La Sainte Union

La Sainte Union Catholic School

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"The school's values of tolerance, respect and compassion permeate throughout the curriculum."

Ofsted 2016

"Pupils thrive academically, spiritually, socially and emotionally."

Ofsted 2016

"Staff and the pupils are rightfully proud of the beautiful and large school site."

Ofsted 2016

"Both pupils and their teachers have high aspirations for their achievements, both culturally and academically."

Ofsted 2016

 

 

 

HOMEWORK POLICY

Revised April 2017

 

‘Homework which is properly conceived and implemented can play a valuable role in the education of a child. The seriousness with which pupils and parents take homework will be largely governed by staff attitudes and expectations.’

Rationale

The Purpose of Homework

  1. a) An integral part of the learning process: either as preparation for lessons or consolidation, completion and extension of work begun with teachers in class
  2. b) The encouragement of self-disciplined and self-motivated attitudes to study.
  3. c) The development of good work habits and independent study skills. It is also an excellent preparation for further study.
  4. d) The stimulation of pupils’ curiosity and their love of learning.

 

The Nature of Homework

  1. a) Homework arises out of the demands of the course. It prepares for, extends and complements the work done in lessons. Homework is varied and can include a range of tasks such as note-taking, essay writing, practical work or memorising. It might include working with other students to deliver a joint project.
  2. b) Work is set that all pupils can reasonably tackle and is differentiated as necessary to meet the needs of all learners.
  3. c) Learners should normally be able to complete most homework without the support of others, however they can ask for support. This can be done by clicking on ‘add comment’ to the work set on our online Homework portal; Firefly.

 

The Setting of Homework

  1. a) The school believes that it is important for pupils to learn independently: hence homework is set on a regular basis.   All homework is set on our online system: Firefly. Parents have their own login in order to keep a track of their child’s homework assignments. The type of work and frequency of setting develops through each key stage.
  2. b) Managing workload: homework is usually set with a time limit in order to fully support the next phase of learning when the teacher requests that the work be submitted online, it is possible to check if this is done before the start of the next lesson.

 

Frequency of Setting

 

Years 7, 8 and 9

Homework for Key Stage 3 pupils involves two-three subjects per night, with a minimum of 20 minutes per subject. When specific homework is not set, pupils are expected to complete independent work from the list of independent study tasks provided and they should be encouraged to read widely, deeply and often.

Teachers set up and maintain a pattern for homework setting with each class.

 

 

Years 10 and 11

Pupils develop ownership of their own learning programme and are expected to organise their own study schedules (incorporating homework set, independent study tasks and revision/exam preparation).

 

In all subjects, homework is set weekly and pupils are expected to spend at least 1½ - 2 hours per night on two-three subjects (40-45 minutes per subject). Some subjects’ homework will be longer or shorter depending on the task and may be set over more than one week. For some pupils, especially those on more academic courses, this may well be exceeded as needs arise.  

 Heads of Year have an overview of workload and are sensitive to the possibilities of “Assessment overload” at certain times of the year.

 

Years 12 and 13

Students must take full control of their learning programme and be responsible for ensuring homework deadlines are adhered to. Supervised study time during the school day supports them in managing this.

 

Students develop the skill of managing set homework tasks and extra independent study in their own time.   Study lessons are used effectively for this purpose. In general, students are expected to spend at least 4-5 hours per week on each subject, increasing as needs demand.

 

Pupils on Vocational Course

Some courses and subjects which are of a practical nature may not always lend themselves to the regular setting of homework. Other courses are assignment based and students need a considerable amount of self-motivation and self-discipline to keep on schedule. Guidance is given by the staff involved.

