TWSS Homework Guidelines
DEFINITION OF HOMEWORK
1. Homework refers to any learning activity that students are required by the school to complete outside of curriculum time. This includes assignments, projects, online research, e-learning, but not revision of school work or studying for tests and examinations.
OBJECTIVES OF HOMEWORK
2. Effective use of homework can help students to:
- reinforce learning and deepen understanding of lessons taught;
- regularly practise, and apply skills and concepts taught;
- develop good study skills and habits; and
- have greater ownership and responsibility for independent learning.
3. Judicious use of homework allows teachers to:
- consolidate learning that has taken place in class;
- check for students’ understanding and progress, so as to provide timely feedback, intervention and support; and
- review effectiveness of lesson.
4. Homework also provides parents with:
- timely information on the learning progress of their child; and
- opportunity to be involved in the child’s learning.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF STAKEHOLDERS
5. Educators, parents and learners all play an important role in ensuring that homework serves its intended purposes.
6. Teachers should:
- design appropriate and meaningful homework;
- set realistic deadlines for submission of homework;
- establish and communicate clear expectations to students;
- check homework and provide timely feedback to students; and
- provide timely intervention and support to students.
7. Students should:
- understand the purpose of homework and what is expected of them;
- keep track of homework instructions and deadlines;
- manage time well to ensure that homework is completed and submitted on time;
- give his/her best effort in completing homework; and
- review feedback from teachers on homework submitted.
8. Parents should:
- create a home environment conducive for studying and completion of homework, such as having a proper study table that is well-lit;
- supervise and provide support for child’s learning, such as checking returned assignments and tests, and not allowing to give excuses for not completing their homework;
- reinforce good study habits and attitudes, such as establishing a standard daily routine at home which includes doing homework;
- be mindful of the stresses arising from school homework and out-of-school activities, and help their children prioritise their time among these activities; and
- work in partnership with teachers to support child’s learning and development, such as alerting the teachers if they notice their child experiencing constant difficulties.
9. Research in the UK and US suggests that the number of out-of-school hours per day spent on homework is positively related to student academic achievement, and generally estimates 1 to 2 hours as the optimal amount per day.
10. Currently, the homework norms for students are within the average of 1 to 2 hours daily, or not more than 13 hours per week (including weekends). However, the following should be noted:
- Graduating students and students who are academically weaker may be assigned more homework to help close their learning gaps and to complement their self-revision;
- Homework is not the same as revision, so students should take a balanced approach to ensure that they constantly revise and review their past learning while keeping up with current lessons.
11. The school leaders and department heads are committed to constantly monitoring the implementation of homework guidelines across all levels and subjects, and will undertake regular reviews to ensure the intended outcomes are met.