Why give homework?
• To reinforce what the child learns during the day.
• To provide a link between teacher and parent.
• To develop a child’s concentration.
• To develop a work ethic.
• It provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is usually prepared by the teacher in class. However sometimes, with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and to provide opportunities for creativity.
• Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.

How often is homework given?
• Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are two exceptions:
– if homework had been neglected during the week.
– in senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends.
• Sometimes, at the discretion of the class teacher or the Principal, children are given no homework as a treat or as an acknowledgement of some special occasion.
• Extra homework may sometimes be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort, or presented untidy work.

What is the content of homework?
• Ideally, homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks.
• This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is just as important as written work.
• Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items, active homework, oral language tasks and finishing work started in class.
• Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not “real” homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring that this work is done well.

How long should homework take?
Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality (and not the quantity) of homework that matters. The times listed on the following pages are a guideline only but parents should contact the class teacher if their child takes considerably longer than the suggested amount of time.

 

Junior Infants (10/15 mins)

Reading/ Phonics

An information sheet to support phonic work is sent home in September.
Homework is set using various class textbooks and a specifically designed homework book.
Formal class readers will be started after the second term at the teacher’s discretion. Extension readers may also be used where appropriate.

Written work
Written work may include a workbook page or worksheet based on oral work, literacy or numeracy.

 

Senior Infants (20/25 mins)

Reading/ Phonics
An information sheet to support phonic work is sent home in September.
Homework is set using various class textbooks and a specifically designed homework book
Formal class readers will be started from mid-September/October. Extension readers may also be used where appropriate.

Written work
Written work will be set Mon – Thurs from September. This may include a workbook page or worksheet based on oral work, written work or numeracy.

 

1st class (25/30 mins)
Reading:
Formal class readers will be used from September with reading being heard during the week and new pages set as appropriate. Parents should sign their child’s reading log after their child has read for them.

Word games can also be played to encourage fun with reading and to aid the children in remembering tricky words.

Spelling:
The number of spellings children have per week will depend on their level on the spelling programme, ‘Phonic & Sight Word Sequence’ by Diana Rigg. These should be split into easy to handle groups instead of learning all assigned spellings each night (perhaps 3/4 spellings each evening and then revise all spellings on the Thursday evening). The pupils will be taught the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check method in school which should be encouraged at home too. Further details of spelling programmes can be found in teachers’ planning.

Written:
Pupils may be given written activities to revise topics being covered in class.

Tables:
Learning tables for homework begins in January.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd class (30/35 mins)
Reading:
Class readers are used from September with two/three pages set for each night. Class novels are also used and may be given as an alternative to readers on occasion.
Reading for pleasure should also form part of the homework ritual.

Spelling:
As for 1st Class.

Written:
Pupils have written spelling and tables exercises to complete each night. One unit per week is completed in Spellbound and in Table Toppers. Written work and/or research work may be set, based on a topic being covered in class.

 

3rd class (35/40 mins )
Reading: Children will be given reading homework each night.

Spelling: English spellings: As described for 1st & 2nd Class
Gaeilge – the children may receive up to eight spellings to learn per week. These will be tested on Friday in class.

Maths: One Mental Maths unit to be completed per week. This work is tested on a Friday.

Tables: Addition, subtraction and multiplication as appropriate

Written Work: The children will receive one piece of written work up to four times a week based on any topic covered in class.

Study Time: Revision work is set from time to time.

 

4th class (40/45 mins )
Reading: Children will be given reading homework each night.

Spelling: English spellings: As described for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Class
Gaeilge – the children may receive up to eight spellings to learn per week. These will be tested on Friday in class.

Tables: Multiplication and division as appropriate.

Written Work: The children will receive one piece of written work up to four times a week based on any topic covered in class.

Study Time: Revision work is set from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

5th class (50/55 mins)
Reading: Children will be given reading homework each night.

Spelling: English spellings: As described for 1st – 4th Class
Gaeilge – the children may receive up to twelve spellings to learn per week. These will be tested on Friday in class.

Tables: Multiplication and division as appropriate

Written Work: The children will receive one piece of written work up to four times a week based on any topic covered in class.

Study Time: Revision work is set from time to time.

6th class (55/60 mins)
Reading: Children will be given reading homework each night.

Spelling: As described for 1st – 5th Class
Gaeilge – the children may receive up to twelve spellings to learn per week. These will be tested on Friday in class.

Tables: Multiplication and division as appropriate

Written Work: The children will receive one piece of written work up to four times a week based on any topic covered in class.

Study time: Weekly tests may take place on Fridays on topics covered in SESE (History, Geography and Science).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much help should parents give?
Parents can help their children by:
• providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework.
• preventing distractions and interruptions (like television or other children).
Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty. If a child has difficulty with homework, parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. If your child has difficulty with homework, write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.

How is the homework journal used?
• Homework journals are used from First Class to Sixth Class.
• Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening.
• The homework diary is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
• Ideally, all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal.
• Please check that your child has recorded homework neatly on the correct page and tick each item when completed.
• Letters and notes to parents are folded and placed in the homework journal. Please check for notes on a regular basis.
• Please ensure that contact details in the front of the journal are kept up to date or that up to date details are given to the office.

How often do teachers monitor homework?
• Ideally, teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers, it is not always possible to check each child’s homework every day.
• Spelling and tables workbooks may only be corrected on a weekly basis as they are required each evening for homework.
• Some items of homework (and classwork) may be checked by the children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

When should parents communicate with teachers about homework?
• When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
• When your child cannot do homework because (s)he cannot understand some aspect.
• When time being spent on homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

When should homework be done?
Each family situation is different – parents working, child minders etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched and before any computer games. Homework should be done early while your child is still fresh. However, some children need a break before starting homework. Homework should never be left until morning time before school.

REMEMBER
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. If this happens on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.

This policy will be reviewed and updated as necessary.