Homework refers to tasks given to pupils by their teachers to be completed outside of usual lessons. Common homework activities in primary schools tend to be reading or practising spelling and number facts, but may also include more extended activities to develop inquiry skills or more directed and focused work such as revision for tests.
How effective is it?
It is certainly the case that schools whose pupils do homework tend to be more successful. However, it is not clear whether use of homework is a reason for this success. A number of reviews have explored this issue. There is stronger evidence that it is helpful at secondary level but there is much less evidence of benefit at primary level.
There is some evidence that when homework is used as a short and focused intervention it can be effective in improving students’ attainment, but this is limited for primary age pupils. Overall, the general benefits are likely to be modest if homework is more routinely set.
The quality of the task set appears to be more important than the quantity of work required from the pupil.
How secure is the evidence?
Homework has been extensively researched. There is a relatively consistent picture that pupils in schools which give more homework perform better, although for primary age pupils the difference is small. However, there are only a small number of studies which have investigated whether this relationship is due to the homework itself, rather than other school factors. These studies compare classes where homework is introduced to similar classes where homework is not given. They tend to show that homework can be beneficial, but this finding is less secure than the first, because of the smaller number of studies and the quality of the evidence.
Parents can have a positive effect on homework completion and help children to develop effective learning habits.
The broader evidence base suggests that short focused tasks or activities which relate directly to what is being taught, and which are built upon in school, are likely to be more effective than regular daily homework.
How much homework should my child have?
With younger children, homework gives parents the chance to get actively involved in their child’s learning and it gives the child a chance to talk about their learning and to practise basic skills.
As children grow older, homework is an opportunity for them to develop the skills of independent learning, so that by the time they are in Year 6 and ready to move to high school, they have developed a good ‘homework habit’.
The following guidelines for the amount and type of homework that children should get are from the Department for Education:
Year 1 & 2(Age 5-7)
1 hour a week
Reading, spelling, other literacy work and number work
Year 3 & 4(Age 7-9)
1.5 hours a week
Literacy and numeracy work, and occasional assignments in other subjects
Year 5 & 6 (Age 9-11)
30 minutes a day
Regular weekly schedule with continued emphasis on literacy and numeracy but also ranging widely over the curriculum. At Chase View we value hearing children read is priority. We do set work on Spelling Shed and Maths Shed regularly for children to enjoy (see Remote Learning page),
We also have homework projects that children and parents can engage in for their year groups.