Homework and Revision

Homework

Most of the information and resources related to learning, homework and revision is made available to students and their parents/ carers through our Firefly site.

This page sets out some basic information about how we set homework for prospective students and parents.

We believe that learning happens when students think hard. Homework plays a key role in students thinking hard about the learning that they have done over the school day.

We also relate homework to our understanding of how students acquire permanent learning. A brief presentation on this can be found at the link below.

We therefore usually set homework with one of four purposes:

Homework that helps students to

  • organise their learning
  • practice their learning
  • retrieve their learning through quizzing and testing
  • develop their wider reading

Because homework is to help students to think hard we ask our parents not to provide excessive help, which might ‘mask’ any learning gaps.

Parents can support homework by providing a quiet (and social media free) environment for homework completion and ensuring that students spend the advised amount of time on completing their homework thoroughly and carefully.

In all key stages homework plays a valuable part in our Formal Curriculum. In Key Stages 4 and 5 we provide clear guidance for students and parents on how every course breaks down in terms of hours of study, including hours of independent study.

We no longer publish a fixed homework timetable because tasks are set online through Firefly, enabling parents, carers and students to check what work is due and when it is due.

We ask parents to ensure that you sign the planner each week: students are encouraged to record the work set in their planners as part of learning to become independent and well-organised young people.  Firefly will provide further details on the tasks set and access to any resources that are necessary.

If you have any concerns relating to homework please do not hesitate to contact the Curriculum Team Leader concerned or, if the concerns are more general, your child’s Head of House.

Students who wish to complete their homework in school can do this by accessing our Study Base. Parents can gain more details about this from your child’s Head of House.

Reading

Students are encouraged to read as much as possible in addition to the homework that is set.  Reading for pleasure has a significant impact on secondary school students’ academic performance.  Parents and carers are warmly encouraged to continue to support their children’s reading when they are at secondary school by continuing to read together and ensuring that children have access to enjoyable and appropriately challenging books.

Revision and retrieval practice

We encourage students to revise regularly with weekly retrieval practice, rather than trying to cram the knowledge they need in the few days before a test or exam.  We support this with the homework tasks we set, regular low-stakes testing during lessons and encouraging the use of on-line resources which support regular revisiting of topics.

There is good research evidence that last minute cramming has little benefit for long-term retention of learning, whereas spaced retrieval practice, built into a weekly study timetable, leads to more permanent learning which also supports the development of related knowledge.  A good summary of these research findings is available here.

 

SubjectKey Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9)Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)
English

Vocabulary quizzes and one Doddle task each week. Students will also complete a Building Academic Challenge project (BACPack) or comprehension booklet during alternate half terms. These will be broken down into weekly tasks as directed by the teacher.

·         Year 7: 30-45 minutes

·         Year 8: 30-45 minutes

·         Year 9: 45-60 minutes

Students are also expected to devote considerable time to personal reading Some Year 7 and 8 students will participate in the Accelerated Reader programme and may be asked to complete quizzes, on the books they have read, outside lessons.

On occasions, teachers may choose to set additional tasks to help students prepare for assessments and examination.

Students will complete weekly vocabulary and quote quizzes.

There should be one homework per week set at the teacher’s discretion to support students’ preparation for assessments and examination. If no written tasks are set, students are expected to read the texts they are studying for the literature GCSE.

Students are also expected to devote considerable time to personal reading for pleasure each week and parents are encouraged to help ensure students have a good supply of good quality reading material; the school’s LRC and Wilmslow Library are able to assist with this.

Mathematics

Two homework tasks per week; each task should take 15-25 minutes.

On occasions teachers may choose to combine the two homeworks into a single larger piece of work, but there should normally be two relatively short tasks per week.

Two homework tasks per week; each task should take 25-35 minutes

On occasions teachers may choose to combine the two homeworks into a single larger piece of work, but there should normally be two relatively short tasks per week.

