Homework Policy

Homework may be a nuisance, but it is also vital for forming good habits that stand to people throughout life.



The policy encourages a sense of responsibility for homework amongst all the school partners of Columba College. Teachers in Columba College regard the setting and correction of homework an important part of our overall aim to achieve the highest possible level of learning among our students.

However, in saying this, the final responsibility for satisfactory completion and presentation of homework rests with the learner.

The value of homework.

The current research tells us that the quality of homework assigned is likely to be much more important than the quantity. Research has established that homework has a positive effect on learning, particularly within a secondary school (Xu, 2010; Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 2005). Although homework’s effectiveness has been challenged by educators, parents, and students (Kohn, 2006), it continues to be an important educational supplement used by most teachers to enhance the learning experience of their students (Patall, Cooper, & Wynn, 2010). Overall, the effectiveness of homework is enhanced by providing students with choices among homework tasks, which will result in higher motivational and performance outcomes, students’ autonomy, and intrinsic motivation (Patall et al., 2010).


Homework helps students by:

  • complementing and reinforcing classroom learning
  • fostering good lifelong learning and study habits
  • providing an opportunity for students to become responsible for their own learning
  • developing self-regulation processes such as goal-setting, self-efficacy, self-reflection and time management
  • supporting partnerships with parents by connecting families with the learning of their children







The different formats of homework:

  • Written work
  • Revision of class material
  • Aural work
  • Oral work
  • Practicing new skills
  • Researching for projects and writing reports
  • Apply new concepts
  • Drawing
  • Essays
  • Reading
  • Project work that may extend over a number of weeks
  • Gathering materials/ingredients



Time spent at homework.

The table below describes quality homework practice for the different year groups.

Year Group Recommended time to spend on homework

It is important to note that the ability of each student should be taken into account

1st   At least one and a half hours per night
2nd   At least two hours per night
3rd   At least two and a half hours per night building up to three and a half hours to include study and revision leading into exam times
4th At least one and a half hours to two hours per night researching and working on projects
5th At least two hours to two and a half hours per night
6th  At this level, students should be spending 3 hours a night at homework. This should be broken into various slots with time for revision and study as well as a 15-minute break






Roles and Responsibilities.

Everyone has a role to play in the development and implementing of the homework policy. It should be viewed as a collaborative approach between all shareholders, students, parents/guardians, teachers and school management.


Students can take responsibility for their own learning by:

  • writing their homework into their school journal
  • being aware of the school’s homework policy
  • discussing with their parents/guardian the homework expectations
  • accepting responsibility for the completion of homework tasks within set time frames
  • following up on comments made by teachers
  • seeking assistance when difficulties arise
  • organising their time to manage home obligations, participation in physical activity and sports, recreational and cultural activities and part-time employment.


Teachers can support students by:

  • equipping students with the skills to solve problems
  • encouraging real-life problem solving, logical thinking, creativity and imagination
  • setting varied, challenging and meaningful tasks related to class work to suit the students’ learning needs
  • giving students enough time to complete homework, considering home obligations and extracurricular activities
  • assessing homework and providing timely and practical feedback and support
  • helping students develop organisational and time-management skills
  • ensuring parents/guardians are aware of the school’s homework policy
  • developing strategies within the school to support parents/guardians becoming active partners in homework.
  • offering a wide range of opportunities for families to engage in their children’s learning


Parents can support students by:

  • developing a positive and productive approach to homework
  • ensuring there is a balance between the time spent on homework and recreational activities
  • talking to teachers about any concerns they have about the homework
  • attending the school events, productions or displays where their child is involved
  • ensuring that students keep a homework diary and check it regularly
  • discussing homework with their child in their first language, if English is not the main language spoken at home, and linking it to previous learning experience’s
  • linking homework and other learning activities to the families’ culture, history and language, linking with relevant services, clubs, associations and community groups if relevant.
  • If a student is having ongoing problems with homework discuss this with the teacher.
  • If your student can’t do their homework for any reason, let the teacher know. Write a short note explaining why.

(Department of Education: Guide to Education 2014)




Non-Completion of Homework:

  • These are the procedures for students who fail to produce homework
  • Verbal reprimand
  • Written comment in journal
  • Relevant extra homework
  • Lunch detention
  • Telephone call to parent/guardian
  • Persistent failure to do/present homework may result in a Friday after school detention.



This policy will be reviewed every two years.