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Homework Policy

Why give homework?
To reinforce what the child learns during the day.
To provide a link between teacher and parent.
To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. Sometimes homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less. Personal effort accounts for more than perfection of results.
Homework is never given as a sanction/punishment.

How often is homework given?
Homework is given on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There is no written homework at the weekend. These are the exceptions:
Homework may be carried over as extra to the next night if it has not been done, if the child has not made a suitable effort or if untidy work is presented.
Homework may be given at the weekend if it has been neglected during the week.
Sixth Class may be given homework at weekends (Jan – June) by way of preparation for the significant increase at second level.
Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, ‘homework free nights’ may be given as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
Children attending learning support are given follow-up homework based on each lesson. This work takes approximately 15 minutes over at least two nights.

What is the content of homework?
Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading, learning and written tasks.
However this balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. It should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.

Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be ‘learned by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
Children often feel that reading and ‘learning by heart’ is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring that this work is well done.

How much homework… i.e. time…?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:

Junior Infants up to 10 minutes
Senior Infants up to 15 minutes
Rang I up to 30 minutes

Rang II up to 35 minutes

Rang III up to 45 minutes

Rang IV up to 50 minutes

Rang V up to 55 minutes

Rang VI up to 60 minutes

How much help should parents give?
Parents, while taking account of the need for play, relaxation and family time, should help their children with homework by:
providing them with a suitable place and time.
preventing noise, interruptions and distractions.
Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty.
If a child has difficulty with homework, parents should help the child with further explanations and examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
Shared reading is encouraged as an enjoyable experience between parent and child, particularly at junior level.
Parents should avail of opportunities at weekends to enhance their children’s education through visits to local places of interest, nature walks, etc.

How often should parents monitor homework?
Children from First to Sixth classes have homework journals. The pupil’s journal is an important record of his/her homework. Please check that your child records homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
Letters etc. to parents are folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal. In the case of Junior/Senior Infants these letters will be folded in the current page of their English Language book. Please check your child’s journal/ English Language book every day for such letters.

How often do teachers monitor homework?
Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However it is not always possible to check each child’s homework every day.
Some items of homework (and classwork) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

When should the parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
When your child cannot do homework because s/he cannot understand some aspect.
If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

When should homework be done?
Each family situation is different: both parents working, childminders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school while your child is still fresh. Some children need a break before starting homework.
Homework should never be done late at night or in the morning before school.
Remember
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, or if your child is frequently exceeding the recommended time guidelines, please contact the class teacher.