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Parents have an important role in assisting the school with homework as it has the potential to affirm the partnership in learning between parents and teachers and to ensure that the importance of family and leisure activities is recognised in the amounts and type of homework that is set. Full consideration should be given to the value and purpose of homework and the principles and practices outlined in this document that ensure homework is educationally beneficial and meets the realistic expectations of students, teachers, parents.

Purposes of Homework


  • Is a valuable part of schooling

  • Allows for practicing and consolidating work done in class

  • Provides training for students in planning and organising time

  • Establishes habits of study, concentration and self-discipline which will serve students for the rest of their lives

  • Strengthens home-school links

  • Reaffirms the role of parents as partners in education

  • Provides parents with insights into what is being taught in the classroom and the progress of their children

General Principles

Homework is most beneficial when:

  • It reinforces and consolidates basic skills and knowledge

  • It is challenging and purposeful, but not so demanding that it has adverse effects on the student’s motivation

  • Students take responsibility for their homework, supported by their parents

  • It is well co-ordinated and teacher expectations are well communicated

  • It is set on a regular basis and establishes a routine of home study

  • Teachers set suitable amounts of homework which are varied and at an appropriate level considering the age, stage of schooling and capabilities of students

  • It takes into account students’ co-curricular commitments, home responsibilities and extracurricular activities such as clubs, sport and part-time employment

  • It is marked promptly and accurately

  • Feedback and follow-up are provided regularly to students

  • It develops and extends the core learning skills of inquiry and independent study.

Types of Homework

The amount of time that students are expected to spend on homework will depend upon the age, ability, home environment and extracurricular activities of students, including family and cultural obligations. It is important that students of all ages have opportunities for free time, leisure and physical activities outside of school.

The three main types of homework are:

Practice exercises - providing students with the opportunities to apply new knowledge, or review, revise and reinforce newly acquired skills, including:

  • Consolidation exercise e.g. maths, including memorisation of tables

  • Practicing for mastery e.g. spelling words

  • Revising information about a current topic

  • Practicing words or phrases learnt in a language other than English

  • Reading for pleasure

  • Essay writing

Preparatory homework - providing opportunities for students to gain background information on a unit of study so that they are better prepared for future lessons, including:

  • Background reading

  • Reading e.g. English text for class discussion

  • Researching topics for a class unit of work

  • Collecting items e.g. geometric shapes.

  • Reviewing video or concepts in preparation for the next lesson

Extension and Enrichment assignments - encouraging students to pursue knowledge individually and imaginatively, including:

  • Writing e.g. a book review

  • Making or designing something e.g. an artwork

  • Investigations e.g. science, humanities

  • Researching e.g. history, local news

  • Information and retrieval skills e.g. using a home computer to find material on the Internet

Monitoring e.g. advertising in particular newspapers.

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