Homework and Study Policy
The purpose of homework is to enhance student learning. It assists students to consolidate and extend what they have already learnt in the classroom, and prepares them for the next stage of learning. Homework is also useful for teachers, as it assists them to assess the progress of their students. Finally it is an important aspect of the school-home partnership, enabling parents to support their children while they learn.
The most valuable work a student can do at home is self-directed, organized study. This is a measure of progress towards independence as a learner.
Homework is a term covering a wide range of study activities and tasks including completing class exercises and/or bookwork, researching, revising for a test, reading and designing/building a model. Homework should:
- provide purposeful learning experiences that arise from classroom learning;
- be related clearly to the outcomes of classroom learning;
- provide interesting tasks that consolidate, revise, enrich and extend students' classroom work;
- provide special activities for students who require these, because of circumstances such as absence from school or individual learning needs.
In Years 10, 11 and 12, students will be required to complete formal assessment tasks which contribute to the award of the School Certificate, Preliminary Higher School Certificate and Higher School Certificate. Details, procedures and penalties for these formal assessment tasks are outlined in the assessment booklets which have been given to every student.
Role of Faculties and Staff
Each faculty should have a homework policy, the appropriate elements of which will be communicated to students in class, and to parents.
Homework should be set by all teachers. It should be assigned in a manner appropriate to the subject, to be completed in a time frame best suited to the task. Students should be encouraged to record homework and due dates in their diaries.
During the school term students should, on average, spend the following amount of time on homework and study for each of the years listed below:
- Years 7 and 8 at least one and a half hours per night
- Years 9 and 10 at least two and a half hours per night
- Years 11 and 12 at least three and a half hours per night.
When designing tasks teachers should consider carefully the following issues:
- the learning and organisation skills needed for the completion of the task
- the nature of the task (tasks completed away from the school should encourage students to become more independent in their learning)
- the outcomes to be assessed and the relative weighting of these in relation to the overall task
- the criteria that will be used to make judgments about student achievement
- equitable access to resources necessary to complete the task. (They should liaise with the Librarian when setting research tasks which require students to use the resources of the School Library)
Teachers must ensure that clear guidelines for assignments are provided to students. This must include the outcomes to be assessed;
- specific task outline and expectations;
- criteria that will be used to judge student achievement of the outcomes;
- weighting of the task and due date.
Teachers must check that students have done homework, that it has been completed by the due date, monitor the standard of completed work and provide meaningful feedback to students. Teachers must include in their faculty registration of work, a record of assignments set.
Consequences for Late or Non Submission of Assessment Tasks and Homework
The due date for submission of assignments should be adhered to rigorously. Ideally, the due date for assignments should be early in the week.Students who fail to complete an assignment by the due date should be penalised in the following way:
- 20% deducted for the first school day late;
- an additional 30% for the second school day late;
- zero from the third school day late.
- extenuating circumstances may be considered by the Head Teacher.
Note that these rules do not apply to formal assessment tasks given for the School Certificate, Preliminary Higher School Certificate and Higher School Certificate. The assessment booklets specify rules for these tasks, that is, late submissions without satisfactory explanation and/or a Doctors Certificate are given zero.
Role of Parents in Supporting Academic Achievement
Parents should be contacted if students persistently fail to complete homework in a subject, or if homework is consistently not completed to the standard that is expected of an individual student. Should a student fail to submit a major homework assignment, parents should be contacted immediately.
Parents are encouraged to assist teachers in the monitoring of homework, by checking on the work progress of their children. The School Diary is a useful document for parents to record comments or questions. If this is done, students need to show the teacher so they may respond appropriately.
Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers about any concerns with homework or their child's approach to homework.
Occasionally, students are identified as having difficulties with their organisation. Where this is identified as being an issue across a range of subjects, the Year Adviser may place the student on a special organisational program which will be monitored by parents and the Year Adviser. A special ‘homework column’ will be inserted into the student’s diary for a period of time. Parents will be asked to sign that the homework has been completed and the student will show their diary to the Year Adviser each day. The ‘homework’ column may also relate to remembering to bring essential equipment to school.