The College’s Homework Policy, “Learning Beyond the Classroom”, develops the potential within our home-school partnership to support student learning.
The College recognises that parents are the children’s first and most significant teachers and that students are involved in many activities outside school which contribute significantly to their learning and enhance family life.
A well-balanced, happy child is a motivated learner. Placing the needs of students foremost, we aim to strengthen the home-school partnership. Our Homework Policy, therefore, focuses on both the pastoral and academic needs of the individual student.
In developing our school-based guidelines to support the Policy, we have been informed by a broad concept of learning:
- all activities inside and outside of the classroom that increase an individual’s capacity to develop academically, socially, spiritually, emotionally and physically
- activities that enable an individual to gain and productively use new knowledge and skills
All experiences in life provide opportunities for ongoing learning. Events such as cycling tours, holidays, watching films, viewing live theatre and discussing issues enhance children’s experience of life. In supporting our children to achieve as learners we aim to foster their independence and use it responsibly.
Whilst this view of learning may not be new, the context within which teaching and formal learning now occurs is a vastly different one to that encountered even a generation ago. The impact of technological change and the emergence of globalisation necessitate a re-thinking of traditional views about the curriculum, and in turn the place of homework in relation to learning.
We are now in the “knowledge era” of schooling. The critical skills required for this are:
- self-directed learning
- risk taking
- formal and informal communication
Our developmental approach at Overnewton culminates in students taking greater responsibility for their own learning and developing pathways that take them well beyond the compulsory years of their schooling. Self-directed learners must develop the critical skills to make good decisions about how to manage and spend their time. Learning activities should focus on self directedness; so too the thinking that shapes our approach to homework. Homework in this environment cannot be pigeon holed into specific amounts or tasks that should be completed on a given number of nights. It should not be seen as a tedious process, but rather as a critical part of the learning journey that is being managed by a young adult. Unlike homework policy documents of the past, our Homework Policy, therefore, does not specify amounts of homework associated with various year levels.
The place of Homework is that it must:
- always and only be used to support learning
- provide practise in the mastery of skills
- reflect the different developmental stages of individuals
- cater to the specific individual needs of each student
- cater for different learning styles
- be learning beyond the classroom
- enhance the cognitive, physical, social, emotional and spiritual growth of individuals
Each of our schools has developed further documentation of practices which support our Homework Policy and foster learning beyond the classroom.
(Last update January 20, 2011)