Learning is a lifelong process and children benefit when families and schools work in partnership. At Naracoorte Primary School we value the active support and involvement of parents in the education process; this support includes ensuring regular work at home (thus the term homework) is undertaken.
We encourage homework from the moment our students enter our school. In the early years it is more informal, with children encouraged to read every night, learn sight-words and spelling lists, talk with their families about the day’s activities, investigate materials and information relevant to the topics being covered in class etc. As children grow older, the amount of homework they do increases and becomes more varied.
We believe that homework:
- is a valuable part of schooling
- allows for practising, extending and consolidating work
- provides training for students in planning and organising their time
- establishes habits of study, concentration and self-discipline which will serve students for the rest of their lives
- strengthens home-school links
- reaffirms the role of parents and caregivers as partners in education
- provides parents and caregivers with insights into what is being taught in the classroom and the progress of their children
- plays an essential role in children’s’ learning and academic progress
- provides students with opportunities to complete tasks begun in class
- provides parents with opportunities to share in their child’s learning
In this community, we appreciate the fact that the majority of students travel to and from school by bus. We encourage students to be involved in music, sport and other interests out of school. Bus-demands and extra-curricular activities reduce students’ spare time and opportunities to rest and prepare for school the next day. With these demands in mind, the amount of time spent on homework each night should be no more than 30 minutes and teachers are expected to program accordingly. The following recommendations are made regarding the types of homework set:
Reading is to be heard each night of the school week (using readers set by the teacher at a level which the child can read independently).
Activities that relate to class programs (eg. learning sight-words, spelling lists, preparing for morning talks), may be set, as required.
Reception Formal homework may be limited in the earliest terms of Reception.
However, language and number concepts can be introduced and practised in many family activities, including:
- library borrowing
- writing letters and speaking on the phone
- playing card and board games with siblings
- listening to stories
- learning songs and nursery rhymes
- family outings
- helping to prepare food
Reading is to be heard each night of the school week (using readers set by the teacher at a level which the child can read independently). A minimum of 40minutes per week.
Spelling Words (and sight words) should be practiced each night.
Activities that relate to class programs (e.g. preparing morning talks) may be set, as required.
Years 3 & 4
Reading is to be heard four times a week (using readers set by the teacher at a level which the child can read independently).
Children are also expected to practise spelling words, complete a number facts sheet and undertake other activities related to their curriculum.
Years 5 & 6
Reading for pleasure should be done each night; some students may still benefit from reading aloud to an adult.
Children are expected to practise spelling words and undertake other activities related to their curriculum as required.
A homework contract may be set.
Spelling homework should be worked on for up to 30 minutes a night until completed. Times Tables practice should occur at least once a week. Reading for pleasure each night is desirable. Work not finished in class may be set as homework occasionally.
Project work may occur.
Responsibilities of Teachers
- Students are given an opportunity to write homework in their diaries.
- A realistic time expectation is placed on the completion of homework.
- Communication between teachers to ensure the amount of homework given to a class is balanced throughout the term.
- Where large projects (for middle and upper students) are issued for homework, the written criteria for assessment are provided to the students at the start of the project.
- If homework is given, it is checked / marked and feedback is given (relative to the size of the homework).
Responsibilities of Parents
- Parents encourage students to complete their homework and check their diaries daily.
- Parents need to communicate any issues regarding homework with their classroom teacher.
- Parents may choose to support class-programs with additional work with their children at home.
Responsibilities of Students
- Students (Years 2-7) will write their homework in their diaries.
- Middle and Upper primary students will communicate with their teachers early if there will be difficulties in completing the homework in the set time.
- Where students are continually out of class for additional programs (eg. instrumental music, choir, SAPSASA sports), students and / or parents may negotiate with the teacher which work needs to be completed.
Some advice to Parents
- Communicate any concerns with class teacher as soon as possible if your child is having difficulty with the content or the completion of homework.
- Homework is best done at a quiet time set aside for homework completion.
- Completing homework in front of the television is not recommended
Typically, children will become more independent and responsible for their homework as they reach middle / upper primary, especially if good habits have been established in the early years.
Further activities out of school hours that promotes learning:
- reading fiction and non-fiction books regularly
- drawing and sketching
- writing shopping lists
- playing “shops”
- assisting with actual shopping
- cutting and pasting
- pursuing research in reference materials
- inventing games
- making things
- pursuing hobbies
- reading newspapers
- viewing/listening to the news and discussing with family
- taking photographs, labelling and creating captions for them
- writing/acting plays
- writing poems/letters/stories
- practising spelling errors from the day’s work
- playing cards/board games
- practising handwriting
- drawing/investigating maps
- knowing where the family is going on holidays
- drawing/writing cartoons
- playing ball games individually or in teams
- skipping, playing with hoops, quoits
- practising times tables and number facts (eg. pairs or groups of numbers that make 10)
- doing jigsaw puzzles
- making collections (of anything – within reason)
- playing an instrument
- singing/composing songs
- knitting and any other craftwork
- cooking (including peeling vegetables washing and drying-up, reading and writing recipes)
- setting the table
- plaiting or styling hair
- tying shoelaces and bows
- working with buttons
- making puppets
- threading shells, beads and pasta