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SYDNEY SCHOOL OF ENGLISH

Homework Policy

The Policy and Rationale

It is the policy of the Sydney School of English to give a reasonable amount of homework. Homework serves one or two purposes:
 
1.  Revision of the lesson taught;
2.  Preparation for the following week’s lesson.
 
A Homework Checklist is provided to every student and serves as a reminder for both students and parents. Students are expected to listen, understand and copy all homework instructions into the Homework Checklist as written on the board by their teacher at the end of every lesson.
 
No homework will be given merely ‘to keep students busy’. This is neither educationally sound, nor productive in the long term.
 

The Commitment of the Student

As a general rule, grammar, punctuation and spelling lessons for an upper primary student will require about 15-30 minutes homework each week, depending on the topic. Writing and comprehension lessons for an upper primary student require a commitment of 30 minutes to 1 hour homework per week. Less homework is given to younger students.

It is a strong principle of the school that homework is taken seriously. Sub–standard work is not acceptable.
This means that if a student has completed a comprehension in five minutes, for example, that student has not read the passage or the questions carefully enough. It is expected that students check unknown vocabulary, given in any context, using a dictionary. It is not expected that they produce this for the teacher each week. This is called ‘taking responsibility for learning’.
 
Not all homework will require a written answer. However any written work set must be written neatly or typed. Illegible, scribbled or unedited work will not be marked. In writing, for example, it is necessary for students to write a few drafts before settling on their final piece to be presented. All work must be checked for sophistication of vocabulary, structure, logic, punctuation, grammar and spelling. This is termed ‘editing’. Drafts may be written in notebooks, but final pieces should be presented on A4, loose-leaf paper so that it can be taken home by the teacher, if necessary.
 
Students are expected to read books and they may choose to join the SSE library to access these. A minimum of 30 minutes reading, three times per week is expected. Many students, of course, will want to read more. This should be encouraged. The value of reading, in the acquisition of sophisticated and accurate English, cannot be underestimated.
 
If a student does not bring his/her homework to class
a.  On the first occasion, the teacher reminds the student of his/her responsibility and notes this on the homework register.
b.  On the second occasion, a note will be sent to the parents making them aware of the situation.

c.  On the third occasion, a telephone call will be made to the parents to discuss the situation.

A student, who still does not produce homework, may not be allowed to continue studying in the school.

 

The Commitment of the Teacher

The Sydney School of English only employs fully qualified and experienced teachers. The school therefore, elects to follow the appropriate standards set by the Department of Education and Teachers Federation regarding homework.
 
All homework will be marked. This is done in a variety of ways:
 
•  By the teacher (particularly in writing where the teacher will normally take the work home and return it the following week)
•  By the teacher in a one to one situation in class
•  By the student (for example, in comprehension, the teacher may go over the answers on the board)
•  By a peer (this teaches students to analyse another’s writing, thereby helping them to produce an improved piece of writing themselves)
 
Extra homework, set by the parent, another coaching school or indeed taken on by the student themselves, will not be marked by the teacher. This is not intended to discourage the students from writing. In fact, the opposite applies. Students 
are encouraged to write as much as possible. However, it is not practical to think that all extra work can be marked by a teacher. Homework should support the teaching and learning processes, not replace it.
 
To reiterate, the Sydney School of English requires that homework be educationally sound. Working together (school, teachers, students and parents) we can make homework a valuable learning tool. When students take pride in their work, it should prove to be a pleasurable experience too!
 
By signing the Student Enrolment Application, Parent(s) or Guardian(s) and their children accept and agree to abide by all conditions of this Homework Policy at all times.
 
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