At The Priory Belvoir Academy, the focus of homework is on independent learning and memory of key skills and concepts which supports our knowledge-engaged curriculum. With the new GCSE qualifications focussing on terminal examinations, more emphasis than ever is being placed on students’ memory and recall. The learning of key concepts and skills is the bedrock of academic success and this means that right down through Key Stage 3, the development of this core knowledge is crucial to progress.
The process of our homework is as follows:
- Teachers set homework based on classwork with an end result (eg a piece of writing or project).
- Additional emphasis is placed on students taking the time to learn the core information.
- Students’ recall of this knowledge is tested in weekly quizzes to help them identify gaps in their knowledge for them to work on further.
The learning of this information for homework allows for the application of key concepts in lessons, strengthening memory pathways and developing layers of understanding.
Teachers will work with students on strategies for learning and remembering this key material which will help develop independence and make students more effective learners as they move through the school. This will build up to students’ personal revision for their GCSEs when all our students will be able to draw upon a range of skills and strategies to support their revision process.
Parental support in this process is invaluable and there are a number of different ways you can help your child develop strong memory pathways:
- Discussing your child’s learning with them
- Quiz them
- Ask them to teach you new information
- Help them build links with their existing knowledge
More information on ways to help your child can be found here.
Homework will be set once every three to four lessons. In core subjects such as English, Maths and Science, this will equate to one homework a week. For other subjects, the frequency of homework will vary; for example, teachers in subjects like Art, Drama and Music only see their students once a week, so their homework will be set as appropriate.
Students are expected to record homework in their planners and they are responsible for ensuring they understand the task and its due date. Teachers are often available at break and lunchtimes for students to ask for help if they need help understanding the task, well before the due date.
Teachers also use an online system to record set homework and its due date. In school, students can access this through their normal school log-in by clicking on the Student App link on their Home screen. Out of school, both students and parents can also access this information through the SIMS Student App or SIMS Parent App which can either be downloaded to a smartphone or found via Google.