of the school.

St. Attracta’s N.S. seeks to enable each pupil to develop his/her potential. Homework encourages pupils to work independently and take responsibility for their learning.
AIMS:

In our school, we give homework for the following reasons:

· To consolidate work already undertaken in school-it allows for revision and practice. However at times, homework may be more challenging and provide opportunities for creativity.
· To encourage children to become more independent learners and to revise, reinforce, finish work that has begun in school.
· To develop skills and self discipline that will be of benefit to children in order to enhance learning.
· To develop study skills and to assist in establishing an appropriate routine for children doing their homework.
· To develop a work ethic among pupils and assist in the development of concentration skills.
· Homework is intended to be achievable by the pupil and is normally prepared by the class teacher. Pupils are expected to do their homework to the best of their ability at all times.
· Homework also allows parents become aware of the work that is being done in school. It allows parents to be informed and involved in their children’s school work.

Assigning Homework:

It is recommended that children are encouraged to sit down every evening in a quiet place, away from distraction, to do their homework.
All classes from Junior Infants to Sixth are assigned homework from Monday to Thursday. As a rule, homework is not given at weekends unless
· Homework has not been done to the best of the pupils ability
(on a regular basis) during the week.
· Involves project work (this applies to Senior Classes in particular)

Occasionally at the discretion of the Class Teacher or the Principal, pupils are given a night ‘off homework’ as a treat or as an acknowledgement of a special occasion/event in the school. Also any student (3rd -6th) who is awarded ‘Student of the Week’ at assembly on Friday receives a homework pass for the following Monday evening.

Extra homework may be assigned if a pupil does not have their homework done or has presented untidy or unfinished work.

Homework is differentiated for pupils with special educational needs. Homework may be assigned by both the class teacher and/or learning support/resource teacher following collaboration.

Content of Homework

Homework is seen as reinforcement of work done in class. Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and writing tasks but this balance is not always possible and can vary from day to day.

Oral homework should be given equal importance. It is important for children to do reading spellings and tables every night.

It should be noted that reading and learning tasks are as important as written tasks. Pupils sometimes do not regard reading and learning ‘off by heart’ as homework. Parents play an important role in listening to reading and pieces to be learned off, thus ensuring this work is well done.

Homework will generally contain a selection of the following: reading, spelling, tables, written work, learning pieces ‘off by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.

Time Allocation

Different pupils will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent can vary from day to day and from one end of the school year to another. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that is important. The following are guidelines for time spent on homework

Junior Infants: up to 20 Mins
Senior Infants: up to 20 Mins
Rang 1 up to 30 Mins.
Rang 2 up to 30 Mins.
Rang 3 up to 45 Mins.
Rang 4 up to 45 Mins.
Rang 5 up to 50 Mins.
Rang 6 up to 60 Mins.

Homework Journal
Pupils from 1st Class to 6th Class have a homework journal. Homework is generally assigned at the end of the lesson. The class teacher writes the homework on the whiteboard before lunch and allows time for the pupils to copy it into their homework journals. Parents are expected to sign the journal when all tasks are completed. Homework journals will be checked by the teacher on a daily basis insofar as possible. However, in the senior classes, they may be checked every second day or once a week.

Role of Parents/Guardians

· Parents can help their child with their homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework, away from distractions and interruptions.
· The child should be encouraged to do written homework themselves and parents should only help if the child is having difficulty.
· If the child is having difficulty with homework, parents should help the child with further explanation and examples, but not by actually doing their homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
· In the Junior classes, parents are encouraged to assist their child with his/her homework. As the child progresses to the Senior classes, it is envisaged that he/she develops more independence and the parents’ role becomes increasingly supervisory and supportive.
· Informal reading is encouraged. It is an enjoyable exercise between the parent and the child.
· Children should be encouraged to work through their homework and tick each item of work when completed.
· Parents should communicate with the child’s class teacher when a child cannot understand some aspect of the homework.
· Parents should ensure that all homework is completed, is neatly presented and in keeping with the required standard.
· Parental interest and positive affirmation is to be encouraged as it motivates the child to work to the best of his/her ability. ‘Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí!’

Role of Teachers

Ideally teachers will check homework on a daily basis. Some items of homework and indeed classwork may be checked by children themselves with teacher guidance. This can form part of the learning process for the children.
Every effort will be made to set homework appropriate to the child’s ability.

Success Criteria

The success criteria of this policy will be determined by feedback from parents, pupils and teachers. This will be sought at Parent/Teacher Meetings during the first term. In general where pupils are handing in satisfactory exercises and assignments, reading and memorizing activities are well practiced, this will be interpreted as reflecting positively on this policy. Similarly where the results of the regular class assignments are satisfactory this will also reflect positively on this policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

The class teacher assigns homework, taking into consideration the recommended time allocation for homework and monitors it on a regular basis.
The pupils (1st-6th) are responsible for writing homework in their homework journal and taking home all the necessary books, copies and equipment necessary to complete the homework.
Parents are responsible for providing a suitable place, free of distractions, for their child to do their homework. They are also responsible for monitoring the homework process at home and ensuring that all homework is complete to the best of the child’s ability. Parents are responsible for communicating when difficulties arise.
The Principal is responsible for the implementation of this policy and for its review.