Rationale


Learning at home refers to the time students spend outside the classroom in assigned activities to reinforce, practise or apply newly acquired skills and knowledge, and to learn the necessary skills of independent study. Learning at home tasks should take into consideration the needs of the students and the phase of their development, as well as reflecting the context of our College. Learning at home supports the development of self-discipline and sustained concentration. The Learning at Home Guidelines document sits under the Learning and Teaching Policy operating within the College.

Learning at home:

• Consolidates and complements classroom learning
• Builds a positive attitude and a purposeful approach to set tasks and their completion
• Develops patterns of behaviour for lifelong learning beyond the classroom
• Should involve family members
• Helps students develop their understanding of how and when to apply skills they have learnt
• Enhances a student’s readiness for the next class
• Provides parents with an insight into what is being taught
• Is an avenue to challenge and extend students
• Builds understanding of disciplinary practices and domains of knowledge
• Extends the time available for the exploration of new ideas and new situations
• Extends the time available to the teacher for the monitoring of student progress
• Is expected by the community
• Enhances family-school relationships

Guidelines for Action

Learning at home should be:

• Appropriate to the student's skill level and age
• Purposeful, meaningful and relevant
• The responsibility of the students, with parental support encouraged
• Interesting, challenging and, where appropriate, open-ended
• Open to feedback with support provided by the teacher
• Able to provide useful feedback to teachers
• Additional and complementary to learning in the classroom
• Balanced between family, recreational and cultural activities
• Dependent on reasonable levels of parental assistance and resources that are readily available to the student
• Balanced across learning areas
• Scaffolded if required to support student learning
• Used to facilitate the achievement of learning outcomes
• Varied to include tasks that help reinforce concepts and skills, prepare for the next lesson and extend and encourage students to pursue knowledge and further understanding

Recommended Times

• Year 7: 60 minutes per day
• Year 8: 90 minutes per day

It is the aim of the College not to assign new homework to students in Years 7 and 8 during the term breaks.

• Year 9: 120 minutes per day
• Years 10-12: This will generally increase to a requirement of 2-3 hours per weeknight and up to 6 hours on weekends.

• Students are also encouraged to read their assigned novels or novels of choice for 15-30 minutes each night.
• Students participating in the Music Program should set aside 15 minutes practice time per night for four nights each week.

Responsibilities


Of Students

Students should:
• Accept responsibility for the completion of tasks within the required time frame
• Enter their learning at home tasks into their diaries, noting due dates
• Follow up on feedback given by teachers
• Do homework at the same time each night where possible
• Sit at a desk or table in a quiet area
• Have a dictionary, pens or other study tools for home use
• Avoid social networking sites or other distractions whilst completing work
• Prioritise the tasks for completion
• Show tasks to parents after completion
• Place all required books and homework into their school bag for the following day

Of Families

Parents and caregivers can support students by:
• Taking an active interest in what has been assigned by discussing the tasks with the student
• Providing supervision, encouragement, help and praise
• Encouraging students to read and take an interest in their current learning program, current local, national and international events
• Assisting students to balance the amount of time spent on completing homework and engaging in other recreational activities
• Ensuring that they establish an environment conducive to effective work, free from distractions

Of teachers

Tasks set for homework should reinforce skills learnt in class. Vygotsky would argue that students should operate in the ‘zone of proximal development’, meaning that homework should be challenging but not so difficult that the students cannot achieve success.

Teachers can support students by:
• Assigning work that has a clear learning purpose
• Regularly checking and giving feedback to the student in an appropriate format

Supports and Scaffolds


Homework Club

To assist students with their homework and test preparation, the College runs Homework Club throughout the year, held in the Learning Support area.
 • Monday: 3.20 – 4.20 pm
 • Tuesday: Lunchtime
 • Wednesday: 3.20 – 4.20 pm
 • Thursday: Lunchtime

Lunchtime Mathematics Help

To assist students with their understanding of mathematical concepts and assigned tasks to be completed at home, the College runs Mathematics Help throughout the year. Students can access this on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at lunchtime. See the Student Bulletin for room details.