As we return to school after the half-term break we are piloting a consistent approach to ensuring that homework is completed by all students, balancing support with sanctions.
Our reasons for setting homework are clearly stated on the website and have not changed. To quote the first line "Homework is an important part of the learning process. It is used to extend learning and teach students good study habits which are needed for exam courses." Independent study is a vital part of success in examinations at every level. As a school we strongly support our students' activities outside of school - sports, clubs, hobbies..., but every day must include some time for independent study. We ask all parents/carers to check the study that their son or daughter is going to do and try to give them some space in which to do it. We know that some students, for a variety of reasons, find it hard to study at home and that is why we run a supported "homework club" in the library after school every day. This is especially important for students who do not have computer access at home as quite a lot of homework is set online.
We have found over the past half-term that we are getting a relatively significant number of students not submitting homework. Up until now different teachers and departments have handled this in different ways. Following discussion with the teaching staff, we are piloting a consistent approach across the whole school up until Christmas - at which point we will review and amend as appropriate. Unless a student was not present when the homework was set (e.g through illness) then the homework is expected to be submitted on time. If it is not submitted then every teacher will use the same system of detentions depending upon whether this is the first occasion or whether it has become a repeating pattern. I, and other senior staff, will run an after-school detention on a Wednesday for students for whom completion of homework has become a significant and repeating problem.
One of the main strands of our school improvement plan was to be consistent across everything that we do and homework is an important area where we all need to send a clear and consistent message that it really matters because success at any level depends on an ability to study independently.
Many thanks for your support in this matter and please get in touch with me if you have any queries.
P.S The photograph at the top of this post is of the "Big Draw" project that took place just before half-term - see https://thebigdraw.org/
26 October 2019
Dear Mr Harris, I totally agree with the non-committal of homework completion leading to detention policy, however, I would like to ask as a parent that we need to know well in advance so we can remind our child that they will have to get the late bus home (if they are subscribed to bus services) or if in the event they have extra curricular outside of school activities supported and paid for by parents in the learning interests and development for their child. Also, the website to log into to check our children’s homework set, negatives and positives for behaviour, school reports etc would be useful and I’m looking forward to this being made available. From the last survey I took part in, I felt it necessary to say that my child does not receive a regular and consistent pattern of homework on a daily basis and in light of your next post ref mock exams and revision and how soon they come around, I feel it necessary for the school to address my concerns reference regular daily and consistent allocation of homework. Many thanks for your support to my child and to listening to my concerns, Kind Regards, Claire Holland (Foster Parent).
27 October 2019
Many thanks for your comment. Yes, we always intend to notify parents/carers of after-school detentions for exactly the reasons that you say. Your comments about setting of homework give me pause for thought - I check regularly on the setting of homework and my view was that it had become much better over the last 12 months. I will check again and continue to remind all staff to set homework consistently. Please contact me on an individual basis if you have further concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org).