Aims for giving Homework
To reinforce what the child learns during the day.
To provide a link between teacher and parent.
To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.
When should Homework be given
Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. Please note, in senior classes some project work may undertaken at weekends. Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off ” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion. Children have no homework the night before our annual school walk along with other days of celebration.
Please note children may sometimes be assigned work on the weekend to catch up on work which was not completed during the week.
Ideally homework will contain 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. Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
Amount of time spent on 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. Teachers can differentiate homework according to children’s ability. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:
Junior Infants Up to 20 minutes
Senior Infants Up to 20 minutes
Rang 1 Up to 25 minutes
Rang 2 Up to 30 minutes
Rang 3 Up to 40 minutes
Rang 4 Up to 50 minutes
Rang 5 Up to 1 hour
Rang 6 Up to 1 hour and 10 minutes
Assistance from Parents
Parents should try to help their children with homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework and preventing interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children.
Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty.
If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a brief note to the teacher explaining the problem.
Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child. If it’s not enjoyable, shared reading should not be done.
Monitoring Homework by Parents
Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening except in Junior Infants. Senior Infants will begin to use their journals in the second term.
The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal (additional pages available at the end of the journal).
Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
Information to parents are often folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis.
Monitoring Homework by Teachers
Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day.
As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week.
Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves and other children under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
Communication about homework between parents and teachers
When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances or when a child forgets a book in school.
When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
If the time spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.
Parents should always communicate this information to teachers immediately through a note in the child’s homework journal or alternatively to make an appointment through the school office to meet with the class teacher.
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong. This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. If this happens on a regular basis, parents should contact the class teacher.
Each family situation is different – both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done as soon as possible after school. However, some children need a break before starting homework. This may also depend on family circumstances.
Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
Teachers allow children to have no written homework if their birthday falls on a school day. However, oral work still needs to be done. On occasion teachers may decide to give the pupils a homework pass as a reward.
Communication and Ratification
This policy was first ratified by the Board of Management in April 2007 and was communicated to all parents. It is available to view on our school website for any interested parties.
The policy was reviewed in May 2019 and is due for renewal in May 2021 or before if circumstances demand it.