Homework and Independent Learning

Homework Policy

Homework is set regularly for all students, for a number of reasons:

  • It encourages students to study independently
  • It should allow all students to succeed, irrespective of background or ability
  • It consolidates and extends work covered in class or prepares students for new learning activities
  • It develops perseverance and self-discipline and allows students to take ownership and responsibility for learning
  • It develops research skills
  • It permits more ground to be covered and more rapid progress to be made
  • It enables classwork to concentrate on those activities requiring the teacher’s presence
  • It opens up areas of study and makes possible the use of materials and sources of information that are not accessible in the classroom
  • It engages parental co-operation and support
  • It creates channels for home - school dialogue
  • It ensures that students are equipped with the study skills they need to successfully approach GCSE and Post-16 courses.

View the full Homework Policy

Homework is set across all year groups, using the 'Show My Homework' software, and will increase year on year as students progress through the College. 

Show My Homework 

Homework Club

To ensure all students have equal access to facilities, a Homework Club is provided in the Learning Centre. All students are welcome to attend Monday - Thursday from 3.10 – 4.00pm in the Learning Centre.

Find out more about Homework Club and other extra-curricular activities.

 

Helping Your Child to Learn – Ten Handy Hints for Parents / Carers

  1. Most Learning Doesn’t Happen At School! Children spend only 15% of their time at school. They spend more time asleep (33 %) than they do at school. Most of their time (52 %) is at home, awake, messing around, playing, and learning about life and it’s what they do with that time that is important. Hometime is as important as school time!
  2. Organising a Learning Space. As your child grows and develops, there will need to be somewhere set up for them to study and do projects. Some children just can’t get themselves organised and may need a parent to take care of the practical aspects of setting up a home study area. The parent may also need to be responsible for keeping it neat. It’s OK for parents to assist by thinking of ways to better organise notes as well.
  3. Lighting. Natural or indirect lighting such as a desk lamp is best for learning. It is best not to study under fluorescent lighting as it is related to raised cortisol levels in the blood stream (an indicator of anxiety and agitation). Cortisol also suppresses language functions. If you are purchasing a desk lamp try to avoid fluorescent lights.
  4. Limit the TV. As children develop, a small amount of television viewing is positively associated with academic achievement. A nine year old shouldn’t watch more than one and a half hours per day. A thirteen year old shouldn’t watch more than one hour a day. At 17 years of age the optimal amount of TV viewing is half an hour per day. So, overall, it is a good idea to keep televisions out of children’s bedrooms. We know that this is a difficult one but it’s worth mentioning, anyway!
  5. Start The Day Well. If your Mum ever said have fish or eggs for breakfast because it’s brain food, she was right! As long as it’s medically safe to do so, a breakfast that is high in protein (think cheese, milk, bacon, eggs) and lower in carbohydrates (think cereal, orange juice and toast) promotes concentration and learning. Also encourage your child to drink lots of water- the brain runs on it! Students who don’t eat breakfast are not only more likely to gain weight, they will also have to work harder than others to do well at school.
  6. Use Music. There is growing evidence to suggest that playing instrumental music softly in the background enhances learning. You might like to use a range of music, though heavy rock or loud beat music are not advised! It is also good to have students study for some time without music; exam rooms don’t have music playing in them.
  7. Make sure they sleep well. A good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours) is essential for optimal brain functioning at school. Teenagers need as much sleep as younger children as their brains are undergoing so much development.. And there isn’t a sleep bank; sleeping less one night isn’t fixed by 10 hours the next!
  8. Limit the use of the computer. Although there isn’t very much evidence about the ‘right’ amount of time to be spent on games, they generally do not contain the skills needed in other areas of life—so limit their use!
  9. Build up their skills. To do well at school, students need concentration, memory and sequencing skills. The best games to do these are Snap, Uno, Chess, Monopoly, Concentration, Battleships and Jigsaws—and not on the computer. To really help, switch off the PC and TV and get out a game!
  10. Take time to make time. Small but effective ways to make a difference include: checking the homework diary and planner, helping check that bags are packed and ready the night before. And did you know—talking about your child’s work with them for around half an hour a day can make up to half a grade’s difference? Our new Online Reporting system can help you with this—and it’s free!!

Further help with independent learning

Click on the titles below to view some useful booklets for students and their parents / carers, each aimed at a specific age range.

Getting Into Homework for 8-13 year olds
Coaching Your Teenager for 14-19 year olds

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