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From the Deputy Head (Academic) – Dr Susan Ley

Homework (Prep)

What is homework for? It can be used to reinforce what’s being taught in the classroom, as students prepare for important assessments at national level such as GCSE & A level it allows them to revisit topics covered in class and further develop their understanding. It can be used to practise the type of questions that senior students will encounter in exams. Alternatively, homework can be used to research material for the next lesson, allowing the teacher to use flipped learning in the lesson. It also enables parents to actively engage in their child’s education. Additionally, it helps to teach fundamental skills such as time management, organisation, task completion, as well as responsibility.

Classes in the Senior School are set homework according to a timetable which is available to view on the School website. The amount of time allocated per subject is set according to age, Year 7 have 20 minutes; Year 8, 25 minutes and Year 9, 30 minutes per subject. Years 10 & 11 have 45 minutes per subject. This allows for the increase in content and complexity which comes with GCSE. In the sixth form students are likely to be set about 5 hours of work per week per subject, the timing determined by subject teachers.

Homework may be set for the next day (this is more likely in the lower years) or for a longer period of time. As supportive parents you can help your children to complete their homework in a variety of ways. Firstly, provide a space within the home where your son or daughter can work. This should be a quiet area with enough room to spread out paper or books or open a laptop if necessary. It is so easy to be distracted and lose focus, so you could keep an eye on what they’re doing. Working in a bedroom with a laptop playing films/TV shows is not an ideal environment.

Sometimes students may find that a piece of work is very challenging and takes them a long time. Please ensure that they don’t work all night on it! If they have genuinely worked hard for the allocated period of time just make a note in their book or email the teacher to confirm that that is the case.

When students are new to the concept of homework it may take them a while to find an ideal way of working. One thing that students often struggle with is sorting out what to do when! If possible the best solution to this is to do the prep the on the same day that it was set. In this way the content will be fresh in the student’s mind which it may not be four days later! For students in Years 10 and above work may be more complex. Looking at it straight away enables them to see whether there are any areas that they’re finding more challenging. They then have time to find the member of staff and discuss it before the due day. The work handed in is then usually of better quality and doesn’t have gaps in it. If your son or daughter has an evening commitment then they may need to do their homework on a different evening. As parents you can help them to work out when they will fit the work in. Otherwise they risk spending their whole weekend doing school work!

If you have any concerns regarding your child and their homework please contact their tutor or subject teacher to discuss this.

With regard to Show My Homework we are very conscious that this useful resource is currently off line. As you may know the school is moving over to a new school information management system and we are currently waiting for data to be transferred between this system and SMHW. They have assured us that it won’t take much longer. We will let you know as soon as it is operational.

As teachers we are grateful to all those parents who support their children to enable them to do the very best that they can.

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