It is generally agreed that some form of work at home is desirable for all primary age children. Homework should not be an unpleasant experience and, in general, should be used to reinforce children’s school work. For the older children, it helps prepare them for life at secondary school.
Homework also gives parents an opportunity to discuss school work with their children, providing some understanding of, and insight into, the national curriculum.
The aims and approach described below are both realistic and sensible. As in all areas of school life, it is essential that parents and school are clear about what is to be achieved, and are mutually supportive.
Parents are fully informed of homework requirements and each child from Y1 upwards receives homework each week. However, amounts vary according to the age of the child.
Role of the Parent
The parent is expected to support and encourage the child by giving time and a home environment in which homework can be done.
The class teacher will, as far as possible, ensure that details of a task to be done at home will be noted in the child’s homework book, together with any other messages about class activities. The parent should consult the book on a daily basis. Information may be fed back to the class teacher through notes in the book. Any comments should always be couched in moderate and responsible language, bearing in mind that the child may read the message.
Children benefit enormously from being able to discuss what they have done with their parents. This is not to suggest that the parent should spend time altering or correcting the child’s work but rather discuss it and suggest how it might be done differently or improved. Constructive comments enable the child to develop a better understanding of the work and reinforce what is taught in school.
Above all other subjects, reading is a crucial aspect of the curriculum and is encouraged at all times. A child’s written skills reflect the attitude to reading; a child who reads widely and with enthusiasm is often able to translate this into written work.
It is not always possible for an adult to hear a child read at school every day and sometimes, a child will share a book within a group rather than on an individual basis. It is most important, therefore, for a parent to try and hear their child read every day.