We take a different approach from many schools when it comes to homework.
Although students may complete school work at home, it is not a necessary part of their schooling, and we aim instead for it to be a natural extension of a child’s curiosity and love of learning.
Our approach to homework
We believe that play is an important part of the learning process, and that childhood should allow plenty of time for exploration and self-directed learning.
This philosophy extends to our approach to homework, which is to minimise the amount of work that we send home with students.
Teachers may on occasion provide tasks for extra practice or to reinforce classroom learning, such as troublesome spelling words or key maths skills, but the level is kept low.
This also means that the demands on busy parents are minimal, although we encourage practising English and maths skills with children in the course of everyday activities.
Teachers may also provide access to online learning platforms that students can use from home, to further reinforce concepts and skills learned at school.
We also aim to instil a love of learning in our students and expect that this will spill over into their home time activities, where they may choose to continue with projects from school or initiate learning about a topic or skill of interest.
Do primary school students need homework?
There has been much debate over the years about the value of homework, especially for primary school students.
With parents reporting high stress levels for themselves and their children as a result of the demands placed on them by homework, it’s important that we ensure that all work sent home provides sufficient value to warrant it.
And Finland’s recent academic revolution, where it moved to the top of the world for reading, maths and science, based on a program that has minimal tests, no rankings, plenty of time for play and minimal homework, suggests that sometimes enough is enough.
The Victorian Department of Education website also quotes a recent study that shows that the quality of homework is more important than quantity and can be made more effective by providing students with more choice over the work they do.
Our relaxed approach to homework is in line with these experiences around the world, by keeping homework to minimal levels, relevant to in-school learning and self-managed by students.
Examples of homework
Keeping in mind our general approach to homework, here are some examples of situations that might generate homework and the types of work that you might see coming home with your child.
A teacher may notice certain words that a student is struggling with and send home a list of words along with a long list of varied and fun activities that students can use to practice their spelling.
Children might be interviewing their parents about their opinions, or their memories and writing their comments.
They might just have turned their creative writing task into a chapter book and want to continue it at home.
Chanting tables both at home and in the car are regularly recommended. Sometimes a child hasn’t completed the maths task for that week and may be asked to finish it off at home.
At other times a maths theme might involve measuring your family, making a drawing of your house or collecting information about percentages from the tins or products in your family’s pantry.
Our students take on “passion projects” from time to time, where they choose a subject matter that they’re especially interested in and complete a project, in the form of their choosing, on that topic.
This activity may spill over into home learning, simply because the student is highly engaged with the exercise and wants to keep working on it at home.
Homework at Village
For more information on our approach to learning, please see: