Homework Advice

Homework enables pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and develop their ability to become independent learners.  Homework encourages a positive approach to learning.   It provides a valuable opportunity for pupils to consolidate and extend the learning that takes place in the classroom and prepare for new learning activities. It allows pupils to experience and demonstrate progress and understanding. Homework enables pupils to achieve their full potential.

How Much Homework Should Be Expected?

Key Stage 3 pupils will have an average of approximately 1 hour of homework each night
Teachers of English and Mathematics will set weekly homework(s) of approximately 50 minutes each.  Teachers of the following subjects will set weekly homework(s)

  • Science x 25 minutes
  • History, Geography and Religious Studies x 20 minutes
  • Art, Home Economics, TD, LLW, Spanish and ICT x 15 minutes
  • Music, Drama and PE: as appropriate.

Key Stage 4 Pupils will have approximately 1 hour 20 minutes of homework each night.

It is expected that the teachers of Key Stage 4 pupils will set weekly homework(s) as follows

  • English and Mathematics x  1 hour 20 minutes
  • Science, Optional Subjects, Religious Studies, LLW, COPE x 40 minutes

Key Stage 5 students will have approximately 2 x 60 minute homeworks per subject per week as a minimum.


Organisation Of Homework

Each pupil is given a Homework Diary at the beginning of the school year.  They must record details of homework tasks set and when the homework is due in. The Homework Diary is also a means of communication between the teacher and parent and vice versa.  If your son or daughter appears to have little homework or has a concern regarding homework please record this in the Homework Diary and this will be addressed by either the subject teacher or Form Teacher.

Homework diaries will be checked by:

  • the Form Tutor (weekly)
  • the Head of Year (sample checked every few weeks)
  • Key Stage Co-ordinators and Senior Teacher for Effective Use of Data (sampled termly)



When homework is not completed, teachers will initially support the pupil and ensure the tasks set meet the pupil’s needs. The consequences of work not done or incomplete homework may include:

  • one-to-one discussion and negotiation with pupil which gives the pupil the opportunity to bring in the completed homework on the following day
  • parental involvement
  • detention


It is the responsibility of pupils to

  • listen to homework instructions in class
  • copy down instructions for the task in their Homework Diary and when it is due in
  • ask questions to clarify understanding of the homework task/activity
  • ensure they have the resources needed to complete the task
  • seek help if needed, well in advance of homework “due in date”
  • ensure homework is completed on time
  • attempt all homework to the best of their ability
  • keep their parents/guardian and teachers informed of any problems regarding homework
  • avail of school resources e.g. ICT facilities, after-school “Homework Club” and teacher support to get homework tasks/activities completed on time
  • set personal goals and targets re: Homework

We ask parents to reinforce the value of homework through positive feedback.  This will give students the confidence to persevere, work hard and reach high standards of achievement.

Some ways parents can assist their son/daughter with homework include –

  • showing an interest in their child’s homework and providing suitable facilities and resources for studying at home
  • encouraging their child to work towards reaching their full potential
  • checking their child’s homework diary daily and ensuring their child completes the homework set to the best of their ability
  • checking the time spent on individual tasks
  • ensuring that outside demands e.g. sports/hobbies do not hamper a child’s quality of work and put a child under undue pressure
  • checking presentation and content of homework being returned to school
  • signing the homework diary each week and acting on information requests from college staff
  • providing the school with information about any problems through the homework diary or by contacting the school directly
  • encouraging their child to avail of the additional support and resources available through the Homework Club which runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Guidance On Presentation Of Work

Try to ensure that your child:

  • Dates each page
  • Gives each piece of work a title
  • Underlines all titles and headings using a red pen and ruler
  • Keeps all work neat and tidy
  • Draws all straight lines with a ruler
  • Writes in blue or black ink only
  • Draws diagrams and graphs in pencil
  • Takes the time to re-read and checks all written work for mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation.


Guidance On Exam Preparation

Helping with Effective Revision

Plan a revision timetable so that your child knows what to do and when.

  • Encourage your child to alternate learning and written homeworks. Your child should revisit the learning homeworks after they have done a piece of written work to ensure that they have understood and absorbed it.
  • Encourage your child to take short breaks from learning as concentration levels dip after 40 minutes.


Making revision notes

  • The best revision notes are usually short.
  • Use key words and phrases.
  • Your child should lay out their notes clearly, highlighting important points and facts.
  • Diagrams such as learning trails, mind maps, flow and web diagrams are easier to memorise and show relationships between topics, events and ideas.
  • Your child should maintain neat notes. It is much easier to study from an organised file.
  • Keep notes made for an assessment as these could be used over again in another assessment and it will save your child time having to do them a second time.


Memorising and Learning

  • Each day your child should read over what they have studied in their lessons, this should be part of their home study and will reinforce what they have learnt in school.
  • Summarising is an effective memory aid.
  • Try to help your child to devise mnemonics to help them remember certain facts.
  • Revision should take place on a regular basis; daily, weekly, monthly rather than waiting to Assessment week.


Assessment Arrangements


We believe that pupil achievement can be raised if pupils set SMART targets for themselves which are reviewed and if learning is assessed on a regular basis.  The assessment process in St Joseph’s College also allows for achievement to be rewarded and success celebrated.  It is also intended to give parents a fuller understanding of their child’s performance and progress in all subjects.

The Assessment Cycle

  • Pupils are formally assessed on three occasions throughout the academic year thus allowing progress to be closely monitored.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to reflect on their own learning at the end of each assessment cycle.  They will be helped to do this through the guidance and support of their subject teachers and Form Teacher as part of a “Mentoring Process”.  This process allows pupils to monitor, evaluate and review their performance and progress.


Assessment Cycle 1 September – December

  • Pupils set targets for themselves in all subjects for Term 1. 
  • Formal assessments take place the week beginning 11 December 2017.
  • Contributes 25% to the overall mark for the year.
  • Through the Mentoring Process with their subject teachers and Form Teachers, pupils review their performance and progress in the assessments and set new targets for Term 2. 


Statement Of Results Sent To Parents

Assessment Cycle 2 January – March

  • Formal assessments take place week beginning Monday 20 March 2018 and contribute a further 25% to the overall mark for the year.
  • Through the Mentoring Process with their subject teachers and Form Teachers, pupils review their performance and progress in the second assessments and set new targets for Term 3.


A Second Statement Of Results Sent To Parents

Assessment Cycle 3 – March – June

  • Formal assessments will take place the week beginning Monday 4 June 2018  (Annual Summer Exams) and contribute the final 50% to the overall mark and grade for the year.
  • Pupils review their performance with their subject teachers in Term 3.


Annual Report Sent To Parents

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