Homework - Learning beyond the lesson


The Purpose of Homework

The time allocation for Homework

Types of Homework

Student Responsibilities

Parental Responsibilities

Monitoring of Homework

Frequently asked questions about Homework




Homework enhances Student learning, improves achievement and develops Students’ study skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum.

At North Durham Academy, we place great value on homework or work done outside of timetabled curriculum time and believe that it can make a significant contribution to students’ progress at the Academy and therefore needs to be an integral part of the educative process. Homework is work that is set to be completed outside the timetabled curriculum. It contains an element of independent study, in that it is not usually directly supervised by a member of staff.

We understand, however, that homework can be a difficult and controversial issue for any school and can, at times, be divisive and unhelpful to the overall learning process, particularly when it is viewed by students as a chore or even as a form of punishment or it meets parent but not the child’s agenda.

Not all homework is completed at home; in fact, for some students who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks which may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at the Academy, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at the Academy.

We believe that homework is important in:

  • Reinforcing positive attitudes to work;
  • Encouraging self-organisation and self­-discipline;
  • Reinforcing, broadening and extending the Academy curriculum;
  • Developing home/Academy partnership;
  • Preparing students for life opportunities and experiences. This policy statement has been produced on the basis of consultation with staff. It is designed to provide a coherent framework from which departments can develop a consistent and effective approach to homework taking into consideration Students of all ages and levels of ability.


The Purpose of Homework

Homework can serve a range of purposes. It can:

  • Allow practice and consolidation of work done in class
  • Allow preparation for future class work
  • Offer access to resources not available in the Academy
  • Develop skills in using libraries and other learning resources
  • Provide opportunities for individual, personalised work
  • Allow assessment of Students’ progress and mastery of work
  • Provide evidence for the evaluation of teaching
  • Provide training for Students in planning and organising time
  • Develop good working habits and self -discipline
  • Encourage ownership and responsibility for learning
  • Provide information for parents and create channels for home­ Academy dialogue


The time allocation for Homework

There is an understandable concern among parents about the amount of time spent each night on homework. While possibly unhelpful and contrary to the tenor of our policy, we cannot brush parental attitudes aside and an element of compromise is essential.

At North Durham Academy we believe that the intrinsic value of homework activities is far more important than the number of homework’s and the precise amount of time devoted to each homework.


Types of Homework

Therefore, the nature and frequency of homework will vary according to stage, ability and the subject. The main objective when setting homework is to ensure that there is relevance and connection to the work in curriculum time.  All homework will be set via the Frog VLE, and students receive their login for this when the start in year 7.

The quality of homework set, rather than the frequency of it, is of paramount importance.

The following guidelines are, therefore, generic in nature. Staff will aim to:

1. Provide varying types of homework set within a student’s capabilities

2. Ensure students are given adequate notice of homework tasks

3. Support students who experience difficulty in completion of homework tasks to ensure a sense of achievement and to allow their self­-esteem to grow

4. Be sensitive to the social environment in which each child lives

5. Make available any resources required to complete the homework task

6. Establish a routine, known to both Students and parents, regarding setting, collecting and giving feedback on homework

7. Ensure feedback is positive with constructive criticism where necessary

8. Maintain records of homework set and individual student achievement

9. Evaluate homework tasks regularly

Literacy: ­ Students should be reading books on a regular basis, ideally every day for 15 minutes
Numeracy: ­ Students should ensure that they know all their tables and practise the four rules of number (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).


Student Responsibilities

  • Homework should be noted either in the Academy diary, ensuring that they note the subject, what is to be done and when it is to be completed by;
  • Access the VLE every evening to check what homework has been set, by whom and when it needs to be completed by.
  • If there is anything they are unsure about, that they seek advice or help before the date that homework is due (Students are able to email staff directly about any concerns or problems – see list on website);
  • Make an effort to complete homework that has been set if absent;
  • Show work to parents and explain what they have been doing;
  • Always complete homework to a good standard and be proud of it.


Parental Responsibilities

  • Provide a quiet place for child to complete Homework
  • Support child in completing homework
  • Encourage and praise their efforts
  • Contact the Academy with any concerns


Monitoring of Homework

  • Subject staff will monitor Homework regularly and contact parents if they have concerns about the completion and/or quality.
  • Learning Leaders will receive and act upon regular updates from subject staff.
  • Tutors and, if necessary, Achievement Leaders will monitor Homework and contact parents if there is a whole Academy issue regarding Homework.


Frequently asked questions about Homework

We have received questions and queries from parents/carers concerning a
variety of aspects regarding Homework. We have summarised these below in what we hope will be a helpful guide which will enable you to further support your son/daughter

1.        ‘What is my role in Homework?’

Encouragement is a major role. Ensure that your child manages and copes with the workload. Sit with them. Talk to them about the tasks. If children verbalise their learning they are more likely to retain the knowledge.

2.        ‘I’m busy and don’t have time to help. What can I do?’

It’s not essential that you sit with them and work alongside them, but showing an interest is imperative. Ask them what tasks they’re undertaking tonight and sound enthusiastic!

3.        ‘I can’t help because education has changed since I was at school. I don’t know what my child is taught.’

You can support by appearing interested in school: attend parents’ evenings. Generally show an interest in school. Check the Academy website.

4.        ‘I don’t know enough about a specific topic to help my child. How can I help?’

Children thrive on rewards and encouragement. Maybe look at some information together; help collect information. Supporting is an excellent way of helping.

5.         ‘It’s noisy and there’s no space at home.’

The Academy has a homework club which until 4.30pm. There are also opportunities at lunchtime and break time to complete homework.

6.         ‘How much homework should my child be doing?’

At North Durham Academy, however, we believe that the intrinsic value of Homework activities is far more important than the number of Homework’s and the precise amount of time devoted to each Homework. Many of our Students attend after school activities, which extend their learning beyond the classroom and, as such, constitutes extra Homework.

7.        ‘My child doesn’t tell me about homework. What can I do?’

Ask them open questions about today’s learning at school and access the Homework via the VLE.

8.        ‘My child’s homework is set irregularly and then doesn’t get marked.’

The first thing to do would be to talk to your child and make sure of the facts. If there is an issue, contact the subject member of staff in the first instance or the Achievement Leader.

9.        ‘All my child seems to do is finish off work done in class.’

It is important from time to time to finish off classwork. However, Homework should take many forms. If you aren’t sure, ask or send in a query.

‘My child spends more time than is necessary on her Homework.’

Children work at different speeds. However, if they are spending inordinate amounts of time on tasks, contact the member of staff via email or phone. The teacher will then take charge of the situation.


Homework is used to support classwork. It is an attempt to help children become independent learners and, more importantly, form a base of good practice which can be built on in future years. North Durham Academy regards Homework as an integral part of the learning process as detailed above.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful. If you would like to make any suggestions, please contact the Academy.

Also, please note that not all homework is completed at home; in fact, some Students, who find it hard to work at home, prefer to work during their free time, or for some tasks which may require resources more readily available at the Academy (books, software, equipment), it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at the Academy.