Homework is an important part of learning, helping to embed and extend knowledge and understanding, and promote independent study skills. Homework is set frequently, appropriately and regularly across the school. Surveys show that those that complete regular homework achieve more highly, and so we want to encourage our students to complete relevant, meaningful homework and get into good habits of independent learning and research, and meeting deadlines for them.
Our Aims for Homework
- To encourage students to develop the skills, confidence, self-discipline, independence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own. This is vital given the importance for students in the future of life long learning and adaptability.
- To consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding of knowledge developed at school, including time management.
- To extend school learning, for example through additional reading and research.
- To revise independently to prepare for assessments
- To sustain the involvement of parents and carers in the management of students’ learning and to keep them informed about the work students are doing.
- To challenge and raise student performance.
- To manage particular demands, such as course work and revision for public examinations.
Frequency & Duration of Homework
When setting homework, the quality of the activity is far more important than the precise amount of time. The following times provide a guide only:
Years 7 and 8 should receive 20 – 45 minutes per subject per fortnight.
Year 9 should receive 30 – 60 minutes per subject per fortnight.
Years 10 and 11 should receive 30 – 70 minutes per subject per fortnight. This can include research work and revision for assessments, as well as completion and improvement of vocational learning.
Years 12 – 13 should receive up to four hours per day dependent on individual programmes (to include study periods).
Core Content and Concepts in Science, English, Art & History
What are CCCs?
A CCC sheet or ‘knowledge organizer’ is a set of key facts or information that pupils need to know, and be able to recall, in order to master a unit or topic of work at Thomas Aveling. Typically it fits onto one page of A4 or A3 – this helps pupils to visualize the layout of the page which in turn helps them to memorise the key information better. We are trialing the introduction of CCCs in some key subjects, to see if they can have a positive impact, and help students to get to grips with the large amount of extra knowledge, content and skills they now need to show mastery of.
How to use your CCC: Suggested activities for student & parents
Most homework will be linked to some aspects of knowledge in the CCC sheets. Mostly the homework will involve learning of the key content and concepts, and recall of this in low stakes tests in classes such as quizzing and memory tasks. This might also be to learn keyword spellings or to write an extended response that uses some of the knowledge from the CCC.
As a minimum homework, besides any specific tasks the teacher may set as homework, we would recommend that pupils spend 30 minutes per week per subject learning the knowledge detailed in the CCC. They will be provided with a homework exercise book by their teacher. This can be used to write questions from the CCC on one page, and then once finished and after attempting to memorize the CCC, they should write the answers to their questions on the opposite page. Parents can then support at any time by using their questions to quiz students on their knowledge and understanding. They will also be quizzed on their knowledge regularly in class.
Here are some alternative strategies that might also help:
- Read through the CCC with your son/daughter – if you don’t understand the content then ask them to explain it to you – ‘teaching’ you about it helps them to reinforce their learning.
- Try converting the information into a different form such as mind-map or record a video, or make your own version using clip art imagery if the CCC contains a lot of text. Display on the wall or the fridge door until the memory ‘sticks’. Reformatting knowledge helps you to own it and store it meaningfully.
- Test your son/daughter regularly on the spellings of key words until they are perfect. Make a note of the ones they get wrong – is there a pattern to the spelling of those words?
- Get them to make a glossary (list) of key words with definitions or a list of formulae.
- Try recording the knowledge from the CCC as an mp3 sound file that your child can listen to. Some pupils retain more information this way.
- Read sections out to them, missing out key words or phrases that they have to fill in. Miss out more and more until they are word perfect.
- Try look-say-cover-write-check in order to embed recall of key terms and spellings.
- Try the SQ3R method: survey the text, form a question, read it, then immediately recall it by covering the text up, review what you have found out e.g. the answer to your question. This method is particularly effective for remembering large amounts of written information.
For even more information on how to effectively use CCCs, you may want to watch this useful video:
We hope your son/daughter finds the CCCs useful to help them build knowledge and confidence with these subjects.