School Policy on Homework
Homework is a vital tool for consolidating learning from lessons, extending learning beyond those lessons and in developing skills of independent learning. As such, most homework set will be clearly linked to past, current or future learning in lessons.
Educational research proves that homework accelerates students’ progress when it is meaningful, has a clear purpose and helps students to become effective and independent learners.
The Educational Endowment Foundation states that “the impact of homework, on average, is five months’ additional progress”. EEF, September 2018.
Furthermore, John Hattie’s (2009) study reveals that feedback and metacognition augment the achievement of students. This means that for the impact of homework to be significant, it needs to be structured, precise and easy to access.
Resultingly, at DGS our homework approach dovetails with our work on metacognition and feedback. We want our students to become ‘self-regulating learners’ and have worked to draw on our understanding of the science of learning outlined in the Revision Revolution programme, with homework tasks to ensure they are meaningful and facilitate learning.
Our feedforward marking policy is centred on Dylan William’s assertion that 'the main purpose of feedback is to improve the student and not the work.’ (Wiliam, 2014) This means that homework may feed into lessons planning; whole class feedback and peer/self-assessed in class to help move understanding forward. In some cases, the act of completing the homework will be the valuable activity in itself and, in this case, there may not be any benefit to the student in receiving feedback from the teacher. Where this is the case, it will be flagged to students so they are clear on the intended impact of their homework.
Range of homework tasks
Homework plays a key role in a subject’s curriculum and will always be specific and targeted to help drive student learning and refine students’ study skills. At DGS, all homework tasks will fall into one of five areas: Literacy, Revision, Recall, Deliberate Practice or Response to feedback.
Example activities that could fall into each category are as follows:
- Reading an article ahead of a lesson and condensing the most important information to share in the next lesson
- Reading an article which outlines key facts in a different context to that which was considered in a lesson.
- Reading for pleasure
- Bedrock Vocabulary lessons (KS3 English)
- Compiling a mind map to summarise a unit before an assessment.
- Using condensing and memory techniques to revise key threshold concepts (as outlined in the Revision Revolution)
- Self-quizzing and retrieval practice using Knowledge Organisers and other published material
- Completing a series of questions on Tassomai or Hegarty.
- Applying learning from recent lessons to a given task: this could be a piece of extended writing; a sketch; a series of maths questions etc.
RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK:
- Making necessary pink pen corrections and improvements following feedback from a teacher (verbal and written).
- Re-drafting a piece of work following a lesson where feedback was given.
The expectation is that a student at KS3 will spend 45-60 minutes each night completing homework and students at KS4 will spend 60-90 minutes. KS5 students are expected to spend at least 10 hours each week working on each of their subjects (including lesson time).
Students are expected to organise this time themselves and prioritise according to the deadlines they have been given; they will not be given specific homework each day, according to a timetable but, instead, teachers will ensure that adequate deadlines are given so students can plan their workload over the week. To aid them in this, all homework will be set on Satchel:One.
Another reason we do not publish or expect teachers to abide by a homework timetable is that the school firmly believes that homework should have impact and we are clear with teachers that it should only be set if it is going to develop students’ skills or knowledge.
Each department has its own homework policy that sets out the type, regularity and length of homework it sets at various points of the year. In practice, this will mean that the quantity and regularity of homework set in some subjects will vary over the course of the year. Please be assured that this is by design and based on the needs of students across the learning cycle for each subject.
RECORDING AND MONITORING HOMEWORK
All homework is recorded and outlined to students on Satchel: One. At the start of the academic year, all students and parents/guardians will be given a unique set of login details to allow them to access Satchel: One either on the computer, or on a mobile device.
Classroom teachers will then upload information outlining the homework task, as well as a clear deadline. Parents/guardians will also be able to see the assigned tasks and deadlines and there is an expectation that parents/guardians are regularly keeping track of homework set and supporting their son/daughter at home in ensuring tasks are completed.
All homework tasks will be either reviewed, used or marked in a subsequent lesson after the submission deadline.