Homework Guidance

How can I help my child with exam stress?

Preparing your child for exams

For further guidance please check the Examinations page of this website where there is more specific advice.

Homework extends the studies undertaken in school and provides students with valuable life-skills experience in self-discipline and individual responsibility. Almost always, quality is more important than quantity.

Homework is not an ‘extra’. It is an integral part of courses at all levels. Homework marks count towards termly and annual assessments. In Years Ten and Eleven such homework is often compulsory coursework demanded by the examination boards [GCSE] and assessed by them.

The School´s view of the importance of homework was confirmed recently in a report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools. In saying that: “.....properly designed homework can play a valuable part in a student’s education...” the report also emphasised the need for a partnership between home and school.

Purposes of Homework

allowing practice and consolidation of classwork

encouraging ownership and responsibility for learning

providing opportunities for individual work

providing information to parents

training for students in planning and organising time

providing opportunities for parental co-operation and support

developing good habits and self-discipline

creating channels for home/school dialogue

Types of homework

There are various types of work which a student may be asked to do without the formal classroom:

Revision/preparing for an examination

Written exercises set by the teacher

Project work - part of longer term work

Reading - continuing a book started at school or purely reading for pleasure

Research - gathering information

Finishing off work started in class

When should homework be done?

At whatever time suits the individual, but it is certainly advantageous to establish a routine. Some pointers to sensible homework management include:

Plan homework or study at regular times

Several shorter sessions are better than working late on a Sunday Evening!

Commit yourself to do homework most nights, and leave some time of the week aside for other activities

Use the Homework Timetable to plan the work to be done each evening

Avoid leaving everything to the last minute

Where is it best to study?

Individuals have their preferences, but in general, the following conditions are thought best:

in a warm part of the house

on a flat surface, preferably a table or desk

in a well-lit area

away from distractions such as TV, the dog and other members of the family!

Many students claim that they can’t study without background music....different conditions suit different people, and if the homework is getting done, music may well help!

How much homework should be done?

KEY STAGE 3 [Years 7/8/9] : Each homework should take a minimum of thirty minutes to complete

KEY STAGE 4 [Years 10/11] : Each homework should take a minimum of forty-five minutes to complete

Year 10/11 students should also be working on coursework and project work which could last several weeks.

How do parents know what is set and when?


are asked to sign the Homework Journal weekly

are asked to check the homework regularly in the subject notebooks

How do students know what is set and when?


will write each homework set in their Journal and the date it is due back to the teacher

will hand in their homework on time

will remind their parents to read and sign the Homework Journal

What can parents/carers do to help?

The most important thing parents/carers can do is simply to take an interest in their child’s work.

Apart from trying to provide the correct time and place for homework to be completed, you could:

ask what homework has to be done and check the Homework Journal

don’t send your child off to a room for several hours and think all homework problems are solved!

avoid saying ‘I used to do it this way....’ - things change!

contact the school as soon as problems arise

above all, please offer encouragement at all times!