Homework Policy

Objective:

The objective is to ensure that there is a systematic schedule for homework, that there are certain guidelines in place regarding frequency and amount of homework, homework is turned in regularly  and that there are pre-set guidelines or procedure in place for teachers while checking the HW/CW of the students.

Applicable to:

All teachers, students and parents.

Value (s) guiding policy:*

  1. a)       Value Term: Responsible, Excellence, Learner
  2. b)       Why:
  • Being responsible for accomplishing HW with discipline (timely).
  • Strive for the highest personal achievement in all aspects of academics.
  • Monitor individual’s performance and progress provide feedback for improvement.

 

Learner Profile: Responsible, Reflective

 

Rationale:

Homework is important to know what is happening in the class and review the learning progress of every individual. Thus teacher can focus on students who may be having problems with homework. Homework enables parents to involve themselves directly in the learning program, to work with them and help their children in their lessons. This is also a set of instructions for all teachers regarding how to check/correct HW/CW, how to give feedback and how to check if the feedback is being worked upon.

Policy Guidelines:

General Instructions:

  • Homework is important and related to what is happening inside the classroom. Homework needs to be discussed before being given and the link between what is happening inside the classroom and the homework itself needs to be clearly established.
  • For any homework given, clear instructions must be given for accomplishing the homework successfully. In case there is something new, an exemplar of what is expected should be shown and discussed with the student.
  • When homework that is time consuming is given, then it is important to take into consideration the total amount of homework that student are getting from other teachers also. HRT need to coordinate it with the other teachers and/or with the student also. Take into consideration the overall amount of homework and revise your timelines if needed. All grades should have a homework schedule in place.
  • When giving homework that involves a group, then you must give very clear instructions as to how the grouping has to be done. You must take into consideration the convenience of the parents if they are expected to provide transport to the children from other children’s houses. Sufficient time must be given for the homework. In cases where children are not adept at reading written instructions, oral instructions must be given in a language that the student understands and is able to follow.
  • Homework timings should be increasing:
    • EY – 20 – 30 Minutes
    • PY (Grade 1-3) – 30 -45 Minutes
    • PY (Grade 4-6) – Not more than one hour

Communication of the homework: Communication of the homework needs to be done through the blog.

  • When teachers give daily or weekend homework, make it clear that you expect it first thing in the period. In case the homework is expected over a period of time (such as project, a survey, an essay etc.), then discuss progress with the students in your class. Do not expect students to fail, because if you do, that is what they are going to do. They will fail. Help them succeed by giving them reminders and tips. This holds true especially for the subject teachers who meet their students less often. Make it a point to meet that class which is expected to turn in homework and remind them. Establish clear homework leaders who will give reminders, help others when they are not clear with the instructions and even collect the homework. The same homework leaders can work across homerooms and single subjects.
  • Give homework from DAY ONE so that clear expectations are set. The homework can be very simple, but the idea is to make it a procedure for them at home, thereby making it a routine of a habit. Your first few homework assignments can be given with the sole purpose of making it a habit from day one. The size of the homework may be very small. Help children become confident by giving them very small and simple assignments that they can easily do and turn in.

For Senior School: Homework will be assigned through google calendar.  Calendar link will be shared with the parents and students at the beginning of the year. Once the link is shared, student need to add it in their calendar.

Type of Homework:  Worksheet, Assignments , Online, notebook, written piece, projects etc.

  • The quality of the homework has to be good. It should be something that children find exciting and interesting. If the majority of students do not turn in the homework, first look at the quality of your homework and then whether there was a lot of other homework also at the same time. Then look at whether you have made the homework important by discussing it in class before and after. If you do not have exciting homework to give for a particular topic on a day, then be prepared with some contingency homework assignments which can be assigned at any time of the year irrespective of the topic that you are doing. However, this can be used only once or twice a year. You need to be prepared normally. The basic guideline is that it is better not to give boring or useless homework just for the sake of giving it.
  • Choices in  HW can be given to students to make them responsible  towards their learning. Ideal situation where the content is the same but children can work around the same concept through different ways. E.g. Online links, Khan Academy, Pen and paper tasks etc)
  • In case online assignments are given (such as Khan Academy) then also the teacher must clearly discuss the homework in class before assigning it.The teacher should also follow up with the online HW and give feedback on the same. Homework should ideally be practice of what is already been done in theory in the class. It should not be a new concept unless you are flipping the classroom. Also in cases where you know that a few children (or one child) do not understand a particular concept, then to send the homework for that particular topic is only going to be discouraging. You will need to help the student in school itself to understand the concept and then practice the problem. The teacher should give mixed bag problems so that the taught concepts are revised.

