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Learning away from the classroom; Fancy term for H/W!

We all have a 1001 ideas, but as all teachers need to remember, the term isn’t condensed into one month, and the long term vision is to take staff on a journey of   developing  of teaching and learning to a fantastic level for all pupils. H/W can sometimes prove an issue that takes over the real in depth analysis of learning in an establishment.

This has raised the question about the amount of homework that KS3 pupils receive in a week. Average is one hour a night, and pupils are told that if the piece runs over this allotted time, then they can stop. But is this valid?
It was always my view that hw should inform or challenge the learning from lessons.
With 2 hrs of maths, 1 hr eng, hist, Geog, sci, art and DT in one week, this overload can be good for the HA pupils, a challenge, but what of those who struggle with their organisation, their time management on even the basic tasks?
Richard Walker (2013), raises the questions;
1. Is homework beneficial for student achievement outcomes?
2. Does homework help to develop the skills of independent, self-directed learning in students?
3. Is parental involvement in their children’s homework activities beneficial for achievement, motivation and the development of independent learning skills?

Taking these into account whilst writing a H/W timetable has provided some sage thinking, as how beneficial can 8 hrs of hw be for a 12 yr old, when the new nat curriculum looks towards developing a love of learning through an interactive curriculum and lessons that enthuse and inspire?
We use Doddle in geography, a fantastic online resource that pupils love, but as hw becomes increasingly directed towards individual thinking skills/project based, is the time of quizzes and summation assessment seen its day?
How important is homework for KS 3 pupils?

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Author:

Assistant Head Teacher, Geographer, all round Educational Enthusiast

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