Homework can be of great benefit to pupils at all stages and levels of learning. It is the policy of St. Columba’s School to issue homework to pupils from Monday to Thursday. The policy is based on the following principles:
Types of Homework
As well as writing and memorising, homework can involve practical tasks. Some examples are given below.
Written homework can include completing comprehension questions in English or Irish, or other areas of the curriculum, e.g., history, geography or science. Homework in mathematics usually involves completing computational or problem-solving exercises.
This type of homework is equally important. The time devoted to it and the eventual outcome can vary considerably, depending on what is needed. Children are often very motivated to complete these types of tasks.
Examples of practical homework include
Memorisation or learning-by-heart homework can often be completed in a very short space of time, but requires the support of an adult to check that the child has correctly learned the facts or to act as ‘audience’. This can entail the learning of tables in mathematics, the words of songs, hymns, poetry or lines in a play, or lists in context, for example counties of Ireland. Short items for memorisation can benefit from being ‘topped-up’ outside of normal homework times, for instance, while travelling to or from school.
In senior classes, study skills such as locating information in a passage, finding the main points, or distinguishing between fact and opinion can form part of homework. Although children may not have ‘something to show’ at the end, these skills are very important for learning as children progress through school or college, and for lifelong learning.
Homework in all classes
Rewards and Sanctions (This applies mainly in senior level classes)
Teachers may operate a reward system for pupils who are consistent in their efforts and application to homework. In general, and as a precautionary measure, where a pupil cannot offer a written explanation for incomplete homework on three or more occasions in succession, parents will be contacted.
The following outline of suggested homework should be taken as a guide, allowing room for flexibility where necessary.
Homework in Junior and Senior Infants Suggested Time: 5-10 minutes
Homework in First and Second Classes Suggested Time: 15-20 minutes
Homework in Third and Fourth Classes Suggested Time: 30-40 minutes
Homework in Fifth and Sixth Classes Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes
Reviewed by Staff September 2018
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