Collection of Homework:

  • Homework needs to be collected the first thing in every class. It must be checked, discussed and/or commented upon within 24 hours or by your next class.
  • Collection and Storage of Homework:  Parents can view the homework when the child is doing the homework before submitting the homework to school. Once the child brings the homework back to school and submits it, then teacher must check it and return it to the students as soon as it get checked so that parents can see the checked homework. The corrected homework can be kept at home
  • As a part of the 7 Habits training and discussion, every teacher needs to encourage student to practice Habits 1, 2 and 3.
    • Habit 1 will make them be proactive and take charge of their HW.
    • Habit 2 will help them see the importance of overall learning and of homework within that.
    • Under Habit 3, you can discuss putting the doing of homework as an important priority, not to be left as the last thing at night.
    • Remember “putting first things first” means “Organize and execute around your priorities”. For that you need to help the children understand that homework is a priority for them. Homeroom Teachers must especially in the first 8-10 days itself help their students establish a schedule at home that takes care of their homework and other important needs such as play, spending quality time with family and friends, reading and doing other important things. In putting first things first, you also need to discuss that students must not only do their homework early in the day, but also pack their bag early in the evening or at night and to remember to pack their homework every day (so that homework isn’t forgotten at home).
  • In the MY & DP, a homework bonus policy is being followed to incentivize the students to complete their homework in time and with quality. Details of this policy are given in Appendix 2. However, if a student fails to submit homework more than 2-3 times, then please follow the process given below.

When homework is not turned in then follow these steps:

For the PYP this can be the starting point:

  • In case a student does not turn in the homework, then from day one take this step: the child has to miss their play time during the school meal break and finish the homework. Practice this as many times as needed to ensure that the student is able to follow the schedule.

For the Senior School this can be the starting point:

  • In case a student does not turn in the homework, then from day one take this step: the child has to miss their play time and finish the homework. Practice this as many times as needed to ensure that the student is able to follow the schedule.

Follow these steps otherwise:

  1. First look at whether this has happened for a large number of students – if yes, then the issue is probably either with the quality of the homework (over ambitious, boring etc.) or lack of importance given to the homework or else the instructions may not have been given clearly. Once you are sure that the problems is not on your end and if the problem is with a few students then apply the following steps:
    1. Day 1 (of missed homework): Do you know what the procedure is? The procedure is that you are expected to turn in the homework every day first thing. Can you do that? Student says: “Yes, I can”.
    2. Day 2 (of missed homework): Do you know what the procedure is? The procedure is that you are expected to turn in the homework every day first thing. Can you do that? Okay – let me also understand when and where you will do the homework today. Also explain to me what today’s homework is about. Will you now be able to do it? Student says: “Yes, I can”. Write a note to the parents what you have talked to the student.
    3. Day 3 (of missed homework): Do you know what the procedure is? The procedure is that you are expected to turn in the homework every day first thing. Can you do that? You discuss if the child is facing any problem is doing the homework. Discuss with the child about parental support or any other reason for not being able to submit homework. And write a note to the parent if the child mentions some specific issue at home (possible list of reasons given below).
    4. Day 4 (of missed homework): same as above. Also ask the parents to meet the teacher on an early morning slot in the next 3 days.
  2. For each day to ensure that learning is not missed out on: If the homework is the kind that can be done within 20 min (all your first few days homework should be of that kind), then ask the student to do it in the recess by missing out on play time. Please note that checking the homework is is the job of the respective teacher.
  3. Repeat the process as many times as needed to ensure that turning in homework becomes a routine for the student.
  4. Homework tracking should be done through charts put up on the notice board or by maintaining a spreadsheet (same as attendance sheet)
  5. There could be genuine reasons on some days for homework not being turned in – for e.g. a marriage, birth / death in the family or an emergency. However such cases can only be rare. You just need to understand the situation and let it be – however you still need to make sure that the student does the homework in school.
  6. Homework which is long and cannot be finished in recess, you first need to talk to the student and find out the reasons and then give him/her an extension for submitting the homework. If the student still does not submit then apply the four steps as outline above. Instead of the recess, for completing of the work, use stay back – but only as per the steps. The 3rd time you have to use a stay back, you need to write that note to the parent. 4th time, talk to the parents to identify the reasons for regular delay / lack of submitting of homework.
  7. Appreciation/consequences to be given should not be waited for the month end. Feedback should be given by Subject teachers / HRT on weekly / fortnightly basis. Appreciation may be given in class, or in common forums such as assemblies. Appropriate notings regarding the homework should be mentioned in the homework log as per the prepared format.
  • If the student is not making the homework a priority frequently. The possible reasons can be:
  1. Parental support not given as outlined earlier. Common problems include parents not having agreed upon a schedule for homework, over scheduling of the child’s day, parents not showing any interest in the child’s learning, a very busy household with no one in particular responsible for the child’s learning.
  2. Lack of motivation for the child in homework specifically or learning as a whole.
  3. The child is facing some problem not related to the above two – such as concentration etc.
  4. Child is unable to understand instructions or has not understood the concepts and is therefore unable to do the homework despite trying.
  5. Child doesn’t have a good relationship with the teacher and therefore does not do the homework for that reason.

Bottom-line: In cases of regular tardiness in doing homework or lack of submission of homework, it is important you understand and find “Helping Solutions” to resolve the issue rather than applying any consequences. Make sure that the problem is not at your end. Helping Solutions may be in the domain of 7 Habits, practice of procedures, talking to parents etc.