 

Monitoring of Homework: Setting and Completion

 

  • Subject teachers set the work on Firefly. Students must also record the deadlines in their journals.
  • The work set for students on Firefly for all subjects, is visible to all teachers and it is very easy to track.
  • When a student has completed a task, on paper or online, they click ‘mark as done’.
  • Form teachers and parents check that a student is keeping up to date with their homework on Firefly.
  • Most students keep up with their homework deadlines but they must stay after school for twenty minutes in a ‘same-day’ detention (B1) to complete homework if the deadline is missed. The student is expected to hand in the missing work during the next lesson.
  • This detention is increased to forty minutes (B2) and to an hour (B3) if a homework is missed for a second /third time within one term.
  • Subject teachers refer students who repeatedly fail to meet work deadlines to their Heads of Department.   Form teachers and Heads of Year monitor these students across a variety of subjects and guide pupils into more effective homework programmes and, where appropriate, pupils can be placed on report or referred to the Learning Mentor. Parents are notified on Firefly and the message is copied to e-mail. Staff may also write a note in the journal and may be contacted directly if problems persist.

Heads of Department monitor the setting and completion of homework through departmental self-evaluation, looking at the appropriateness of the tasks set and at the quality of learning achieved.

Heads of Year monitor the setting and completion of homework through pastoral self-evaluation, looking at the learning habits developed by the year group through homework.

 

Monitoring of Homework: Marking and Feedback

Marking and feedback will vary according to the nature of the homework set.

Preparation tasks and flipped learning lend themselves to immediate, verbal feedback. Written homework tasks can be self-marked, peer marked or teacher assessed. 

Where homework is used as part of the Assessment system, records of marks/grades obtained are retained by the subject teachers. Work is marked in accordance with the School’s Assessment and Marking Policy and National Curriculum requirements. In addition to a mark, an appropriate comment is made and the homework is returned to the pupil promptly, within a fortnight. Some marks and feedback will be available on Firefly in the student profile section. This is only possible where teachers have opted to keep an electronic markbook. Where teachers give written feedback in books, pupils are expected to respond to the comment on their homework with a green pen. Teachers check that these ‘green’ responses are correct and useful for future learning.

 

Communication of Homework Policy to Pupils and Parents 

Pupils are taught how to do homework. This is done in a variety of ways:

  • In PSHE and tutor time, discussing homework timetables and time management,
  • In PSHE, learning about study skills and the development of good learning habits,
  • In lessons, showing pupils how to complete a task, discussing how to learn, sharing tips on how to prepare and where to research,
  • In lessons, occasionally trialling a task in class and observing pupils completing it before giving them feedback, discussing how best to approach the task and setting a similar task for homework.

Pupils are also taught to learn to meet deadlines: extensions are rarely allowed and pupils learn to face the consequences of not completing homework. Pupils are also taught the rules about plagiarism and shown how to make good use of Web based resources. 

Support is available at homework club, which takes place every day until 5pm. 

Form tutors work with pupils who have been absent, encouraging them to find out about homework missed.

Heads of Year and Form Tutors outline overall requirements at the beginning of the year and offer guidance and assistance through the PSHE programme, giving out homework advice and checking that all students have their Firefly login. Subject teachers offer specific guidance throughout the year and ensure all pupils understand the tasks set. Sufficient time is given for explaining homework during the lesson, particularly in Year 7. This means that all pupils are clear about what is expected of them.

Parents are formally consulted on the quality of homework at Parents’ Evenings through a survey and Heads of Year respond to parental feedback. 

Parents are encouraged to help by putting in place good study routines and monitoring the amount of time their daughter spends on homework, reporting any concerns to form tutors. Parents can also support the independent study tasks by consulting the Curriculum booklets for each year group available on the school website.

Pupils are consulted within the framework of departmental and pastoral self-evaluations through interviews and/or surveys. Book scrutinies often accompany these.

Homework Tasks and Independent Study Tasks  

Parents may want to read Growth Mind-set by Dr Carol S. Dweck (Chapter 3) to support their daughter’s learning and progress.

 

Key Stage 3 Homework:

Subject

Frequency

Other independent study tasks encouraged

English

Weekly

 

Read for at least 20 minutes every day, quiz on accelerated reader.

Maths

Weekly

 

Revise using Mymaths and MathsWatch videos.

Science

Weekly

 

Websites: bitesize, SAM learning, doodle.

RE

Weekly

 

Wider reading on the topics studied using the Bible and Church teachings. Websites such as BBC RE Bitesize and RE Quest.

