4.5 School Manual: Homework

4.51.1 Policy Outline

At Farrer, homework or prep plays a vital role in enhancing learning by consolidating classroom lessons, preparing students for future learning, and enabling teachers to assess their progress. The term prep is used commonly in the boarding school, and covers assigned homework, assessment tasks and independent revision for examination preparation. 

To bridge the gap between home and school, students are encouraged to use a diary. Students are responsible for managing their time, completing assignments within the given timeframe, to the best of their ability, and a diary is an effective strategy for this. Parents can support their child by providing a quiet study space and checking the diary to ensure completion of required work. Diary use is tied to the Colour Level promotion process, emphasising accountability and consistency. 

Teachers in all faculties, for all year groups, may assign regular homework aligned with learning outcomes. Tasks may include stand-alone activities, exercises extending on class learning, or preparation for future lessons. 

In the boarding school, designated prep time will include small group tutorials, library time, dorm study and large group study in the SMC. For Years 9 and 10 there is fifteen minutes of silent reading at the start of each prep session. Years 7 and 8 complete fifteen minutes of silent reading before they go to bed. 

At Farrer, homework is an essential part of the learning process, empowering students to reinforce their understanding and achieve academic success. We value the collaborative effort of students, teachers, and parents in fostering a positive homework culture.

Please note that this policy is subject to periodic review to meet the evolving needs of our educational community.

4.5.2 Purpose

The purpose of homework at Farrer is to reinforce learning, promote independent study skills, and provide opportunities for students to practise and apply their knowledge. It is designed to extend classroom learning whilst encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management skills.

4.5.3 Homework Guidelines

  1. Quantity: The amount of homework assigned will be reasonable and age-appropriate, taking into consideration the grade level and workload in other subjects. It is important to strike a balance between academic demands and student well-being. 
  2. Time Allocation: Teachers will consider the average time required for completing assigned homework and ensure that it aligns with the expected workload per subject. Students should spend a stage-appropriate amount of time on homework, allowing for other extracurricular activities and rest. 
  3. Clear Instructions: Assigned homework will be communicated clearly and comprehensively to students, including specific guidelines, due dates, and any required resources or references. Students should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. 
  4. Variety of Assignments: Teachers provide a variety of homework assignments, including but not limited to reading, problem-solving, research, writing, and creative projects. This variety aims to engage students' diverse interests. 
  5. Differentiation: Homework assignments may be differentiated based on individual students' needs and abilities. Teachers will strive to provide appropriate challenges and support to ensure each student progresses.
  6. Feedback and Assessment: Teachers aim to provide timely and constructive feedback on assigned homework to help students understand their strengths and areas for improvement. Homework may be used as a formative assessment tool to gauge students' understanding of the topics covered. Formal assessments that operate as a summative task should also be included in homework time, and given adequate application appropriate to the task. Leaving assignments until the night before is not advisable.

4.5.4 Expectations for Students

  1. Responsibility: Students are expected to take responsibility for completing their assigned homework on time and to the best of their abilities. They should manage their time effectively, prioritise tasks, and seek clarification from teachers if needed. 
  2. Time Management: Students should allocate sufficient time for completing homework, ensuring a balance between their academic responsibilities and other commitments. Diaries should be used to keep track of homework tasks and deadlines. In circumstances where students are experiencing an overload of tasks, it is imperative for them to communicate with teachers about deadlines.
  3. Quality Work: Students are encouraged to produce high-quality work that reflects their understanding and effort. They should demonstrate academic integrity, avoiding plagiarism, AI enhancement and/or any form of cheating. 
  4. Seek Support: Students should seek assistance from their teachers or classmates if they encounter difficulties or require additional guidance. They are encouraged to actively engage in discussions and ask questions during class to clarify any misunderstandings.

4.5.5 Collaboration and Parental Involvement

  1. Collaboration: Students may be encouraged to work collaboratively on certain homework tasks to foster teamwork, peer learning, and social skills. However, individual work is also important for personal development. 
  2. Parental Involvement: Parents/guardians are encouraged to support their child's homework routine by providing a conducive environment, establishing a homework schedule, and offering assistance as needed. However, it is important to strike a balance between support and allowing students to develop their independent study skills.

4.5.6 Homework & Wellbeing

  1. Balance: The school recognises the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between academic work, extracurricular activities, and personal well-being. Students should not be overloaded with excessive homework that negatively affects their physical and mental health. 
  2. Teacher Sensitivity: Teachers will be sensitive to students' overall workload and well-being, taking into account any extracurricular activities, family commitments, or special circumstances that may affect their ability to complete homework.
  3. Communication: If students or parents have concerns about the amount or impact of homework, they are encouraged to communicate with the teacher or appropriate school personnel for a constructive resolution.

4.5.7 Boarding School Routines - Prep

  1. Allocated times will be scheduled each week for small group tutorials, study hall and library time. 
  2. Students may receive a grade for their effort and organisation each evening.
  3. In Years 9 & 10, prep time commences with fifteen minutes of silent reading. For Year 7 & 8, this silent reading period occurs after prep, before bed.

4.5.8 Review and Revision

The homework policy will be periodically reviewed and revised based on feedback from students, parents, and staff members. The aim is to continuously improve the effectiveness and relevance of homework assignments in supporting students' learning and development.

4.5.9 Prep

For Boarding students homework, see Prep policy.

Last updated April 2024

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