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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:55 pm 
can anyone comment on the amount of homework their child is getting in their prospective G.S?
My child goes to a very popular bucks G.S, THEIR GCSE results was excellent,but so far, they have hardly had any really challenging homework.According to their timetable, they should have 2 pieces of homework set a night ,x 20mins each,but in reality, it would appear they are not really following the timetable,as homework set as been 'adhoc'.
Iam concerned as he came from an independent school and allways had 'challenging' homework. He informed me today that his english teacher said "i don't believe in homework, i feel children shoiuld play when they get home,and homework should only be set during the holidays".
This really worried me.I feel like contacting his class tutor, but my son is reluctant and doesn't want me to make a 'fuss'.Has anyone had similar experience?
I wonder IF it's because they are 'new', they have had alot of assessments, but this is really worrying me.Any comments any advice?
Guest 55 are you around?
many thanks

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:52 pm 
Don't know if it's any help, but my son is at a Slough grammar which is very close to a Bucks one (that narrows it down!!).

His school 'phases in' homework during first half term. He started off with three pieces per night approx 20 mins each (though, being keen, he tended to spend longer on it) and this is now 30 mins each x 3 and apparently will stay the same for the rest of Y7. Some of this has been very challenging (I've taught Y6, so can make a fair comparison), some less so. Generally a good mix, with most pieces of homework having a few days leeway before it has to go in.

We recently had a parent consultation eve and were encouraged to give our opinion of homework. Perhaps your child's school is due to have a similar event and you can raise your concerns then?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:52 pm 
I don't know which school your son goes to but you say it gets excellent results so hopefully they are being kind.

Last year in yr 7 at my son's school they were officially meant to have 3 homeworks per night but never received more than 2 - also usually had one night 'off' per week. It just depended on the subjects due to be set that night - eg art & music rarely set and some geography quite often only once instead of twice. Usually max. 45 mins per night which was fine by us after such a busy year 6. Sometimes homework would be light but then once every 2-3 weeks quite a substantial 'piece' would be set.

The homework was very manageable which meant that it could be done without the need for parental support, which is surely a good thing. Lessons could sometimes be quite intensive in which case they would be excused homework as they had managed to cover so much in class. Some also managed to start homework in class or do it at lunchtime.

Incidently, the school gets some of the best results in Bucks and the improvement in assessed Keystage at the end of the year, for most, was impressive Be warned though, the work this year, including homework, has noticeably intensified!
I would add that school son goes to is very high achieving

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 13993
Yes - I'm around and a bit concerned!

As a tutor, part of the role was to look at planners and check homework was being set, recorded and done - and that parents were signing too! These were also sampled by HOY to check tutors were checking -

Pupils won't want to 'rock the boat' - I completely understand that - but I am surprised the school hasn't picked it up. At my child's school they usually get 2 out of the 3 a night - which I am happy with

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:05 pm 
Sorry, ignore last sentence - should have been deleted and don't think I can retrospectively amend!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:21 pm 
Picking up on Guest 55's comments, in line with his school's policy my son's planner is also checked weekly for parental signatures/comments by form tutor who countersigns.

Planner was discussed at consultation eve as part of homework check, with tutor asking son if he remembers to tick off each time he does a piece of work, rather than doing so retrospectively at the end of the week.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:10 am 
Hi all,
thanks for all the responses.Their parent evening is not till Jan,and I don't think I should or want to wait till that long!
I am very concerned as son is a' bit laid back'- does rise to the 'occation ' if demanded of him, otherwise he just 'coasts' and does the bare minimal.,if not pushed.
Because of this, I feel i should 'nip it in the bud' quietly with the tutor verbally without writing it in his planner as he doesn't want me to make a' fuss'.
W e have been through so much to get him to where he is ,( independent school fees etc}as well as move house ,{ to be in catchment for this G.S} i don't want all the work done previously to be 'undone' in year 7 or any other year for that matter!
How do they achieve their results if homework is not daily or challenging.?
They are not 'sticking to their 'timetable'. I wonder if they are trying to maybe 'break them in gently'? The commment made by the english teacher does really worry me -quote again ' don't believe in homework ,feel children should play,and homework should be given in half term!
Yes children should still play in year 7 , but there should be a balance, the children should be made to realise that they are no longer in 'primary' but now in' secondary 'and with that comes a level intensity with academic focus.
Am i expecting too much? Am I too anxious or eager?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:38 pm 
I made a very foolish mistake last year and commented on my year 7s lack of homework at his upper school and expressed my concern. Now i have one in year 8 and one in year 7 both at grammars and we are drowning under homework! Serves me right i guess!
Last week between my 3 kids we had 21 pieces of homework to get though. Granted some of it was easy but just organising it was a challenge! Goodbye Sunday mornings reading the paper in bed. My advice ? Be careful what you wish for!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:07 pm 
Dear original guest.

Is your concern that there is no CHALLENGING homework set, or just no homework at all. Often the grammar schools start by just setting very doable pieces of work for the children to get them used to the routine of 2 or 3 pieces of homework per night. Remember the transition is paced to be right for those moving on from state primaries, since grammar schools are state secondaries. Many children in state primaries had 1 english worksheet and 1 maths worksheet per WEEK in year 6, so they need to be worked into the routine of DAILY simple homework first, and then the work content stepped up. Also remember for a state primary child who has not studied French, a homework learning say numbers 1-20 in French will take them 20 minutes, whereas this will be a "no homework" for a prep school child who has studied the language for several years. This may also apply for other subjects. So - I'm not saying don't do anything, but do ask your child if there was a "learning homework" set, which he didn't bother to write down because he knew it already.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:19 pm 
Hi ,
thanks again for the last 2 responses.May be I am expecting too much straightaway. Hilda what you said about state primary- secondary even though a Grammar is a very big step academically for some ,especially if they have not been used to certain subjects like languages. I do appreaciate that.
I guess am afraid he may lose the 'pace' he has been used to if it 'carries on'.
I will speak to the 'class tutor' quietly and keep a close 'eye' on things.I hate to think what's happening in some 'state comprehensives' if i think the grammar is not giving regular and challenging homework!
hopefully things will 'pick up' soon.
Thanks again

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