Home Learning - Guidelines on Homework

Why set homework?

We feel there are good reasons for giving children a moderate amount of homework in the primary years.

It provides opportunity for reinforcing and consolidating work done in the classroom.

It helps you keep in touch with aspects of your child’s school work.

In the upper primary years, it helps prepare children for the increase in homework which they will encounter in secondary school.

It can help to foster an independent work habit.

Notes for Parents

What kind of homework can I expect my child to bring home?

Homework should be meaningful. We do not believe it is an end in itself. It should relate to your child’s needs and his/her class work. It should never become a ritual. Teachers will always try to set homework with which they feel your child can cope and have some success.

Within these general principles, homework may take many forms. It may involve the preparation of reading, particularly in the early and middle years. It may involve written work in language or maths where skills and knowledge gained in class are practised and consolidated. It will include the learning of multiplication tables, a vital but time-consuming activity where your assistance can be particularly effective. In the upper stages, it will also involve the revision of spelling. Homework may also be set in relation to class topic or “project” work.

Some homework tasks may be set for the following day but it is now quite common for  longer term assignments to be  set with the completion date several days away. Such assignments require your child to plan his/her work sensibly and make best use of available time – not always an easy thing for many children, but one which we feel is well worth working on.

How much homework should my child be set?

This varies from stage to stage and your child’s class teacher will provide guidance on this and other aspects of homework at the beginning of the school year.

How can I help my child with homework?

The completion of homework is your child’s responsibility. You can help by discussing work, showing interest and giving encouragement. Of course, there will be days when the pressures of family life prevent you from doing this.

Try to ensure that your child can work without distraction. Some children like to work in the isolation of their bedroom while others work better with the company of the family around them.  Some children like to get their homework over with as soon as they get in from school while others prefer to wait until they’ve had something to eat.  There are no hard and fast rules! You know what suits your child best. We will help your child by always trying to set appropriate work, by preparing the task adequately in class and by giving the child feedback or returning marked work, as soon as possible.

How do I know what homework has to be completed?

Reading homework is noted in your child’s reading record. Other homework tasks should be listed in the homework diary which your child has been given. It is helpful if you can sign the diary to show that you have seen your child’s completed work.  If you have any queries or points you wish to make regarding your child’s homework, please use the diary or reading record to do this.

What do I do if my child is having difficulty with homework?

Hopefully this should not happen too often if the homework is suitable. However, there may be times when a child is uncertain or has forgotten how to do something. In many cases, you will be able to sort it out yourself but, if in doubt, please put a wee note in the homework diary and tell your child to leave it until the next day, when the teacher will sort it out in class.  Your child’s teacher will always be happy to discuss homework  details with you.

What happens if my child forgets to do homework?

We accept that this can happen from time to time and the occasional lapse will be dealt with sympathetically. However, where there is a regular pattern of homework not being completed, steps will be taken to ensure that the work is done – if necessary, during the child’s own break times.

Any other points?

Under normal circumstances, homework will not be provided for children who are absent from school, due to illness. The child’s recovery and convalescence are more important than keeping up with class work, at that time.

Where a family takes a holiday during the school term, any catching-up on work missed will be done when the child returns to school.   School work will not be given to a child to complete on holiday.