At Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, we set homework tasks for all students. We do this because we believe that homework supports students to achieve their potential more fully than if we relied solely on the learning that takes place during the timetabled curriculum.
Educational research supports the idea that when embraced, homework allows students to progress more rapidly. For this to be the case, homework needs to be meaningful, have a clear purpose, and encourage students to become flexible, independent learners able to cope with the demands of future working life.
The homework procedures in place at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading link to the Trust’s Teaching and Learning Framework which can be found at the following link:
The Educational Endowment Foundation concludes that “the impact of homework, on average, is five months’ additional progress”. There is extensive research, however, to suggest that this is maximised when “homework relates to learning” and is “an integral part of learning, rather than an add-on”. EEF, September 2018.
Hattie’s study states that homework itself has an effect size of 0.64, meaning that this falls inside the zone of desired effect and can add value beyond that which is gained solely by the teacher typically delivering effective lessons. In addition, Hattie found that feedback (1.13) and metacognition (0.69) greatly boost the achievement of students. In order for the effect size to be significant, homework tasks needed to be structured, precise and easy to understand and access. Teacher monitoring was found to be a key contributor; “putting students in a position where their home learning was too complex, extended or unstructured led to little impact on achievement”. John Hattie, 2009.
As a result of the published research, we have worked carefully to ensure the range of homework tasks assigned at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading are purposeful and specific enough to add value. By setting the right homework, we, as a school, can help to reinforce key concepts in a new environment, allowing information taught to be used in a variety of contexts in the future.
RANGE OF HOMEWORK TASKS
Homework is an integral part of a subject’s curriculum and will be specific and targeted. This will help to enhance student learning, improve achievement and develop students’ study skills. At Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, all homework tasks will fall into one of five areas: Reading, Revision, Recall, Responsibility or Response to feedback.
The following is a student friendly reminder of the range of available homework tasks that will be clearly visible and referenced in every classroom. Staff will make reference to which homework task has been assigned when setting a piece of homework. Some subjects may choose to focus on particular areas, where as others may offer tasks that cover the range from the five available.
Example activities that could fall into each category are as follows:
- Reading a journal article ahead of a lesson and identifying three key points to contribute to a whole class discussion in the next lesson.
- Reading an article which outlines key facts in a different context to that which was considered in a lesson.
- Reading for pleasure and then completing a book review.
- Creating a mind map to summarise a topic ahead of an assessment.
- Completing a differentiated activity which helps to revise a key area that has been studied in class and which requires a little more practice.
- Referring back to in class examples and annotating these to provide helpful revision notes for an upcoming assessment.
- Recalling how a particular skill was applied in a previous lesson in preparation for starting a new topic where the same skill will be applied and developed.
- Recalling a formula required in Science in preparation for an upcoming lesson.
- Planning and preparing a presentation on a particular area to deliver to the class in the next lesson.
- Researching an area of a lesson which a student found difficult and then taking responsibility for completing additional work to develop a better understanding.
RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK:
- Making necessary green pen corrections and improvements following feedback from a teacher (verbal and written).
- Re-drafting a piece of work following a lesson where feedback was given.
It is expected that all students will receive homework from every subject, every week.
Students in the Foundation Stage (Yr7,8) should expect to receive approximately 30mins of homework per subject, per week. For the majority of subjects, this will be a single piece of homework each week. The only exception to this is in the core subjects (English and Mathematics), where students should expect to receive two pieces of homework each week, totalling 60mins.
Students in Key Stage 4 (Yr9,10,11) should expect to receive approximately 40-60mins of homework per subject, per week. For the majority of subjects, this will be a single piece of homework each week, although some subjects may choose to set smaller tasks which total the 40-60mins. This is left to the discretion of each department and how best to utilise homework tasks.
RECORDING AND MONITORING HOMEWORK
All homework is recorded and outlined to students on ClassCharts. At the start of the academic year, all students and parents/guardians will be given a unique set of login details to allow them to access ClassCharts either on the computer, or on a mobile device.
Classroom teachers will then upload information outlining the homework task, as well as a clear deadline. Parents/guardians will also be able to see the assigned tasks and deadlines and there is an expectation that parents/guardians are regularly keeping track of homework set and supporting their son/daughter at home in ensuring tasks are completed.
To support students in managing their workload at home and encourage the development of organisation skills, the ClassCharts calendar feature will be enabled and personalised deadlines will be visible to both students and parents/guardians.
All homework tasks will be either reviewed, used or marked in a subsequent lesson after the submission deadline.
The quality of homework set and produced will be monitored by the Curriculum Leaders with oversight from the Assistant Headteacher in charge of Teaching and Learning.