Homework is mandated by the Queensland Government. It provides students with opportunities to consolidate their classroom learning, pattern behaviour for lifelong learning beyond the classroom, and involve family members in their learning. The setting of homework takes into account the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle. This includes sufficient time for family, sport, culture, recreation and part-time employment where appropriate.
Students can take responsibility for their own learning by:
- discussing homework expectations with their parents or caregivers
- accepting responsibility for the completion of homework expectations within set time frames
- following up on comments made by teachers
- seeking assistance when difficulties arise
- organising their time to manage and balance home expectations, participation in physical activity and sport, cultural and recreational activities and part-time employment.
Teachers can help students establish a routine of regular, independent study by:
- setting homework on a regular basis
- clearly communicating the purpose, benefits and expectations of all homework
- checking homework regularly and providing timely and useful feedback
- setting homework that is varied, challenging, directly related to class work and appropriate to students’ learning needs
- explicitly teaching strategies to develop organisational and time management skills and providing opportunities to practise these strategies through homework
- giving consideration to other academic and personal development activities (school based or other) that students could be engaged in when setting homework
- discussing with parents and caregivers any developing problems concerning their child’s homework and suggesting strategies to assist with their homework.
Parents and Caregivers can help their children by:
- reading with them, talking with them and involving them in tasks at home including shopping, playing games and musical instruments and physical activity
- helping them to complete tasks by discussing key questions or directing them to resources
- encouraging them to organise their time and take responsibility for their own learning
- encouraging them to read and to take an interest in and discuss current local, national and international events
- helping them to balance the amount of time spent completing homework, watching television, playing computer games, playing sport and music and engaging in other recreational activities
- contacting the relevant teacher to discuss any concerns about the nature of homework and their children’s approach to the homework.
Phases of learning
In the Junior Secondary phase of learning (Years 7 to 9) homework can be completed daily or set over a weekly or fortnightly period and may:
- include daily independent reading
- be coordinated across different subject areas
- include extension of class work, projects and research
Homework in Years 8 and 9 could be up to but generally not more than five hours per week.
In the Senior Secondary phase (Years 10, 11 and 12) the amount of time devoted to homework and independent study will vary according to the student’s learning needs and individual program of learning, determined through their Senior Education and Training (SET) plan. While teachers may provide students with additional work relevant to their learning which the student may undertake at home, young people during this phase should generally be independent learners exercising their own judgement as to the out-of-hours time they devote to their studies. Of course, care should be taken to ensure a balance is maintained between the various demands of study, sporting, cultural, recreational and part-time employment activities.
Homework can engage students in independent learning to complement work undertaken in class through:
- revision and reflection to consolidate learning
- applying knowledge and skills in new contexts
- pursuing knowledge individually and imaginatively
- preparing for forthcoming classroom learning
Homework that enhances student learning:
- is purposeful and relevant to students’ needs
- is appropriate to the phase of learning (Early, Middle or Senior)
- is appropriate to the capability of the student
- develops the student’s independence as a learner