Homework - Why is it so important?
If a student completes an hour’s homework per school night for five years, it is the equivalent of an extra year at school.
Regular homework is important, since it serves as an intellectual discipline, establishes good study habits, eases time constraints on the amount of curricular material that can be covered in class, and supplements and reinforces work done in school. In addition, it fosters student initiative, independence, and responsibility, and brings home and school closer together. It helps students to become confident and independent in their learning and crucially good organisational skills and strong study routines will significantly reduce anxiety caused by assessments and terminal exams.
Crucially, homework at secondary school has been proven to work. There have been countless studies done looking at the correlation between exam success and homework and the results are indisputable! Students who regularly complete their homework achieve better grades in final exams than those that don’t. One study noted links between students who regularly did their homework and tidy bedrooms! Research has shown that students who regularly complete homework benefit from:
- An increased progress from 12 months in a year to a possible 20 months
- An increased retention of knowledge
- Improved study habits and skills leading to an improve work ethic
- Improved self-direction and self-discipline
- Improved time management skills
What tasks should students be doing for homework?
Homework is not about keeping students busy and off the streets. The homework tasks that we set are based on the theory of practice. We all know the saying ‘practice makes perfect’. At King Charles I we work on the premise that ‘practice makes permanent’. The more practice a student does the more they can remember for longer. We do not want students to be able to remember things for a test or a quiz, the focus is on lifelong learning. Plus, the more they can remember the easier tests become and the less anxious students feel about tests and exams. For more information, please see our homework policy.
Retrieval practice = long term memory retention
Teachers and student’s biggest enemy is forgetting. Twenty minutes after leaving our lessons our students will only be able to remember 58% of what we said. After a week, they can only remember 25%! Luckily for us, we discovered a solution, that is not only easy and only requires a pen and a piece of paper, but has been proven by research as one of the most effective studying methods. Quizzing, aka retrieval practice, is quick and easy to do, but more importantly it enables students to learn and remember knowledge in the long term.
Please see the following examples of effective quizzing:
Please watch this short video about how to quiz effectively:
The majority of quizzing tasks set for homework will be set using the subject knowledge organiser. Your son/daughter has a black folder that contains all of their knowledge organisers for their different subjects. A copy of the knowledge organisers can also be found on our knowledge organiser page on our website. Please click here to access the knowledge organiser webpage.