FINGAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE - HOMEWORK POLICY

Mission Statement
Our College is a caring and proud learning community committed to the purposeful pursuit of excellence. Students, teachers and parents are encouraged and supported to be the best that they can be in a school environment that respects diversity and fosters justice and equality for all.

Motto
Fairness, Courage, Courtesy

Definition

Any learning activity that students do outside of normal lesson time can be regarded as homework. The homework task is related to work that students are doing in school, often as preparation consolidation or follow up.
Homework can take many forms depending on the topic and the subject in question. Some examples of homework tasks are as follows:

  • Written Assignments
  • Learning Assignments
  • Essay Writing
  • Reading
  • Investigations
  • Interviews
  • Simple Experiments
  • Drafting
  • Essays
  • Diagrams or maps
  • To research a topic
  • Art to practice or finish
  • To write up an experiment
  • Project work
  • Sewing
  • Finding a Recipe
  • Spellings
  • Preparing for class tests or exams
  • Drawing
  • Watching a television programme
  • Use of the Internet – See Acceptable Use Policy 
  • Practise of listening skills
  • Practise of spoken skills

Therefore, there is always homework to be done!

Rationale

Why do homework?

  • Homework consolidates and reinforces skills and understanding developed at school.
  • It encourages the skills needed for students to study effectively on their own. 
  • It promotes independent learning.
  • It can extend school learning e.g. through additional reading.
  • It directs research.
  • It sustains the involvement of parents in the management or students’ learning and keeps them informed about the work students are doing.
  • It is an important link between home and school.
  • Homework provides the teacher with feedback on the student’s progress.

From the beginning of First Year each student is expected to establish a homework routine.

The Homework Journal

The Homework Journal is an important connection between home and school. The journal will inform discussion at parent teacher meetings. Students are required to have journals in their possession while in school and while undertaking homework. Students should keep their Homework Journals on their desks during class. Each student is expected to keep a record of all homework, both written and non-written, in his or her Homework Journal, which is given by the school to the students specifically for this purpose. Journals are regularly monitored and are available to all teachers should they wish to communicate with parents. A class teacher will communicate initially through the journal if a student fails to present written assignments or has failed repeatedly to complete learning assignments. Journals should he checked and signed each week by Parents/Guardians. Students are expected to keep their Homework Journals in good condition.


Presentation of Homework

Students are expected to enter the written homework for each subject into the appropriate copy. It is recommended that all work should be dated. Answers should be clearly written as this assists with revision.

Special Educational Needs

Homework should balance the rights of all students to fully access the work of the class with the individual learning needs of SEN students. Subject teachers will, as far as possible, collaborate with the Learning Support Department. For some students, the involvement of parents may be beneficial.

Time Spent on Homework

All students differ in terms of their ability and the speed of completion of work. It is not possible to be prescriptive on the amount of time students should spend of homework. However, the following guidelines should be helpful.


1st Year – 1 to 2 hours
2nd Year - 2 hours
3rd Year - 2 – 3 hours
5th Year – 3 hours aprox.
6th Year – at least 3 hours.

Weekend study and revision is also essential, particularly in the lead up to both house and state exams.
All students should spend time at home on their studies whether or not work has been assigned. If no homework has been set then students have an obligation to go over material they have recently studied in class.
Part-time work should not affect time or effort spent on homework.

Feedback for Students

Students look mainly to teachers for a response on the quality of their work. A variety of methods may be employed to monitor and correct homework.

  • Teacher correction
  • Class correction
  • Class discussion
  • Students exchange work for correction
  • Students write out answers in the form of a test
  • Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by students themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for students. 
  • Comment only marking or Assessment for Learning.

Sanctions

Persistent lack of effort in relation to homework will be dealt with through the disciplinary system of the college.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Role of the Student

  • Students are expected to record homework in the Homework Journal. It is therefore essential that the Homework Journal is brought to school every day. 
  • Students should ensure that homework is completed on time.
  • Each student should be complete homework to the best of their ability.
  • Students should ensure that homework is neatly presented. 
  • If a student is absent from class they must get their class work and homework from the teacher or other students, as appropriate. 
  • Students should bring home from school sufficient books in order to spend the recommended time at their Homework or studies.
  • Students should keep their Homework Journal in good condition.
  • Students are expected to keep their Homework Journals on their desks at all times.
  • Students should have their Homework Journals ready, on request, for inspection by parents or staff.

The Role of Parents/Guardians

  • Parents are encouraged to provide a suitable place for their son or daughter to do their homework.
  • Parents may use the Homework Journal to inform the school of any reason why their son or daughter has not completed their homework.
  • Parents are expected to sign the homework journal at the end of the school week.
  • Parents are encouraged to explain the importance of doing homework to their son or daughter. 
  • Parents may communicate with the subject teacher if their son or daughter is having difficulty with homework.
  • The internet may be used as a source of research. Parents are encouraged to monitor their son or daughter’s use of the Internet. See school’s Acceptable Use Policy.

The Role of the Teacher

  • To give a clear instruction to students regarding homework before the end of each lesson.
  • To ensure that students have sufficient time to write homework into the Homework Journal.
  • To keep an account of the homework given to students
  • To keep an account of homework completed by students
  • To give feedback on homework to students 
  • To use the Homework Journal to inform parents if homework has not been completed.
  • To use the Homework Journal to inform parents of homework completed to an excellent standard. 
  • To consider the varying needs of students when setting and correcting homework.

Role of Class Tutor/Year Head

To explain the importance of homework to students
To check Homework Journals for notes.
Tutors should facilitate students list their subjects for each day in their journal during tutorial.

Arrangements for monitoring and evaluating homework policy

It is envisaged that each subject department monitors homework within the department at subject department meetings. Teachers will evaluate the quality of homework and the contribution it is making to learning.

The Homework Policy will be reviewed within two years to assess the extent to which it is contributing to the effectiveness of teaching and learning in the school.