Homework fosters independence. Self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation, responsibility and lifelong learning. It is an essential part of the primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their children’s education.
In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child working on their own to the best of their ability. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. It can be used to practice what is done in school or can be designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
How often is homework given?
Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Friday with certain exceptions:
- If homework has been neglected during the week.
- In senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends.
Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or Principal, children can be given ‘homework off’ as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.
Usually, homework contains a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance is not always possible and can vary considerable from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is an important as written work. Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be ‘learned by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information / items and finishing work started in class. Children often feel that reading and learning by heart is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.
Duration of homework
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day ad also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:
- Infants 0 – 20 Minutes
- Rang 1 & 2 20 – 30 Minutes
- Rang 3 & 4 30 – 40 Minutes
- Rang 5 & 6 40 – 50 Minutes
- Enter homework accurately in their homework diary.
- Endure they take home the relevant books and copies.
- Complete homework to the best of their ability.
- Present written work neatly.
Parents / Guardians should:
- Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
- Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over helping.
- Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials to hand. The pupil should have their homework diary open to tick off work as it is completed.
- Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
- Provide a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and TV.
- Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
- Sign the homework diary (1st-6th classes) checking all homework is complete.
- Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, PE clothes etc. if needed for school the next day.
- Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal.
- Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
- Monitor homework to help identify pupils with special difficulties.
How often do teachers monitor homework?
Ideally, teachers check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers, it is not always possible to check each child’s homework every day. As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often, e.g. every second day or once a week. Some items of homework are checked by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children as it promotes responsibility and self-esteem.
What happens when homework is not done?
When homework is not done regularly the teacher contacts parents with a view to resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent/ guardian and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved.
What happens if my child is absent from school?
- In the event that a pupil is absent for a period of 1-5 consecutive days NO homework will be given to be completed at home.
- If a child is absent from school for a period of time greater than 5 consecutive days, the parent or guardian may request homework from the class teacher.
Ratified by the Board of Management November 2014