Homework
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Homework

The purpose of homework changes as a child progresses through their school life. We want our students to enjoy learning and see the value of learning beyond the classroom; we want students to develop a strong and disciplined work ethic and we want to help support students in being able to study independently.

Homework tasks have been simplified to align with the development of whole school literacy and knowledge retrieval practice that evidence suggests is the most effective learning strategy; retrieval practice strengthens connections to the long-term memory making it easier for students to recall information.

As evidence suggests, students will forget much of the knowledge taught if it is not reviewed regularly and practice testing is one of the most highly effective learning techniques (Dunlosky et al 2013). Homework will be designed in the form of knowledge retrieval practice to allow students to strengthen connections to long-term memory and to retain more information over time. Retrieval practice homework will not be marked by teachers, although there is an expectation that students present their work.

We cannot stop the process of forgetting, but we can reduce it by regular review and retrieval:

• Homework activities may include students creating flashcards on a topic area using the knowledge organiser
• Students regularly self-test using these flashcards and retrieval practice questions.
• Teachers plan ‘retrieval’ tasks at the start of lessons to help students to remember
• Homework activities encourage and allow students to prepare for the retrieval tasks and recall knowledge

Homework (Per year group)
Years 7 & 8
Promoting a love of reading for pleasure (40 minutes per day), knowledge retrieval practice (10 - 20 minutes per day and skills practice.
Years 9 & 10
Establishing a knowledge base through rehearsal and retrieval practice (every subject, 1 set piece per week, 60 minutes per day), skills practice and coursework (if applicable).
Year 11
Establishing a knowledge base through rehearsal and retrieval practice, independent revision and coursework (guideline = 15 hours per week).
Years 12 & 13
Independent learning, wider reading, rehearsal and revision, exam questions, coursework, note taking (1 hour study per 1 hour of lesson time).
Homework
Years 7 & 8
Promoting a love of reading for pleasure (40 minutes per day), knowledge retrieval practice (10 - 20 minutes per day and skills practice.
Years 9 & 10
Establishing a knowledge base through rehearsal and retrieval practice (every subject, 1 set piece per week, 60 minutes per day), skills practice and coursework (if applicable).
Year 11
Establishing a knowledge base through rehearsal and retrieval practice, independent revision and coursework (guideline = 15 hours per week).
Years 12 & 13
Independent learning, wider reading, rehearsal and revision, exam questions, coursework, note taking (1 hour study per 1 hour of lesson time).

Retrieval Strategies

For retrieval practice teachers will guide students towards specific sections of the knowledge organisers (within the knowledge folder) to create flashcards (or conduct other retrieval practice). Teachers should ensure that students record this in their planner.

The four main strategies that we will ask students to use in order to carry out their retrieval practice are included within the graphic.

There are some subjects, such as Maths, where there is a need to rehearse and repeat skills and therefore students may be set an appropriate skills practice (using Hegarty maths for example) to complete for this subject area. Students should record homework details in their planner.

Access the Year 7 and Year 8 Knowledge Organisers by clicking on the relevant link bar below.

Homework Expectations
Daily homework expectation
How long should they spend on this each day? (approx.)
How can parents support this?
YEAR 7 AND 8
Reading for pleasure
40 mins (minimum)
Talk to their child about their reading.
Retrieval practice
10-20 mins in total (not per subject)
o Ask to see the flashcards they have created.
o Use the knowledge organisers and retrieval questions to ‘quiz’ them.
o ‘Test’ them on their flashcards (re-visiting previous learning).
YEAR 9 AND 10
Retrieval practice
60 minutes in total
o Ask to see the flashcards they have created.
o Use the knowledge organisers and retrieval questions to ‘quiz’ them.
o ‘Test’ them on their flashcards (re-visiting previous learning)
o ‘Quizzing’ with directed questions from knowledge folders.
Coursework
Frequency of coursework will change depending on course studied and time of year
o Monitor coursework completion outside of school, using information in planner to ensure deadlines are adhered to
o Ensure support sessions, drop-in coursework sessions are attended.
YEAR 11
In addition to coursework and knowledge retrieval practice building from years 9 and 10, students should be guided towards independent revision activities. Teachers should give guidance to students to design their revision programme using a spaced approach to ensure that topics are regularly revisited and direct students to topics for knowledge retrieval. The recommended guideline for out of lesson learning is 15 hours per week.
YEARS 12 AND 13
Independent Learning Activities, essay style questions, exam style questions, knowledge retrieval activities, coursework, note taking, wider reading.
1 hour of outside lesson learning per 1 hour taught
o Monitor coursework completion outside of school, using information in planner to ensure deadlines are adhered to
o Ensure support sessions, drop-in coursework sessions are attended
Homework Expectations
Daily homework expectation
How long should they spend on this each day? (approx.)
How can parents support this?
YEAR 7 AND 8
Reading for pleasure
40 mins (minimum)
Talk to their child about their reading.
Retrieval practice
10-20 mins in total (not per subject)
o Ask to see the flashcards they have created.
o Use the knowledge organisers and retrieval questions to ‘quiz’ them.
o ‘Test’ them on their flashcards (re-visiting previous learning).
YEAR 9 AND 10
Retrieval practice
60 minutes in total
o Ask to see the flashcards they have created.
o Use the knowledge organisers and retrieval questions to ‘quiz’ them.
o ‘Test’ them on their flashcards (re-visiting previous learning)
o ‘Quizzing’ with directed questions from knowledge folders.
Coursework
Frequency of coursework will change depending on course studied and time of year
o Monitor coursework completion outside of school, using information in planner to ensure deadlines are adhered to
o Ensure support sessions, drop-in coursework sessions are attended.
YEAR 11
In addition to coursework and knowledge retrieval practice building from years 9 and 10, students should be guided towards independent revision activities. Teachers should give guidance to students to design their revision programme using a spaced approach to ensure that topics are regularly revisited and direct students to topics for knowledge retrieval. The recommended guideline for out of lesson learning is 15 hours per week.
YEARS 12 AND 13
Independent Learning Activities, essay style questions, exam style questions, knowledge retrieval activities, coursework, note taking, wider reading.
1 hour of outside lesson learning per 1 hour taught
o Monitor coursework completion outside of school, using information in planner to ensure deadlines are adhered to
o Ensure support sessions, drop-in coursework sessions are attended

Vocational Courses: Homework during examination units will fall in line with the whole school approach. When students are studying their coursework units, time outside of school should be allocated to producing and working through assignments.

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Amanda is Chair of the Excel Academy Trust Board. Amanda became a parent governor in 2009 and has enjoyed several responsibilities across this time including being Chair of the Achievement and Standards committee, a member of the Excel Academy Audit committee, and most recently has been appointed as a Member of the Excel Academy Partnership. Her career started out with the Halifax Building Society where she worked as a mortgage advisor for 20 years, before entering the political arena. Amanda is a County Councillor for Durham County Council, representing Framwellgate and Newton Hall ward. Amanda was formerly a student at Framwellgate School Durham, where she met her husband and many other friends, as well as taking on the responsibility of being Deputy Head Girl. Amanda is passionate about the school and local area and is actively involved in the school at every opportunity.

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