Scoil Naomh Fiachra

Homework Policy

Purpose

Homework is given at Scoil Naomh Fiachra to:

reinforce what the child learns during the day;

provide a link between teacher and parent;

develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic;

encourage children to pursue further investigation in areas of interest to them.

Aspirations

Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. The teacher in class normally prepares it. 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.

Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays with these exceptions

If homework has been neglected during the week.

In senior classes some project work or longer term assignments may involve weekend work.

It may be necessary to give work at weekends when approaching project deadlines, e.g. Young Scientist Exhibition, Robo Show.

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.

Content

Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks, investigation 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, learning and investigation 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 \ Guardians can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.

Time Guidelines

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 that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only:

Junior Infants 0 – 10 minutes.
Senior Infants 0 – 20 minutes.
Rang 1 – 2 Up to 30 minutes.
Rang 3 – 4 Up to 45 minutes.
Rang 5 – 6 Up to 1 hour 15 minutes.
Parental \ Guardian Involvement

Parents \ Guardians can help their children with homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework and by trying to prevent interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children.
Children should do written homework themselves and Parents\Guardians should only help when the child has difficulty.

If a child has difficulty with homework, the Parents\Guardians 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 note to the teacher, using the pupil’s journal, explaining the problem.
Parents should encourage their children to read every night. They can read their class reader, Oxford Reading Tree book or their library book. Indeed they could even read some of the newspaper with your help.

Monitoring Homework at Home

Parents\Guardians should check and sign a child’s Homework Journal (First – Sixth Class) every evening as the pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between Parents\Guardians and teachers. Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the Homework Journal.

Please check that your child records homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.

Monitoring Homework at School

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. Sometimes, under the direction of the teacher, children themselves may check some items of homework or class work. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

Communication about Homework

In the relevant section of the Homework Journal (First – Sixth Class), please inform your child’s teacher when

your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances;

your child cannot do homework due to illness;

your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect;

the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

Doing Homework

Each family situation is different but, ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched and while your child is still fresh.
Some children, however, need a break before starting homework.
Nevertheless homework should never be left until morning time before school.
Remember, if homework is a stressful experience for both parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the purpose of this policy.
If this happens on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.