Homework at Merit PRU.
It is generally accepted that homework enhances student learning, improves achievement and develops student study skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum. Homework is work set to be done outside of the timetabled curriculum. It contains an element of independent study, in that it is not directly supervised by a teacher. However, we also recognise that not all homework is done at home; in fact, for some students who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks that may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at school, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the work at school.
At Merit, we have a very flexible approach to homework. It is accepted that on entry to Merit, there is a period of "settling in" when students' health needs are our main priority. During this period of academic and social/emotional assessment, we believe that homework is a lesser priority for a students' overall wellbeing. We accept that homework can be an additional burden during this period of transition into Merit. This said, if a student or parent request homework, it will be provided. A bank of homework tasks are available.
All secondary schools and academies within the city have a homework policy. Additionally, when students move into their chosen college, there will be an expectation that some independent work will be carried out at home or in "free" time. With this in mind, homework tends to be set more routinely, in Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) when a student is judged to be settled and on the road to recovery, to prepare them for their life beyond Merit. As an example, students in Year 11 are expected to revise at home, but to support and enhance this, booster revision sessions are held as period 6 and during the Easter holidays.
Homework enables students to:
- Consolidate and extend work covered in the classroom
- Access resources not available in the classroom
- Develop research skills
- Have an opportunity for independent work
- Show progress and understanding
- Provide feedback in the evaluation of teaching and learning
- Enhance study skills eg planning, time management and self discipline
- Take ownership and responsibility for learning
- Engage parental support
- Create channels for home-school dialogue
Homework tasks can be:
- Independent learning
- Consolidation of work in class/revision
- Practice-learning by doing
- Using ICT
High quality homework and a positive work ethos are sensitively praised in class and where appropriate, will be included in display work. Additional points are awarded for achievement and sustained effort in producing quality homework. For exceptional pieces of work, letters of commendation and praise postcards may be sent home.
When homework is set, students should:
- Listen carefully and take note of all instructions
- Record the deadline date
- Ensure homework is completed to the best of their ability
- Inform the subject teacher or team leader of any difficulties.
We maintain that a student's wellbeing is always a priority and all concerns will be addressed sensitively and in a supportive manner.
The subject teacher will :
- Provide the stimulus
- Give detailed instructions
- Set realistic deadlines
- Mark and return homework quickly
- Provide help and support, such as offer individual or paired tutorials during lunch time or after school. This usually applies to Year 11.
The role of parents is crucial. Parents can assist by:
- Ensuring that there is a quiet place to work, ideally with a desk
- Agreeing a set time to complete the work to avoid disputes!
- Taking an interest in the work
- Informing the school of any concerns as soon as they arise.