From the Director of Teaching and Learning
As we come to the end of Semester One, all summative tasks have been completed and assessed, reports written and Radford students, teachers and parents have holidays clearly in their sights. Homework will be the last thing on anyone?s mind in a week?s time, only to return in Semester Two as one of the expectations we have at Radford College for all students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Why is homework valued at Radford College?
It is true that the impact of homework on student achievement is not as great as quality feedback and direct instruction by a teacher (John Hattie, Visible Learning). It does have benefits for student learning and these are outlined in the 2015 Radford College Homework Policy for Teachers. In K to 12, homework is set to help students revisit and reinforce learning, and to establish good study skills and habits. Homework may take many forms including, but not be limited to:
- Activities to assist with the development of skills.
- Activities to enable the reinforcement of learning from the classroom experience.
- Research for the completion of formative or summative tasks.
- Planning and completion of summative tasks.
- Preparation for exams and tests (in Secondary School).
Much of the debate surrounding homework's positive and negative effects on students concerns what amounts of homework are appropriate for different age groups. In recent weeks, in preparation for Semester Two, the College has closely examined the homework expectations for all of our students. The Junior School expectations have largely been retained as per the Diary, while the Secondary School nightly requirements have been adjusted to reflect the transition needs of our Year 7 and 8 students.
To further help students achieve a school and life balance, parents and caregivers need to assist Radford students to plan for the completion of homework tasks. An example of how parents and caregivers can do this is by encouraging students to use term planners to record homework tasks and family and co-curricular activities.
The Junior School homework (Home Learning) expectations are:
- Kindergarten: 10 to 15 minutes per night, may be reading only.
- Year 1: 10 to 15 minutes per night, may be reading only.
- Year 2: 15 minutes, three times per week, plus reading.
- Year 3: 20 minutes per night, plus reading.
- Year 4: 20 minutes per night, plus reading.
- Year 5: 30 minutes per night minimum.
- Year 6: 30 minutes per night minimum.
Specialist staff must liaise with class teacher prior to homework being set.
The Secondary School expectations for homework are:
- Years 7 and 8: Each homework session will be for 10 minutes per subject, up to an hour of homework per night.
- Years 9 and 10: Each homework session will be for 15 minutes per subject, up to an hour-and-a-half of homework per night.
- Year 11 and 12: 30 minutes per T subject and 20 minutes per A subject per night.
In Semester Two, in addition to the revision of homework expectations for our Year 7 ? 12 students, the Secondary School is introducing internal electronic assessment calendars to be created by teachers before Unit Outlines are distributed to students and uploaded to Radford Online. These calendars will be used to achieve a reasonable spread of tasks over an assessment period, particularly in the 7 ? 9 years. Through using these calendars, teachers will also be able to make informed decisions about when they schedule tasks for the 10 ? 12 years.
In addition to this initiative, Year 7 ? 10 students will be issued standardised coversheets with all assessment tasks. These coversheets will indicate when a task was issued, how much class time will be provided to complete the task, as well as the average amount of time, when applicable, a student should expect to spend on the task at home.
Any student in the 7 ? 12 years experiencing difficulty completing a task should approach their class teacher for assistance. If they are in need of an extension of time to complete a task they need to see the relevant Head of Year.