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Homework

Sea Point High School is an institution that focuses on academics. This is clearly reflected in our mission statement:

homeworkSea Point high is an innovative and vibrant school which recognises and embraces cultural diversity. We provide a challenging and holistic learning environment.

We instil the necessary skills and values in our learners, to empower them to flourish in a dynamic and demanding society.

Our enthusiastic and caring educators maximise the learners potential to become respectful and responsible citizens.

An educational partnership involving learners, parents and educators is essential in order to accomplish our goals.

Homework forms an integral part of the teaching and learning process. We believe that homework should involve all roleplayers (school, parents and learners) in order to be effective.

DEFINITION

Homework can be understood to be out – of – class tasks that learners are instructed to do by the educator as an extension of classroom work and which will contribute to their learning. Homework can also be seen as part of the partnership between home and school in supporting learners’ learning and development.

RATIONALE

Homework tasks help to complement and reinforce classroom learning, foster good life-long learning and study habits, and provide an opportunity for learners to be responsible for their own learning. Age and developementally appropriate homework tasks and parental interest and support should help to improve the learners’ learning. Homework can strengthen the link between home and school by involving parents in a meaningful way in their children’s education.

Homework should not prevent children from taking part in out-of-school activities that improve their skills, interests and talents, such as drama, debating and dance.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

This policy aims to highlight the importance of homework; the responsibilities of all roleplayers and to serve as a guide to the amount and, kinds of homework tasks given by educators.

We have taken the following into consideration:

The intention of homework should be to reinforce and extend classroom learning and to consolidate basic skills and knowledge, and ultimately should extend to developing a routine of independent home study. The need to ensure that a reasonable number and variety of age and developmentally appropriate tasks are given to the learners.

The school library and computer laboratory can be used as a resource to complete homework tasks.

TYPES OF HOMEWORK TASKS

The following types are recommended:

  • Practical Assignments

E.g. Reading with parents, finding examples of new knowledge in practice and   further investigation of topics that were discussed in class.

  • Preparation Assignments

E.g. Reading of texts in preparation for the next day’s class and reading    research-related  articles.

  • Extension Assignments

E.g. Long range assignments or special projects that provide opportunities to develop and refine research skills and the ability to work independently, whilst applying previous learning.

HOMEWORK IN OBE / FET CONTEXT

Senior and FET Phase – Tasks that include accessing information, oral or written assignments and independednt study; preparation for a next lesson or application of skills, e.g. reference material or working on a project.

RECOMMENDED TIMES FOR HOMEWORK

  • Learners in Senior Phase: 70 – 90 minutes maximum in total
  • Learners in FET Phase: 100 – 180 minutes maximum in total

MONITORING AND EVALUATION PROCEDURES

  1. When homework is given to a learner, the expectation is that it will be completed by the next lesson. It will then be checked by the subject educator.
  2. If it is not completed – the educator will determine the circumstances and punish accordingly.
  3. Educators are to monitor the giving, amount, accuract and quality of homework. Parents / guardians are to monitor the completion of homework.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF ROLE PLAYERS

1. ROLE OF PARENTS

As  per “The Roles and Responsibilities” document of Sea Point High: (No:9:9.2).

To encourage and support homework

  • know the school’s policy on homework
  • encourage positive attitides towards the school and homework assignments.
  • provide optimum conditions for doing homework
  • assist children to establish a homework routine e.g. a specific time
  • encourage efficiency in time use
  • monitor distractions (television, video games and computer play)
  • oversee homework assignments to check for understanding or arrange for somebody else to do so
  • ensure that homework is completed thoroughly
  • sign homework daily

Furthermore, the following is recommended

Parents should

  • understand the importance of homework as part of the child’s schooling;
  • know that the positive attitide, interest and active involvement of parents in homework can help to teach learners that learning is fun and worth the effort;
  • read to and with their children as much as possible;
  • encourage their children to discuss their homework and feedback from the educators with them;
  • assist educators to monitor homework by signing completed work when requested and also being aware of the amount of homework given;
  • discuss with educators any concerns about the nature of the homework tasks, their children’s approach to homework, or the manner in which the homework is evaluated;
  • strengthen their children’s confidence with much praise and encouragement, as confidence is vital to learning;
  • talk to their children about what they read or write, or even involve them, e.g. in the writing of the grocery list;
  • be supportive, but remember that while supervision of homework is needed, it should not be done for the learner, and
  • never allow homework to become an emotional battleground between them and their children, but make it a fruitful learning experience for the child.

2. ROLE OF THE PRINCIPAL

The Principal should

  • initiate, support and monitor the development of a school homework policy;
  • ensure that the diverse home circumstances of learners are taken into consideration when the policy is developed;
  • ensure that there are alternative arrangements regarding space, time and educator supervision of homework for learners with difficult home circumstances, after teaching time, but within the prescribed work time of educators;
  • ensure that the homework policy and homework and assessment calendar is well consulted and cohesively planned by all role-players to avoid an overload of homework for the learners;
  • communicate this policy and calendar to all relevant role-players;
  • distribute and discuss the homework calendar with all parents early in the academic year;
  • monitor the effective implementation of the homework policy and the calendar throughout the year and annually review the effectiveness of the policy; and
  • emphasise daily reading as an integral part of homework for all learners.

3. ROLE OF THE EDUCATOR

Educators should

  • ensure that parents and learners are aware of the school homework policy and the implications thereof for effective learning;
  • consider the home circumstances of the learners when planning homework tasks.
  • plan a variety of homework tasks and ensure that learners understand the purpose and relevancy of the taks for assessment;
  • plan the type of tasks that will challenge the learners to think and integrate prior knowledge and skills;
  • be aware of the homework tasks given by other educators to avoid a homework overload;
  • ensure that the learners have the necessary resources to be able to complete their homework tasks;
  • teach the learners good independent study methods and other necessary skills to successfully complete their homework tasks;
  • provide constructive feedback, give paise to acknowledge good work and motivate learners who are struggling; and
  • alert parents of any developing problems concerning their child’s homework and suggest strategies to improve the situation

4. THE ROLE OF THE LEARNER

Learners should

  • be aware of the school’s homework policy;
  • organise their time effectively to ensure that they have sufficient time to complete their tasks successfully;
  • write homework in a school diary, which should always be kept neatly in a school bag, and not recorded on loose pieces of paper;
  • learn to check their own work for careless mistakes and submit work which reflects careful attention to detail and quality of work;
  • complete and return homework tasks by the due dates indicated on the homework instruction sheet; and
  • seek assistance from educators and parents when they experience difficulties with the homework tasks

PROCEDURES AND INSTRUCTIONS TO PARENTS IF LEARNERS DO NOT COPE WITH HOMEWORK

If learners are struggling to cope with homework the following is recommended:

  • ensure learner has a homework diary
  • monitor homework diary and homework
  • consult with subject educator

References:

1. Circular 0045 / 2005. Subject: Provincial Guidelines for the Management of Homework in Public Ordinary School.

2. Roles and responsibilties of parents towards the school and their child as an enrolled learner.

3. Sea Point High School – Mission Statement

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