Guidelines on Homework Policy
To help teachers and parents to use homework positively and to help students to learn better.
Teachers should reflect on the guidance and feedback they have been giving to students on their homework.
The school should also formulate a homework policy that takes into consideration the learning needs of students and the involvement of parents.
(B) The Importance of Meaningful Homework
Homework is an important component of the learning process. It does not just refer to textbook/workbook exercises or worksheets; it can also include revision of lesson materials, preparatory work for the coming lesson, recitation, prescribed texts for reading, etc.
Meaningful homework helps students to construct knowledge, develop deeper understandings and connections amongst the concepts to which they have been introduced, and provides an opportunity for them to apply the skills they have acquired.
The functions of homework include the following:
It develops and reinforces students' learning.
It helps students understand their own progress and identify areas for improvement.
It consolidates classroom learning and / or prepares students for new learning.
It helps teachers identify students' problems that need to be addressed and indicates what teaching should focus on.
It provides information on the knowledge students have acquired and the skills, attitudes and values they have developed.
It allows parents and school to work together to find ways to help students improve or encourage them to develop their potential further.
(C) Frequency and Amount of Homework
It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. It should not overburden students causing fatigue, or be used as a punishment. Each subject department should state in the minutes of the 1st Panel Meeting clearly the frequency of homework, project, worksheet, etc., assigned to students at different levels. Inspection of homework will be conducted in each school year for appraisal and developmental purposes.
(D) Guidance and Feedback on Homework
Teachers should ensure that students know the meaning and purpose of homework, which is to help them to improve their learning. They should let students understand their expectations of homework early in the year. Teachers should tell students their homework expectations (e.g. quality and punctuality in completion).
Constructive feedback should be given to students to help them to understand their strengths and / or weaknesses and to improve their learning.
Feedback may be given in the form of grading and written comments by teachers or a peer. Feedback should include specific suggestions to students as to how they should go about addressing problem areas. To enhance learning effectiveness, feedback should be provided to students as soon as possible.
Recognition should be given to students with outstanding performance to stimulate their motivation.
Encouraging remarks and praise should be given to those who have made attempts to improve.
(E) The Role of Parents in Homework
As most of the homework is done at home, parents may be playing an important role in helping students develop good study skills. The school would make good use of the communication opportunities such as the regular Parent-Teacher Association meetings, Parents' Day, etc. to suggest how parents might assist their children in doing homework assignments. The homework policy is listed in the S1 Parents’ Handbook which provides means for parents to keep track of their children’s learning progress.
(F) Completion of Homework
To ensure that students can learn effectively from doing homework, the school demands that all students must finish their homework and submit it on time.
If students fail to submit their homework assignment, the teacher will prompt the students to finish their homework and submit it on the next school day. Teachers may also ask students to finish their homework after-school where necessary.
Teachers should help students overcome difficulties in finishing homework.
If students fail to hand in their homework on time, it should be counted only once in the late –submission record.
Students who have been late handing in homework 8 times will be given a black mark. For every 3 more times for being late, an extra black mark will be given. Students who have been late for 5 times or above are required to attend the Detention class after school.
Failure to submit Parents’ signature, reply slip of School Circular, etc., are not counted in the late–submission record.
The Principal, Vice-principal or Associate Vice-principals (academic) will take follow-up action if any student is found not handing in her homework on time seriously.