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Introductory Statement The draft policy was drawn up by staff during a School Development Planning Day in the 2nd term of 2010. It was brought to the Parents’ Council for consultation in February 2011. Recommended changes to the guideline times for homework were then brought back to the staff at a staff meeting in May 2011 and adopted. The policy was then finalised and brought to the Board of Management for ratification in June 2011.

Aims of Homework
• To re-inforce and practise what the child learns during the day.
• To provide a link between home and school
• To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
• To challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
• To promote a consistent approach in the school towards homework

Frequency of homework
• Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are two exceptions: • if homework has been neglected during the week
• in senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends
• Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off ” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
• Extra homework may be sometime be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, has not made a suitable effort or has presented untidy work.
Content of homework
• Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading, learning and written tasks.
• This balance is not always possible and can vary 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”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class and will be class and ability appropriate.
• Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents/guardians can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.
• All homework is based on schoolwork and is explained in advance
Time given to homework
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. 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:

Junior Infants  0 - 10 minutes
Senior Infants  Up to 20 minutes
Rang 1  Up to 30 minutes
Rang 2  Up to 40 minutes
Rang 3  Up to 50 minutes
Rang 4  Up to 50 minutes
Rang 5  Up to 1 hour
Rang 6  Up to 1 hour
Parents/guardians and help with homework
• It is recommended that pupils help their children with homework by:
• providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
• to prevent interruptions or distractions, like T.V. or other children
• Children are expected to do written homework themselves and parents/guardians provide help only when the child has difficulty
• If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents/guardians could help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent could write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
Parents/guardians monitoring of homework
The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents/guardians/guardians and teachers. Parents/guardians/guardians are asked to check and sign a child’s homework journal, when requested by a teacher, on a regular basis and also to ensure that the child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed. Teachers monitoring of homework

• Ideally, teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day. • As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week. • Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children. • There is a record kept of regular failure to do homework in teacher’s notes and these are used as a basis for communication with parents/guardians/guardians

Parents/guardians communicating with teachers about homework
• When a child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
• When a child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
• If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

When should homework be done?
• The school recommends that, ideally, homework be done, before any television is watched soon after school, while your child is still fresh. However, some children need a break before starting homework.

The Board of Management, staff, parents and pupils will endeavour to do their utmost to ensure that this policy is upheld. This Policy has been drawn up with the best interest of the whole school community at heart. Should anyone misinterpret the spirit of the wording of this policy we will not be held responsible.
The Policy will be available to the Board of Management, teachers, staff members and on request to parents and effective from June 2011.

The Policy will be regularly evaluated and updated where necessary.

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Presentation Convent N.S. Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.
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