Correction Guidelines :

Points to consider while correcting the student’s work:

  • While checking the students’ work, the teacher needs to point out the errors/mistakes the student has committed. This can be done with a pen of any non-red ink which is different from the color of the pen used by students.
  • Follow up work is very important. Teacher should keep a track of it. If required, then make the students write 2-3 drafts of the same till they understand where they have gone wrong. Do not take the follow up work lightly or the students will not take your instructions seriously.
  • While correcting the students’ work, teachers should ensure that the student has followed the school’s academic honesty policy as per the program (PYP / MY / DP). Please refer to the school website regarding  policy on academic honesty

Language:

  1. Do not give correct answers to the students in their notebooks directly (Applicable for Grade 4 onwards). Write provoking questions or underline the areas where the mistake is committed. e.g.: If a spelling is wrong, instead of giving correct spelling, circle the wrong one and write down “sp” over there. Ask the student to find out the right spelling from the dictionary and instruct them to write it 5 times in the notebook. For Grade 1-3, the teacher has to give direct answers in the notebook.
  2. Common spelling mistakes being committed by a number of students should not be ignored and a follow up dictation should be taken.
  3. Teachers are expected to take note of the following things while checking the notebooks:
  1. a)  Point out the spelling mistakes
  2. b)  Point out any grammatical mistakes.
  3. c)   Point out any punctuation errors.
  4. c)   If the content is wrong, do not give direct answers. (Applicable for Grade 4 onwards)
  1. For long answers or essays, students should organize their thoughts in form of a mind map or pointers before they compose their final piece of work. This has to be taught to students through the writing process. Teacher should model the same for students several times.
  2. After correcting the notebook and putting a remark, make sure that the student is doing a follow up work.
  3. If the student is consistent in follow-up work then teacher can acknowledge/appreciate him/her by an appreciation sticker or a star in appreciation chart.

Math:

  1. In math, if the calculation is wrong, write hints for the error e.g., check regrouping or check position of decimal point and emphasis on the steps and the working. Insist students to make a right column to show working. Remember we are preparing them for IGCSE/DP too. Also make sure that students do mention formulae and units wherever needed.
  2. If any mistake is committed by the student, then do not give direct answer. E.g. if student has missed out any step, then give hint or circle the question and ask them to revise it. You can ask them to recheck the calculation or revise the multiplication table.
  3. While solving a math problem, mention the data given in the question, then show a stepwise procedure of solving it. In the end, make sure the students are writing the statement with the answer.

Peer Correction Guidelines:

  1. While conducting peer checking, post the peer assessment, teacher should check the notebooks since the students themselves are highly prone to overlook mistakes. It has been observed that in peer corrections a lot of mistakes go unnoticed. So the students are not getting to know what mistake they have committed. This may be due to reasons like: the assessment was not suitable for peer correction or the peer himself was inept. Few examples of the work which can be given as peer correction are as follows:
    1. Dictations
    2. Checklist (objective questions)
    3. Mathematical sums with direct answers where no steps are involved
  2. After the peer correction, give time to the student for self correction and reflection. The dictation words or the mathematical calculation should be solved on the whiteboard so that the students have a sample in front of them for correction.

Online Assignments:

  • Online assignments must be checked by the teachers and give feedback if there Is any area of improvement.
  • The homework can be in the form of writing assignments on the drive, flubaroo, online forms, projects, assignments etc. The teacher should  check the homework in the suggesting mode, or comment, so that the students can review their work.

Review by TL

  • TL should regularly check copies of students across grades to ensure that teachers are checking notebooks regularly.
  • TL should enter observations for the Team Members (TM)  in nucleus if homework copies are not being checked regularly and give a suggestion to improve on the same. If there is no improvement, a red flag should be given.
  • TLs should also review the online homework at regular intervals with the teachers and ensure whether feedback is being given to the students.

Parental Support Expected:

  • Space & Time: Parents are expected to provide the right space and schedule time early in the day for their children so that they can focus on their homework.
  • Resources (a computer with a reliable internet connection)
  • Interest & Support: Parents must take an active interest in what their child is learning. When needed parents are expected to support the child in doing the homework for tasks such as surveys, visits, interviews etc.
  • Read to / with them regularly.

Appendix 02

MY & DP Homework Bonus Policy

MY & DP Homework Policy

5% additional bonus marks will be given to the students on the final marks scored for completion of homework. After adding the bonus, the total cannot exceed 100%. So if the student gets 75% out of the regular 100%, and get 4% as the homework bonus, s/he will have a total of 79%. If the student has already scored, 98%, then the total will be capped at 100%.

For this, the teachers maintain a homework log on a regular basis. A student gets 1 mark for submitting homework on time, 0.5 for late submission, and 0 for not submitting homework.

Conditions for Submission completion (below) Score to be awarded Score to be awarded
Submission fully done 0.5 1
Submission partially done 0 0.5
Conditions for Submission with respect to time –> Submission not timely Submission in time


The amount of homework done (in the previous month) is also reported by the subject teacher in the beginning of each month through a mail.

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