Homework Policy 2014

Printable Version

We in Barntown N.S. see homework as a valuable aspect of the learning process and a vital home school link. This current policy is a result a review of the policy that had been in place since 2011. The layout and wording of the original policy have been reorganised to make it more accessible and user friendly for all.

 Why give homework?

  • To re-inforce what the child learns during the day.
  • To provide a link between teacher and parent
  • To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
  • Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and 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 from Monday to Thursday. Normally there is no homework at weekends or on a school day just before a public holiday. However, children in middle and senior classes may sometimes be required to work independently on projects at weekends.
  • Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off” as a treat, because their class is class of the week or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
  • Please note extra homework may sometimes be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort, presented untidy work or acted in a way deemed unsuitable by the teacher.

What is the content of homework?

  • Ideally homework should 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 oral, reading and learning is as important as written work. 
  • Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, oral work, and written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
  • Children often feel that reading, oral work and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.


 How much (time) should be spent on homework?

The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. 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 time spent on homework varies but the following is a good guideline to the maximum time necessary per night, however on occasion the time required may exceed these times.

  • Junior Infants/ Senior Infants ---- 10 to 15mins.
  • First/ Second class ---    20 to 30 minutes
  • Third /Fourth class ---    30 to 40 minutes
  • Fifth / Sixth class - 50 to 60 minutes


The above time should be spent actually working - and assumes that books etc. are out and ready to start.


 Parents and homework

 Parents should try to help their children with homework by:

  • Providing a suitable place and time to do homework: setting aside a quiet time, or quiet area away from distractions like T.V. or other siblings.
  • If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
  • Listening to reading, poetry, spelling and tables.
  • Parents should check their child’s homework and sign the homework journal every night .The pupil’s journal 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 (additional pages available at the end of the journal)
  • Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.


 When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?

  • When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
  • When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
  • If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

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


 When should homework be done?

  • Each family situation is different – both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school 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.



Teachers and Homework


Homework set should - if it is to be of value.

  • be relevant to class work
  • be reinforcing work done
  • be appropriate to the child's age and learning needs
  • be explained to the children in advance
  • be manageable for the average child within the time recommended
  • be noted in the Journal so that it can be checked by the parent and signed
  • be corrected - with comments and feedback as appropriate



** If your child is experiencing regular problems with homework please contact the class teacher.

Ratification and Communication:

This revised policy was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on 8th April 2014. It has been communicated to all staff and pupils and can be down loaded from the school website. It will be monitored and formally reviewed in 2016/17.