ScienceTwo short homework tasks per week, each taking 15-20 mins or a single larger piece of work taking approximately 40 minutes.

Three pieces of homework per week: One for each of biology chemistry and physics.

For double science students this should be about 40 minutes per task and for triple/ separate science subjects this should be 60 minutes per task.

Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.

ArtOne hour of homework every two weeks.One homework task will normally be set each week which should take students 60-90 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
GCSE BusinessN/A

Year 10. One piece of homework per week that will take 40 – 60 minutes.

Learning key terms once a fortnight – assessed and recorded in Progress Booklet.

In addition, a challenge task is set every half term in order to consolidate learning and enhance independent learning skills. Assessed and recorded in progress booklet.

Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for half term assessments and examinations.

Year 11 is similar to Year 10, however challenge tasks are replaced by additional examination practice using past paper questions.

BTEC Digital Information Technology and BTEC EnterpriseN/AShort research tasks will be regularly set to support the coursework that is done in class and in supported study after school.  For the examined unit, students will be expected to revisit classwork learning key terms and knowledge organisers and practising exam technique taught in lessons.
ComputingStudents in Years 7 and 8 will be set one homework per week. The homework will be completed online using ‘Yacapaca’ (login details will be issued at the start of term). Each homework should take between 20 and 30 minutes. If students are unable to access the internet from home, they should use the school’s ICT facilities to complete homework either at lunchtime or after school.

Students in Year 10 will be set either one longer homework per week, which should take between 40 and 60 minutes to complete, or two shorter homeworks per week which should take between 20 and 30 minutes each.

Students in Year 11 will not be routinely set homework, however they may occasionally be asked to complete research or other tasks to support their controlled assessment work. In addition, students in both Year 10 and 11 will be expected to attend after school study support sessions to improve controlled assessment work when necessary.

Design & Technology

One homework task will normally be set each week

This should take students 20-30 minutes.

One task per week, expected to take 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
DramaHomework is set to inform future lessons or to prepare for performance tasks.One task per week, expected to take 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations including attending rehearsals, completing prep script work etc.
GeographyEach unit of work will include a 3-4 week extended homework project. The students will record this in their planners so that parents can see what they have got to do over that period of time. For the remaining weeks of the unit teachers will set a 30-45 minute homework once a week on the night that is designated in the school homework timetable.One homework task will normally be set each week which should take students 60-90 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
History

One homework task will normally be set each week

This should take students 20-30 minutes

One homework task will normally be set each week which should take students 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
Media StudiesNot studied at Key Stage 3One homework task per week. Usually this will consist of preparation work for coursework, i.e. creating mock-ups/ storyboards, taking photographs/ filming for practical pieces and analysing existing media texts.
Modern foreign languages (MFL)Years 7-9 are assessed regularly on vocabulary and grammar. Homework is to prepare for the tests set through independent revision using their book and language guide. We advocate spending 1-15 minutes a day and chunking the revision. Students will also be set one open ended task per half term which can be completed over approximately 4 weeks.For years 10 and 11 we recommend revising vocabulary and grammar after each lesson for 10-15 minutes. Additionally students will be set one other task per week on either listening, reading, speaking or writing. We also recommend that they undertake independent listening tasks each week from the recommended websites. At times students will need to spend  longer preparing speaking questions for their speaking examination. Year 11 will be required to revise these for their fortnightly mentoring session.
MusicMusic lessons at Key Stage 3 are predominantly practical. Homework may be set occasionally to support learning.One task per week, expected to take 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
PEHomework is not routinely set in core PE lessons but students will occasionally be asked to undertake research to prepare for a subsequent lesson.For GCSE PE one task will be set per week, expected to take 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.
Sociology/RSHomework will be set 2 times every 4 weeks. This will involve learning homeworks and/or written tasks.One task per week, expected to take 40-60 minutes. Additional time will need to be devoted to preparation for assessments and examinations.