Aims of the Policy

 ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’

John 10:10

The Archbishop Holgate’s School Homework policy has four key aims:

  • To consistently set appropriate high-quality homework.
  • To allow students to access homework, by providing supporting materials and appropriate differentiation.
  • To ensure that all homework is reviewed by the teacher.

To have effective systems for when homework is not completed

Closing the gap by supporting students in their completion of homework

The EEF have consistently championed the role of homework in the performance of secondary school students, especially when closing the academic gap for the disadvantaged. One of their main concerns is that homework ingrains social inequalities between pupils, resulting in a further widening of the attainment gap.

The homework policy is designed to ensure all students can complete homework, it helps them develop independent learning skills/self-discipline in preparation for later life and allows for better academic outcomes for all students. We have removed barriers that traditionally stop students from completing homework, and thus impacting on their academic achievement.

In order to achieve this the following non-negotiables have been applied to the setting of homework:

  • All homework will be set by the Head of Department in line with the subject curriculum, leading to consistency in the amount and quality of the homework that is set.
  • Homework should be differentiated by the class teacher in order to fit with the ability of the class.
  • No Homework should require the use of IT (such as computers or printing), and in the event where this is unavoidable, rooms are opened and staffed at lunchtime to offer the equipment to the students.
  • Each piece of homework should be supported with a document that aids the pupil in the completion of the work. This is to be produced by the Head of Department in order to ensure consistency and quality across the department.
  • Each piece of homework should be reviewed by the class teacher, either through marking and review, or by peer marking.
  • Each piece of homework should adhere to the timescale for completion set by SLT. KS3 should take 20 minutes and KS4 should take 30 minutes.
  • Homework should not require students to learn and apply new content, but should be focussed on consolidation of learning and creating fluidity among students.

Extending the curriculum beyond the classroom, in order to increase fluidity in recall through consolidation of learning

Each piece of homework will complement the curriculum designed by the HOD, and will act as an extension of the curriculum beyond the classroom. Students will be made aware of the purpose of the homework before the work is set, and the links this has to the curriculum that they are studying.  The homework that is set will not introduce new learning to the student, but be focussed on consolidating what has already been learnt in the classroom.

The policy allows teachers to set students homework that revisits content and skills from earlier in the year or from previous years. This is very apparent in KS4 where a variety of subjects will use homework to test students on a variety of topics to allow them to become more fluent in their understanding and knowledge. This is supported with a revision document that will be used to complete the homework.

Setting high quality homework on a consistent basis

Homework will be set consistently across each department in the school. To ensure this occurs, each piece of homework will be set by the Head of Department for use by class teachers. In the larger departments, HODs can delegate the responsibility of setting homework to UPS colleagues, or position holders within the department. The work will be uploaded onto the shared area at the beginning of each half term, in order to be accessed by all colleagues, including those running homework club.

The homework shall be set using a school approved setting slide, that will offer consistency to students across subjects. The homework is still expected to be noted in a student’s planner, but they should also be provided with a copy of the task slide.

In order to make sure all the needs of the students are met; the class teacher can differentiate the homework task either for the class or for the individual. If the task is completely changed, the member of staff will need to agree this with the Head of Department prior to the homework being set, in order to ensure it still fits with the aims of the curriculum.

Supporting students and staff when homework is not completed

At Archbishop Holgate’s School, we are aware that on occasion students can struggle to meet deadlines to homework in all their subjects. This can be for a variety of reasons, but the biggest consequence of this is the impact it has on the student’s learning. It can cause students to fall behind or become disengaged in lesson.

The sanctions set for non-completion of homework are designed to provide opportunities for students to complete missing homework, as this has the most impact on the progress the students are making. Therefore, should a student not complete the homework to the agreed deadline, they will be placed in an after school detention for the following day that shall run between 3:10pm and 4pm. In order to make sure the students are fully supported in completing their work, KS3 and KS4 will have separate after school detentions, but will run for the same length of time.

The detentions shall be run by members of the teaching staff, that can be on hand to assist students in completing their work. Should a student be a regular attender to an after-school detention, their Head of Year may use this as an opportunity to speak to the students in order to help them organise their time in the future.

Please note the after-school detention is different to the homework club that is on offer for students throughout the week.

