In River Valley Primary School, we believe that homework is an integral part of our students’ learning. Homework, when used appropriately, can reinforce students’ learning, provide feedback on their progress and cultivate a healthy disposition towards continual learning.
Definition of Homework
Homework refers to any learning activity that students are required by the school to complete outside of curriculum time. This includes assignments and projects but not revision of school work or studying for tests and examinations.
Objectives of Homework
Effective use of homework can:
(a) reinforce learning and deepen understanding of lessons taught;
(b) allow students to regularly practise, and apply skills and concepts taught;
(c) develop good study skills and habits; and
(d) encourage greater ownership and responsibility for independent learning.
Judicious use of homework allows teachers to:
(a) consolidate learning that has taken place in class;
(b) check for students’ understanding and progress, so as to provide timely feedback, intervention and support; and
(c) review effectiveness of lesson.
Homework also provides parents with:
(a) timely information on the learning progress of their child; and
(b) opportunities to be involved in the child’s learning.
General Considerations when setting Homework
Quantity of Homework
For holistic development of the students, we believe that they need a balanced life with adequate time for family bonding, social activities, personal interests and rest. We understand that there is a point of diminishing returns to giving more homework and homework overload can have detrimental effects on learning. Thus when we are assigning homework, we take into consideration the following:
(b) competing demands on students’ time (e.g. CCA, competitions, enrichment classes, tests, examinations);
(c) appropriate differentiation to suit the needs and ability of the students.
(d) timing such as school holidays as well as public holidays.
Quality of Homework
We believe that homework given should be well designed to bring about the intended learning outcomes. It should:
(a) be purposeful and encourage critical thinking;
(b) be related to class teaching and learning;
(c) be explicit and clearly defined so that students clearly understand what is required of them;
(d) be within the students’ capabilities and developmental readiness;
(e) involve the use of material resources that are known to be readily available to students; and
(f) be differentiated, where possible, to meet the different needs and abilities of students.
Feedback for Homework
We believe that the quality of homework is only as good as the quality of feedback and interventions given by teachers. Homework should thus be properly checked, with timely feedback, interventions and support given.
Roles & Responsibilities of Stakeholders
We believe that our teachers, students and parents all play an important role in ensuring that homework serves its intended purposes.
Teachers should :
(a) design appropriate and meaningful homework;
(b) set realistic deadlines for submission of homework;
(c) establish and communicate clear expectations to students on the purpose and procedure of homework;
(d) coordinate with other teachers of the class on the frequency and quantity of homework to be given;
(e) assess homework and provide timely feedback to students;
(f) provide timely intervention and support to students; and
(g) engage parents on homework matters and provide them with information pertaining to students’ learning progress.
(a) understand the purpose of homework and what is expected of them;
(b) keep track of homework instructions and deadlines;
(c) manage time well to ensure that homework is completed and submitted on time;
(d) give his/her best effort in completing homework; and
(e) review feedback from teachers on homework submitted.
(a) create a home environment conducive for studying and completion of homework;
(b) supervise and provide support for child’s learning;
(c) reinforce good study habits and attitudes;
(d) be mindful of the stresses arising from too many out-of-school activities, and help their children prioritise their time among these activities; and
(e) work in partnership with teachers to support child’s learning and development.
Mechanisms to monitor and coordinate homework load
The school has put in place simple, effective and visible mechanisms to monitor and coordinate homework across subjects. It includes the following:
(a) Homework corner on whiteboard for teachers to coordinate the amount of homework across subjects;
(b) Use of student handbook to record homework;
(c) Coordination among level teachers and heads of department on frequency/dates of tests and projects;
(d) Elicit feedback from our teachers and students;
(e) Feedback channel via email, phone calls, meet the parents’ session etc to teachers to raise concerns on homework.
We will continue to seek the partnership of our parents to provide the necessary support for our students to be developed as “Inspiring Learners, Edifying Leaders”.