At Ark Blacklands we are passionate about equipping every child with the academic tools they need to be successful in secondary school and beyond. In order to do this in an informed way, we look at what research says about the most effective ways of doing things and shape our policies to match.
What does research say?
Overall, homework in primary schools does not appear to lead to large increases in learning;
- The most effective thing any parent can do to help their child succeed at school is to read books to or with their child every night;
- Activities that involve the parent and child working together on something or talking about work in school can be effective;
- Regular daily homework in the form of worksheets, which a child is expected to do unaided, can have a negative effect. It can put children off learning as it can cause parents to have to nag about completing homework, rather than doing positive educational activities with their children.
Planning, collecting and marking homework takes a lot of staff time. Since research show that formal homework does not lead to increases in learning, we therefore consider it to be poor stewardship of the limited resource of staff time to waste it on something that is unlikely to be productive.
So rather than homework, we promote home learning. Home learning aims to:
- Recognise and celebrate learning that already happens at home;
- Promote parents and children reading and talking together;
- Providing opportunities for pupils to develop a growth mindset and to for pupils to feel proud about pushing themselves beyond what is compulsory;
- Encourage resilience, independence and pupils taking responsibility for their own learning;
- Enabling classwork to concentrate on those things that require the teacher’s presence.