Advice on Homework
1. The following is a guide as to how much time parents might expect students to spend on homework. Parents should note that for SACE especially, this time will increase during certain periods of the year according to the work requirements or approaching summative tests carried out during the year.
|Primary||up to 1/2 hour per night|
|Year 7||up to 1 hour per night|
|Year 8||up to 1 hour per night|
|Year 9||up to 1.5 hours per night|
|Year 10||up to 1.5 - 2 hours per night|
|Year 11||up to 3 hour per night|
|Year 12||up to 3 hour per night|
2. Homework takes many forms.
- Written work - e.g. an English essay or Mathematics work requirements.
- Learning work - e.g. vocabulary learning in a foreign language. This must be done actively, i.e., by having someone hear the work or by the learner doing some self-testing.
- Reading - In many subjects, such as English, BIPE and SOSE, most of the reading must be done out of class. So reading, provided that the book is a prescribed book, is a legitimate form of homework. (Reading for leisure is, of course, to be encouraged.)
- Research - This involves the collection of material needed for certain tasks and could include such activities as watching a recommended television programme or gathering information from a newspaper, visiting the library, interviewing local Council members, or seeking relevant information for conducting surveys.
- Revision - This should be a regular activity and not just before tests. As with learning work, it should be active: practice exercises should be done, summaries made, notes jotted down.
- Discussion - with parents, friends, fellow students, to ascertain the most effective manner in which to pursue a certain course of action, to gain specific information by the use of discussion groups.
3. Homework spreads over varying lengths of time.
- Some work is set on one day for presentation on the next. It must, therefore, be done on the day that it is set.
- Some work is set on one day for presentation several days later. It should be at least started on the day that it is set (perhaps a rough draft made) or students may forget to revisit it later in the week.
- Some work, e.g. an English or Maths work requirement, a research task, is set to be done over a long period of time, say, a month or even a term; it should be started promptly and worked on regularly over the set period.
4. General advice for parents.
- Provide students with good working conditions, if possible free from distractions.
- Inspect their Student Diaries regularly to see what they are supposed to be doing.
- Help them where you can.
- Be interested in their work: discuss it with them, watch its progress, praise work well done, even read the books they are reading.
- Be sceptical when they say they have no homework. Points 2.3, 2.5 and 3.3 suggest that there is always work to be done.
- If students are having obvious difficulty with work, contact the student's class teacher, care group teacher or subject teacher. It is vital that the matter be resolved quickly and effectively. Advice from the appropriate Co-ordinator may also be sought.