Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation, responsibility and life long learning. It is an essential part of 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 child’s education.
In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child working on his/her own to the best of his/her ability. However, there is also times when homework will require a parent to “work with” their child to complete a task. 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.
Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children may be given ‘homework off’ as a treat or as an acknowledgment 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 considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as 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. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.
Children will have reading each night (Monday to Thursday) as part of their homework. This will take the form of either a class level text, individual ability-based text or both. Reading is given in both English and Irish from junior infants. Please note that parents are responsible for ensuring that reading books are not damaged and returned to school each day in good condition. Damaged or lost books must be replaced by parents. In some cases, it is not possible to replace an individual book and a new set of books will have to be purchased by the parent in question.
Duration of Homework
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:
- Infant classes – up to 20 minutes
- 1st & 2nd class – up to 30 minutes
- 3rd & 4th class – up to 45 minutes
- 5th & 6th class – up to 60 minutes
(If a child has spent the recommended time working on homework, parents may “sign off” if they feel the work assigned is too difficult or taking too much time).
- Enter homework accurately in homework diaries
- Ensure they take home relevant books and copies
- Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability
- Present written homework neatly
- 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.
- Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
- Providing a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and screens.
- Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
- Sign the homework diary (daily) checking that all homework is complete.
- Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary and any other items needed for the next school day.
- Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal.
Where appropriate parents/guardians will be assisted in understanding the homework policy and minimising any obstacle that language etc. might present in contributing to a positive homework environment.
- Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
- Monitor homework on a regular basis to help identify pupils with special difficulties
What happens when homework is not done?
Homework should be completed each night. However, the school understands that at certain times children may have an unusual activity after school that leaves little time for homework to be completed. For example due to family commitments or involvement in a special occasion. In situations like this parents should write a note in the homework diary and their child will be excused from homework. This should not happen on a regular basis. It should not reoccur often on the same day each week. Children may work ahead on their regular homework (e.g. math and spellings) to allow time for after school clubs at the discretion of their parents only. Parents should take responsibility for this as the primary educator of their child outside of school. When homework is not done regularly the teacher will make contact with the parent/guardian initially via the pupil’s homework journal to try to resolve 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.
- In circumstances where teaching cannot be conducted on the school premises teachers’ may use SeeSaw or other platforms approved by the Principal to assist with distance learning where necessary.
- The school has signed up to the terms of service of the Online Platforms in use by the school.
- The School has enabled the most up to date security and privacy features which these Online Platforms provide.
- In the case of Seesaw, parents/guardians must grant access to an email address.
- Parents/guardians will be expected to monitor their child’s use of Online Platforms.
- Parents/guardians must also agree to monitor their child’s participation in any such Online Platforms.
This policy was updated October 2020