Policy Rationale

The Archbishop Holgate’s School homework policy Is grounded in academic research, and has been designed to ensure no child is disadvantaged in their opportunity to learn away from the classroom. When developing the policy, research from the EEF was considered that the regular completion of homework at secondary level can increase the progress of a student by 5 months (EEF 2016). The study goes onto suggest that homework is at its most efficient when reviewed properly by the class teacher. Vattercott’s 2010 study found that 5 key characteristics to setting good homework were a clear purpose, a clear efficiency, that it allowed students to take ownership of their work, that it was pitched to the right competence level of the students and that it offered suitable inspiration. Finally, the most important research came from John Hattie, who found that homework should be based around the consolidation of learning, and should not present the student with new information (Hattie 2014). This will allow the student to gain fluidity in their learning, and will give them the confidence to complete their work independently.

We feel the policy developed by our school responds directly to these findings, increasing the quality of work students produce away from the classroom. The students are set homework regularly, and supported in their completion of homework by the support document. The homework that is completed by the students will be reviewed the following lesson, and students will have a chance to improve their work by responding to the marking and feedback they receive. All homework set at Archbishop Holgate’s School will not require new learning, but will be consolidating work completed by the student in lesson, effectively extending the school curriculum beyond the classroom.

Setting Homework

Homework will be set consistently across each department in the school. To ensure this occurs, each piece of homework will be set by the Head of Department for use by class teachers. In the larger departments, HODs can delegate the responsibility of setting homework to UPS colleagues, or position holders within the department. The work will be uploaded onto the shared area at the beginning of each half term, in order to be accessed by all colleagues, including those running homework club.

The homework shall be set using a school approved setting slide, that will offer consistency to students across subjects. The homework is still expected to be noted in a student’s planner, but they should also be provided with a copy of the task slide.

KS3 Homework

In order to help manage the workload of our students in Key Stage 3, we have also introduced a two-week homework timetable for non-core subjects. Students in Year 7 and Year 8 shall be set homework from English, Maths, Science and Modern Languages weekly, while other subjects shall set homework using a two-week timetable. This will allow students to plan their homework schedule more effectively, while giving them a little longer to complete the work that has been set.

Year GroupWeek AWeek B
  • History
  • RE
  • Art
  • Music
  • Geography
  • IT
  • Textiles
  • Food Tech
  • DT
  • Geography
  • IT
  • Textiles
  • Food Tech
  • DT
  • History
  • RE
  • Art
  • Music

Well Being and Our School Values

Values, Care, Achievement

As a school we are committed to delivering a homework curriculum that underpins our values, that provides care for our students while maximising their opportunity for achievement. Through the homework policy students can be confident they are receiving the same high-quality standard of homework, and therefore it will allow for significant progress to be made by all students. The level of support that we offer as a school, either during the school day or after school, means that any student who requires additional help with a homework task shall receive it.

At Archbishop Holgate’s school we are committed to the wellbeing of all our students, therefore within our homework policy we have set a limit of 20 minutes per homework task for Key stage 3 students and 30 minutes for Key Stage 4 students.

The homework policy has been carefully considered in order to provide our students with the highest possible standard of care toward their learning away from the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to meet with their class teacher at a designated time during the week to receive additional support with their homework. In addition to this, students will have the opportunity to speak to their form tutor or head of year, regarding any concerns they may have toward their homework.

For all students to access the homework, each student will be provided with an additional document that will help them complete the homework, regardless of their circumstances at home or their attendance record. This will lead to all students having the opportunity to make progress away from the lesson, and ultimately lead to improved outcomes.

Archbishop Holgate’s school offers a homework club for students of all year groups, that runs four nights a week and offers the students an opportunity to complete their homework in a structured but enjoyable environment. Supervising the clubs are a range of teaching staff that can lend support to any child that needs assistance, including completing the work, organising their time and returning the work to the class teacher.

Homework and Rewards

As a school we realise the need to reward students for their commitment to independent work. This is part of our dedication to building a curriculum that helps students develop for life after education. Students will be offered two reward trips a year for meeting homework deadlines consistently. Pupils with less than 5 missed deadlines per term will be offered the following rewards:

Year GroupTermReward
Autumn/Winter

Spring/Summer

Christmas Party

Lightwater Valley Trip

Autumn/Winter

Spring/Summer

Meadow Hall Shopping Trip

Flamingo Land

Autumn/Winter

Spring/Summer

Meadow Hall Shopping Trip

Flamingo Land

Autumn/Winter

Spring/Summer

Meadow Hall Shopping Trip

Alton Towers

Autumn/Winter

Spring/Summer

Meadow Hall Shopping Trip/Ice Skating Trip

Flamingo Land