Tuesday 15 May 2012

Review Summary: Home Learning

It was great to have so many parents engaging with policy reviews – Home Learning is certainly a topic that parents have strong feelings about. For the most part, reviewers were happy with the policy, but many felt differently about its implementation.
Most schools use the SchoolDocs generic topic, but those schools who have a school specific  topic will need to review both the content and implementation of their policy.

Reviewers commented that the aims of the policy were comprehensive and positive, and liked the way the policy spells out the responsibilities of each group (teacher, student, parent) and the connection between home and school. Teachers commented that the policy allowed them flexibility.
Feedback from the parent reviewers showed a wide range of expectations. Some clearly enjoy homeworking with their children and make homework a high priority in their homes. Others resent being put in the role of teacher when this is not a job they are trained for or are comfortable with.
Many parents remarked that the policy was too general and wanted to see specific information about how long homework should take, what should be given as homework, what happens if homework isn’t done, etc. There were strong calls for MORE homework, and for LESS homework.
This isn’t something we can cover in a generic topic. It’s often not even school-specific, we expect it’s a very teacher-specific matter. Clearly it’s important that individual teachers communicate their homework expectations and practises to students and their families, and from my experience as a parent, they generally do. This has often happened at Meet the Teacher evenings early in the year, and in class newsletters.
Some of our schools have schoolwide home learning initiatives, such as Challenge Awards, and we replace our generic topic with their school specific one. If you want to do this, email us your topic and we’ll add it to your site.
We are not making any changes to our generic Home Learning topic but strongly encourage all school principals, boards, and relevant others (teachers) to discuss their school specific feedback and report back to their communities as appropriate.

1 comment:

Marriene Langton said...

Homework only if it is relevant and reinforces current learning or revises previous learning. Reading every night and learning basic facts are important. Some children absolutely love research topics. Portable devices have made learning so much easier and some children love to "do" something on an iPad and bring it to school as a data show. Marking homework is a nightmare and in order to have any value it has to be marked and the findings fed back to students as close to completion as possible.

I feel the same way about parents who chose to take their child out of school for a vacation in term time. I ask teachers not to set them work. I always ask that the parents keep a digital record of the holiday and that the child completes a journal of highlights. I have seen ONE in my teaching career.