Homework Policy - St Patricks BNS

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Homework Policy

School Policies


Homework is given in St. Patrick’s B.N.S. to:
- reinforce what the child learns during the day
- provide a link between the child’s learning and parental input
- develop a child’s ability to concentrate and apply a positive work ethic

Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. The teacher in class usually prepares it. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity. In line with our school ethos, children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less. "Ó gach duine a dhícheall"-From each person their best.

Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. Occasionally homework will include thematic oral language activities (traditional games, photocopiable games, specific topics for discussion etc.). This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, 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", collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
Homework must never be an introduction to unfamiliar material. Provided that children have a good comprehension of the content, memorisation is to be encouraged (tables, grammar rules, mnemonics, poems, songs, religion questions).
Homework will be assigned from Monday to Thursday. Homework will not be given at weekends if the class teacher is satisfied that work has been completed conscientiously during the week. Nor will it be given on a school day just before a public holiday. Occasionally, middle and senior classes may be required to work independently on projects at the weekend.   

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 only.

In line with the National Parents Council Primary Homework leaflet guidelines, the average amount of homework given in each class shall be as follows:
Rang 1  & 2  20-30   minutes
Rang 3 & 4  30-40  minutes
Rang 5  & 6  50-60  minutes

In order that parents be acquainted with the homework which their child has to do, homework journals shall be used in each room.  The children will write down their homework each evening before dismissal and shall have it signed by a parent upon completion.  If homework isn’t completed/ presented the class teacher shall write a signed note in the homework journal to that effect, that note is to be countersigned by a parent that night.  If homework is repeatedly undone or incomplete the parents/guardians shall be contacted by the class teacher to discuss solutions.  
If for some reason such as illness, family circumstances etc. the child cannot complete his homework then the child’s teacher should be informed of this through a message in the journal. Occasions may arise when your child cannot do his homework because he cannot understand some aspect or you feel the time being spent at the homework is longer than the recommended amount of time; there again, please notify the class teacher through a message in the journal.
The Homework Journal is also a valuable means of communication between Parents/Guardians and teachers. Ideally, all written messages to the child’s teacher should be put in the Homework Journal in the "Friday" or "Comment" sections of a particular week.
It is important to be aware that any St. Patrick’s B.N.S. notices, messages or other letters to Parents/Guardians are folded and placed in the current day of the Homework Journal. Parents/Guardians are asked to check their child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis.

Homework is an ideal opportunity to offer parents an insight into what their child is doing in school and to ultimately support the child in his learning. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child’s homework is completed to the best of his ability. All assigned homework, whether it is written, reading, material to be learned etc. is of equal value and importance. In line with our ‘Plean Scoile’ there will be a specific emphasis placed on neat presentation in both class work and homework. This will be emphasised in all classes. Our school motto, ‘Ó gach duine a dhícheall’, from everyone their best, is the core focus for all in relation to the children’s work, both class work and homework.   
Parents/ Guardians are asked to check that their child records homework neatly in the correct page.
Parents/ Guardians can help their children with homework by providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework and by trying to prevent interruptions or distractions, like T.V., access to electronic devices or other children. Ideally, homework should be completed as soon as possible after school while your child is still fresh; however, some children need a break before starting homework. Homework should never be left until morning time before school.
Parents/Guardians should check that each item of their child’s homework has been completed including reading and learning homework.
Parents/Guardians can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
Parents/ Guardians should encourage their child to do written homework themselves. However, support, encouragement and guidance should be given.
Once homework is completed then Parents/ Guardians should sign their child’s Homework Journal. This should be done every evening.
In September, 1 st class teachers meet parents and give guidelines on homework.

Individual teachers may decide to ascertain the relevant amount of homework to be done within the allotted time by means of an in-class trial run.
Teachers will monitor children when taking down homework to ensure, as best as is possible, that it is correctly written into the journal.
Homework journals are checked frequently by teachers to ensure that work has been completed, journals have been signed and that any notes, messages from parents are swiftly communicated so that issues can be addressed.
Teachers will endeavour to pitch homework activities so that it is attainable by all of the class. To ensure that this is the case, differentiated homework (variations in quantity, tasks, content etc.) may sometimes be given. On occasion, some children may be allocated specific projects or assignments while others may be assigned specific grammar, tables, spellings etc. so as to practise and reinforce core material.
The child will:
Carefully write his homework in his journal each evening.
Be responsible for taking home what’s needed e.g. correct books, copies etc. Tús maith leath na hoibre-A good start is half the work.
Endeavour to complete all of his homework to the best of his ability (written, reading, material to be learnt etc.)
Present his work neatly.
Once his homework is completed he will show it to his parents/ guardians and present his homework journal to be signed.
Ensure that he packs his books etc. into his schoolbag and presents his homework in school the following morning.
Following input from parents and staff this policy was ratified by the BOM in October 2019.  The final draft will be communicated to all parents (via the school website/ hardcopy available if requested) and staff (accessible on the Plean Scoile folder on the server).

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