At Horsforth School homework is set to encourage students to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own. This is vital given the importance for students in the future of life-long learning and adaptability. Homework may be set to help to consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding developed at school or to extend school learning, for example, through additional reading.
Home learning at Key Stage 3 (KS3) should inspire inquiry and deeper learning in students rather than introduce them too early into the world of levels and assessment. To this end, home learning at KS3 will represent a continuation of the primary school approach in that pupils will be encouraged to develop inquiry and creativity through a system of project-based or menu-style home learning tasks.Home learning should provide pupils with an opportunity to develop interest and skills in the subject they are exploring. They can be constructed in a range of different ways as is seen fit by individual departments, but at the core the work should encourage initiative, creativity and enquiry.
While the principles that underpin the home learning procedures at KS3 should, where possible, still apply, the reality of external examinations must be reflected in the delivery of home learning at KS4. For example in many subjects the demands of coursework and exam technique will be the main concern, while others will be focused on core requirements of courses, such as reading set texts in English or rehearsal for performance in Music or Drama.
Due to the increased demands for depth of knowledge and higher order skills on post-16 students, home learning should deepen subject knowledge and understanding of the exam rubric to prepare students for the imminent challenge of the move to linear courses.
Whilst the intrinsic value of homework activities are far more important than the precise amount of time devoted to them, it is important for there to be a regular programme so that teachers, students and parents/carers know what to expect.
The following guidelines give an indication of the typical amount of homework a student should receive:
Year 7, 8 & 9
Years 10 & 11
Years 12 & 13
Approximately 1 hour per night
Approximately 2 hours per night
A ‘rule of thumb’ is for students to complete 1 hour of independent work for each hour in lessons