Secondary School Home Learning Policy


The purpose of this policy is to set out the rationale, guidelines and expectations for setting and assessing student home learning or homework at BISC


Homework is set by class teachers on a weekly basis in accordance with the BISC homework schedule. It is an integral, planned part of the curriculum and the learning experiences of our students. It is set by the teacher, appraised by the teacher, and forms part of the overall curriculum and learning opportunities experienced by each student enrolled at BISC. Our policy is based on guidelines developed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families which were, in turn, based on good practice observed in successful schools in England.
Homework is intended to reinforce work completed in class, and in general should be completed by students at home. We require students to complete homework for a variety of reasons:

  • we wish them to see studying as part of the whole of their lives, not just school;
  • we wish them to reinforce their learning in school by working at home;
  • we wish to involve parents in the education of their children;
  • we wish to assist our students in developing self-discipline and self-organisation;
  • we wish students to relate their life and experiences at home to their work at school.
Homework should be a positive experience for pupils and not detract from their family life. There should still be time at the end of the day for children to relax, play and spend time with their family.

Students’ homework will be written in their personal diaries when set by the class teacher. Deadlines for completion will always be clearly defined and students will use their diaries to record what is expected of them. Teachers will keep a record of how students fulfil their homework tasks as part of their record keeping. Google classroom will also be used to set assignments.
If students are struggling to complete tasks in the given time at home they should be commended for trying and be allowed to stop. It is helpful for parents to communicate this to the relevant teacher through a note written in the student’s exercise book in circumstances where the homework has not been completed with a reason why.
Teachers will set student homework at a level appropriate to their age and understanding. Throughout the school we expect students to take home additional reading books and/or library books as extended reading. We encourage parents to enjoy reading and discussing these books with their children as parent involvement and support often leads students to develop a healthy attitude toward homework.
Homework should be related to school work and should be achievable by the student usually without input from any adult. It should not generally be necessary for parents to teach their children in order for the homework to be achieved, but it is hoped that parents will take an interest in the tasks.
These tasks should help to inform parents as to the nature of the work going on in class and the achievement levels of their children.
Homework may, amongst other things, be reinforcement of content learned in class, it may be gathering information for using in a lesson, or it may be the completion of work unfinished in class. There should always be a purpose to homework- it should never be given out as a ‘time-filler’.

Guidelines: Time

As students progress through the school the load of homework will increase. The amount will vary in relation to the student’s year group. The following are the guidelines teachers follow, in total hours, for each year group:

  • Year 7/8 | 60 minutes per day
  • Year 9 | 60 -75 minutes per day
  • Year 10/11 | 90 minutes per day

In the Secondary School, a homework timetable is provided for students to try to ensure that homework does not over-accumulate on certain days. This should mean that each student has around 3 subjects of per night. Each subject should set a maximum of 2 pieces of homework per week. It is expected that teachers will allow students larger periods of time to complete longer homework tasks.
The guidelines above are set in order to give teachers a structure, and parents and children an idea about how the homework will be set during the year. However, the school will have the flexibility of adjusting the structure based on the students’ abilities, strengths and needs.

Types of homework

Homework might include such things as:
  • Writing assignments.
  • Learning assignments.
  • Preparing an oral presentation
  • Reading in preparation for a lesson.
  • Finding out information/researching a project

It is important that students should have frequent and increasing opportunities to develop and consolidate their competencies as independent learners.

Organisation of homework

All students should have a Student Planner which they should carry with them at all times to record their homework. Tutors and parents/carers are asked to check these on a weekly basis.

School’s responsibilities

  • The subject teacher is responsible for setting appropriate homework and marking it regularly. S/he should keep to the guidelines of time per subject and year as set out above.
  • The teacher should check that students are recording details of homework set in their planners and should allow time in the lesson for students to do this.
  • Teachers have to correct and hand back homework within a reasonable time.
  • Substantial homework tasks should be set to ensure that there is sufficient time in which to do it. This allows students to plan their time, participate in out of school activities if they wish, and still be able to do their homework.
  • Teachers should also allow homework time to prepare for tests.
  • Homework must never be used as a punishment. In the same way, not setting homework for a period should not be used as a reward.

Parents’/Carers’ role in homework

  • Parents/carers should support students with their homework but accept that their role will become less and less important as students become more responsible and independent
  • Parents/carers should try and provide a suitable place where students can work
  • Parents/carers should encourage students to meet homework deadlines
  • If parents/carers feel that insufficient or too much homework is being set, they should contact the subject teacher or the class teacher who will investigate the situation
  • Parents/carers should make it clear to students that they value homework and support the school in explaining how it can help them to progress
  • Parents/carers should encourage students and praise them when homework is completed

Students’ responsibilities

  • Students should always carry their Student Planners with them and record all homework in it
  • Students need to accept that deadlines must be kept
  • If students are absent, they need to find out what work has been missed and catch up on it as soon as possible on their return. Being away on the day that homework is set is not an excuse for not doing it.
  • Problems with homework should be resolved before the deadline. If necessary students should see the member of staff concerned for help.

Students should take a pride in doing their best in the class and in their Homework!

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