Why is homework set?

Learning happens when one brain cell forms a new link with another. That link is fragile unless the learning is repeated so the link is strengthened. High achieving pupils repeat their learning often so the link is strong and the knowledge can be recalled in an instant. Homework is a vital part of this process. There is not enough time in the school day to thoroughly embed all of the learning that happens so some needs to be done at home. A significant amount of research has shown that pupils who regularly complete homework perform better in their examinations.

New technology is also changing the role of the teacher. With so much information available on the internet, some teachers have embraced what is called “Flipped Learning.” Teachers will set tasks that introduce new knowledge to pupils at home and then use the time in class to do activities that will embed that knowledge.

By regularly completing homework tasks in Key Stage 3, pupils will be developing the independent working skills they will need to achieve highly at GCSE. In Key Stage 4, homework is often used to prepare for, or complete, Controlled Assessments. It is impossible for pupils to access the highest marks at GCSE unless they spend a significant amount of time at home revising and preparing for the examination.

How often?


In Key Stage 3, homework will usually be set every second 100 minute lesson. Therefore, the core subjects of English and Maths will set homework at least once a week whereas in other subjects, such as History and Art, this will be once every two weeks.
At Key Stage 4, pupils will be set homework at least once a week in all of their subjects and there is an expectation that all pupils should be completing at least one to two hours of homework per evening during the week. Even if there is no work that is set, there are numerous revision websites to embed pupils’ learning, such as www.gcsepod.com

Where will it be recorded?


Homework is set during the lesson by the teacher. It is explained carefully and written on the board. Pupils write details of the task in their planners including when it is to be handed in by and the approximate length of time that should be spent on it. The teacher will also make a record of the homework on https://gts.showmyhomework.co.uk so the pupil, parent and teacher can clearly see when the task is due to be submitted and what the task is.

What can parents do to help?


Try to provide a quiet and relaxed place for your child to do their homework. Ensure you regularly check your child’s homework calendar on https://gts.showmyhomework.co.uk and talk to your child every night about the learning they have done at school that day and what home learning they have.

Have a look at your child’s completed homework. If you feel they have not put enough effort into it, then ask them to do it again. Insist on high standards, accomplished work. Remember to praise effort and resilience and not speed of completion or natural talent.

Encourage your child to develop their literacy and numeracy skills by reading and solving daily maths conundrums, like “how much is the basket of shopping going to cost?” It is very important that you model a positive attitude to literacy and numeracy. One phrase from a parent, who is an important role model, like, “we don’t read much in this house” or, “I’ve never been good at maths” can have a significantly negative impact on a child’s achievement in school.