MFL (French or Spanish)

Twice weekly

(usually one written homework and one learning homework)

Kerboodle material / Material on Firefly including websites such as www.languagesonline.org.uk/

Geography

Fortnightly

(All pupils should make sure they remember their Doddle log in as it is often used to set HW)

Keeping up-to-date with current events will help pupils in Geography

 

History

Fortnightly

 

 

Wider reading on the topics studied using the school library. Read / watch the news to develop the ability to make links between historical and current events.

Art

Fortnightly

 

Visits to galleries and drawing from observation. There are plenty of free workshops at the London galleries. Sign up for these great opportunities.

Music

Continuous

All pupils should be regularly practising the vocal and instrumental techniques learned in curriculum lessons.

All pupils should attend extra-curricular activities and concerts to improve their musicality and self-confidence.

Those pupils who take instrumental or vocal lessons should be practising for at least 20 minutes per day.

Design and technology

Fortnightly

 

Look at design with a critical eye in your everyday life.

Drama

Continuous (pupils will be working throughout the term towards one substantial piece of work per term)

To develop girls' experience and appreciation of Drama, we recommend that they go to the theatre as much as possible, audition for school plays and participate in lunchtime clubs, which take place three times a week. Drama club for Year 8 is on a Wednesday.

Computing

Weekly

(Pupils are asked to research key points before starting each lesson)

Extended Homework - A specific topic is set each half term.

PE

termly

After school clubs, lunchtime clubs, keep updated about any sporting events using bbc.co.uk/sport.

 


Key Stage 4 Homework:

Subject

Frequency

Other independent study tasks encouraged

English

weekly

Read for at least 20 minutes every day.

Maths

weekly

Revise using MyMaths and MathsWatch videos. Independent practice in student books and revision workbooks.

Science

3 homeworks per fortnight

Websites: bitesize, SAM learning, doodle.

Keep abreast of news related to science and scientific research.

RE

weekly

Wider reading on the topics studied using the Bible and Church teachings. Websites such as BBC RE Bitesize and RE Quest. AQA revision app.

MFL (French or Spanish)

Twice weekly

(usually one written homework and one learning homework)

Purple workbooks and website www.languagesonline.org.uk/ .

Watch movies and listen to music in the original language.

Read online magazines and news in French or Spanish.

Research cultural aspects of the countries where the language is spoken.

Geography

weekly

Pupils should revise topics frequently by re-reading the relevant pages in the textbook and reviewing their exercise books.

Keeping up-to-date with current events will also help pupils in Geography

History

weekly

Read / watch the news to develop the ability to make links between historical and current events.

Sociology

weekly

Read through textbook to review class content and to prepare for lessons.

Wider reading:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers - Sean Covey

Mind Maps for Kids - Tony Buzzan

Read revision/study books: How to achieve 100% in A GCSE - Robert Blakey

Revise GCSE - Study Skills Guide Rob Bircher

Music

Daily - pupils should be practising their first study instrument (or voice) for at least 20 minutes per day. Short, regular periods of practice yield the best results.

Attend concerts in and around London where possible to broaden your musical horizons. Join at least one school ensemble and perform with that ensemble at school concerts. Listen to other pieces by the composers studied at GCSE to gain a deeper understanding of their music.

Drama

weekly

Independent reading and research

Taking direction to hone practical skills

Rehearsing independently.

Art

weekly

Visits to galleries and drawing from observation. There are plenty of free workshops at the London galleries. Sign up for these great opportunities.

Design and technology

weekly

Look at design with a critical eye in your everyday life.

Business studies

Weekly: pupils will have a homework for every unit topic (except when they have CA research to carry out).

Work through mock Controlled Assessment task.

PE GCSE (option)

Fortnightly

GCSE Bitesize PE

ECDL (Computing)

Fortnightly

Work through online ECDL website; watching demonstration videos and preparing for end of unit test. For Computing practice, we recommend working through the Python course on codeacademy.com and the Java course on programmr.com

PE (core)

No homework

After school clubs, lunchtime clubs, keep updated about any sporting events using bbc.co.uk/sport.

 

Key Stage 5 Homework:

See subject handbooks for a list of independent study tasks expected

 

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