Homework – our guiding principles
Homework is set in order to:
- reinforce and consolidate work covered in the lesson
- encourage students to learn both independently and collaboratively, as appropriate
- develop knowledge, skills and a reflective approach
- prepare material for subsequent learning and assessment
The amount of homework differs according to the year group. Homework allocations in the Junior School are as follows:
- Year 3, 20 - 30 minutes, three days per week
- Year 4, 30 - 40 minutes, three days per week
- Year 5, 30 - 40 minutes, five days per week
- Year 6, 40 - 60 minutes, five days per week
In addition, Junior School pupils are expected to read regularly and to learn/consolidate spellings and multiplication tables.
The above allocations are reasonable amounts of time if the pupil is focused on the task set. If a homework task takes longer than the allocated time then parents should stop their child and write a note of explanation to the form teacher or subject teacher. It is very important that after-school hours are well balanced in terms of work, rest and play.
All set homework is clearly recorded in the homework planner and should be completed within the recommended time allocations, shown above. It is the responsibility of subject staff to make it clear to pupils when homework is expected, especially if this is not the next school day.
Projects and longer assignments are set in manageable parts, with clear guidance given as to the criteria for marking and when each section of work should be submitted.
Parents are invited to support their child as they feel necessary, and to provide an environment, free from distractions, which enables him/her to complete homework assignments to the best of his/her ability. Specific concerns about homework should be discussed with the form teacher or subject teacher.
Marking and assessment
Regular marking helps teachers to assess and monitor their students’ progress and identify problems. Verbal and/or written comments, when work is returned, enable students to see their strengths and weaknesses and to take appropriate action. Marks for homework, assessed class work and tests are routinely recorded by teachers in accordance with agreed guidelines.
A common marking policy is used in the Junior School and copies are distributed to pupils. Subject teachers make regular informal assessments throughout the year in order to check understanding and inform their planning. These take many forms, such as observation, questioning, quizzes, discussion and by facilitating peer assessment.
In addition to benchmark testing, cross-year assessments in English and Maths are set part-way through the Autumn and Spring Terms; and in Science, French, History and Geography pupils are assessed at the end of each topic or area of study.
Assessment papers and results are kept in the pupil’s books, folders or ring binders. In the Summer Term the results of end of year assessments in English, Maths and Science are reported to parents via the annual written report.
The results of all assessments are recorded electronically and stored centrally which enables pupils’ progress to be tracked from year to year. It is the responsibility of the Junior School Co-ordinator for Assessment and Reporting to monitor this record keeping.
Parents are invited to attend Parents’ Consultations in the Autumn and Spring Terms. On one of these occasions parents are offered an appointment with their child’s form teacher only, but s/he will have written comments from other members of staff, and on the other occasion parents also have the opportunity to meet with their child’s subject teachers.
Reports are completed using the Foundation’s data management system and are made available to parents a few days before the end of the Summer Term. Each subject report makes reference to the pupil’s progress and achievements throughout the year. The Form Teacher’s report provides an overview of the pupil’s effort, pastoral development and general organisation.
The pupil writes his/her own evaluation of the year (Pupil Comment) and the Head of Junior School adds her remarks on the pupil’s contribution to the community. A hard copy of each pupil’s report is stored in the Junior School office.