Leeds West Academy

Homework

“The impact of homework on learning is consistently positive and can lead to an average five months' additional gain in student progress.” The Educational Endowment Fund, Teaching and Learning Toolkit, 2016.

At Leeds West Academy, the staff strongly believe that students who develop good routines around completing high quality homework are more likely to achieve better outcomes. We also accept that ensuring all our students consistently complete great homework is a large challenge and we work very hard to ensure students are set regular, meaningful homework and are supported and challenged to achieve excellence.

 

Our main principles:
-Homework should be used to extend or consolidate students’ knowledge and skills.
-At key stages three and four, weekly homework should usually take thirty minutes to complete per piece set.
-Normally, students should be given one week to complete their homework.
-If students are preparing for an exam or an assessment they would be expected to spend longer than 30 minutes revising.

 

How much homework should students do?
-In years 7-10 students should normally complete around 5 hours of homework each week.
-In year 11 students should seek to complete around 10 hours of homework per week.
-In year 12 and 13, students should complete around 15 hours of homework per week.

 

How do we support students with homework?

  • We share good examples of homework, so our expectations are clear.
  • We acknowledge homework and track its completion, helping students to maintain a good routine.
  • We provide every student with a planner so they can write their homework down.
  • We provide every student with a homework folder to help them stay organised.
  • We continually reflect and seek to improve our homework processes.
  • Year managers, school leaders and coaches identify and support students who are struggling with homework.
  • We make reasonable adjustments, in line with our SEN policy, for some students.
  • We provide a homework timetable so that staff, students and parents know when to set homework.
  • We provide all students with an after school study-hub so that they can complete their homework should they wish to.
  • We will acknowledge all homework, either through being marked by the teacher, through a test of the learning, through some form of presentation, or through peer/self-assessment.

 

What can parents and carers do to help with homework?
Check your son/daughter’s planner each day, ensuring that homework is being written down.
Provide a quiet space and relevant stationery so that your son/daughter can complete their homework.
Discuss homework with your son/daughter.
Discuss homework at Consultation Evening and Meet Your Coach days

Contact the academy if you have any queries or concerns.

 

How do we celebrate great homework?

The staff may mark the homework and praise it
The staff may give reward stamps
A lesson activity may directly link to the homework, demonstrating its value to the students.
Teachers may send great homework to the Leadership team so that they can praise the students too.
Particularly good homework will be presented in assembly every week. 

 

What if students do not complete their homework or miss a deadline?

Students will receive a homework comment (code – H) in their planner.
Staff will log a missed homework on Behaviour Watch.
Students who miss 3 pieces of homework per half term (and further multiples of 3) will receive a homework detention which will take place after school.

 

Further details around the setting and management of homework:

Key stage 3

At KS3 students will be set weekly homework in English, Maths, Science, Project, Spanish, History and Geography. At KS3 technology, ICT, PE, drama and art will set longer project-based homeworks (with regular check-in points and a final hand-in point).

Key stage 4

At KS4 all subjects should set one 30-minute homework per week (see the timetable for when you should set it). Normally, students should be given a week to do this homework. Students should also be encouraged to regularly review their notes and will be expected to spend amounts of time preparing for assessments and exams.

Key stage 5
Independent learning is crucial to a student’s success in post-16 education. We expect students to do between 12-15 hours of homework per week, every week. We also expect students to work hard on homework in the holidays.

 

Year 7 & 8 Homework Timetable
Keystage 4 Homework Timetable
Option Blocks

 

 

Planning for exam success: revision

 

Students who are motivated to revise effectively will do better in their exams and therefore as an Academy we do a lot of work to help students:

  1. Want to revise
  2. Know how to revision
  3. Plan their revision
  4. Review their revision

“Look, cover, write, repeat”

 

This work shows how a student has written a list of words three times to help retain the spellings. Each time, the student has covered the original list so as to try and remember how to spell it. This is done a lot at primary school, but it is also a brilliant technique to use at secondary school.

Mind-maps a great way to retain knowledge

 

A mind-map is a great revision tool because students can revise an entire topic onto an A3 piece of paper, and once it’s complete it can be stuck on a bedroom wall as a visual reminder of the learning.

 

 

Colour coding aids memory

 

Colour coded mind-maps are also highly effective revision devices as students can map out sub topics in different colours and then associate each sub-topic with a particular colour.

 

 

Flash cards are good for condensing knowledge

 

Flash cards are a brilliant way to try to remember lots of information in a condensed form. We encourage students to make them for the different topics they have to revise.

 

 

Writing essays and practising exam papers are a brilliant revision tool

 

There’s no better way to check your understanding than to apply your knowledge and skills by actually completing a past paper or practise question.

 

 

Using acronyms is proven to help the brain store more complex information

 

We encourage students to think up their own acronyms for topics as the brain can store them in the long term memory. For example, many people use “Never East Shredded Wheat” as a method to remember North, East, South and West. We apply this concept to lots of topics within the differing GCSE curriculum.

 

 

Many subject areas provide revision guides for students to help with the revision process

 

Revision guides are highly useful because they concentrate the knowledge down into core facts and processes that students need to know.

We encourage students use a “Look, Cover, Write, Repeat” strategy to try to retain this factual knowledge.

 

 

Every student is given support in helping them to create and use a revision timetable

 

All students have to sit a lot of exams and in order to prepare for each one effectively they should block out time in the week to revise each subject. This organised approach will help them develop a structured routine and alleviate stress as they feel more fully prepared.