Beyond the CLASSROOM
Homework provides an essential link between home and school and is an integral part of pupils’ learning. Many of our pupils come to Bell Baxter High School with well-established home study habits and we aim to capitalise on these habits from entry into S1 right through to the stage at which a learner leaves school.
What do we mean by “Learning Beyond the Classroom”?
Homework is the responsibility of the pupil and refers to work that takes place outwith the classroom – either at home or using school facilities such as our Library Resources Centre.
The traditional view of homework/study is one of written assignments and essays. As our curriculum has developed there now exists a whole range of activities designed to encourage home study, including directed work set by the class teacher who defines the tasks to be undertaken (including timescales for the completion of tasks) and independent study where the learner sets his or her own targets as part of their “learning beyond the classroom”.
Directed Study includes work such as:
- Investigative exercises in preparation for the next lesson.
- Preparing presentations.
- Learning vocabulary and formulae.
- Essay planning and completion.
- Completion of work sheets, answering set questions.
- Practising techniques and skills learned in class.
- Set text to read.
- Finishing off classwork.
Independent Study includes work such as:
- Revision of material covered in school.
- General reading.
- Organising and revision of course notes.
- Revising from past papers.
- Research using internet or other sources.
What Is The Purpose Of Home Study?
Homework is set to help promote the practice of independent learning. It enables learners to check their understanding of work undertaken in the school environment and allows them to revise, practise and develop what they have learned in school but at their own pace. Additionally, it promotes self-discipline and encourages the development of responsible attitudes. It provides parents and carers with an insight into work undertaken at school and more importantly involves them in the learning process.
How Do I Know If My Child Has Formal Work To Do Beyond the Classroom?
Learners will be asked to write down any pieces of homework they are asked to do or to input homework tasks into their mobile phone. They will always be given advance warning of major homework tasks and revision for tests to help them plan the use of their time effectively. Your son/daughter should be encouraged to view homework as a priority. We encourage you to regularly ask your child about with them.
How Much Homework Will My Child Receive?
The amount of homework issued varies within each curricular area and the nature of work being undertaken in class. A general rule of thumb is that as your child progresses through their secondary education the amount of homework expected of them will increase. It is not the time taken which ultimately matters, rather the quality of work undertaken as well as the effort in the work produced.
Homework in S1, S2, S3 – Broad General Education
Homework exercises given in First Year will continue to develop the study skills your child has already learned in primary school. Homework set will include some of the directed study activities highlighted above, including, for example, learning Modern Languages vocabulary. Pupils will also be expected to undertake independent study activities, e.g. general revision.
Homework in S4 – National Qualifications
Pupils in S4 can expect an increase in their workload. Homework is an essential part of National Qualifications and must be completed regularly and conscientiously, particularly when it is part of an internal assessment.
There will be more regular revision for assessments and regular practice in examination techniques. Homework assignments will become more challenging and take longer to complete as the courses progress. Pupils will also be expected to undertake independent study activities as well as their set homework.
Homework in S5 and S6 – National Qualifications
Homework is an essential factor in the progress and attainment of senior school pupils studying for National Qualifications. The quantity and challenge of homework tasks set will increase in each subject, particularly in Higher, Advanced Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate courses. The quality of grades achieved significantly depends on good study habits and responsible attitudes. As well as set homework tasks pupils should build in time to undertake revision of course notes. Time management and set routines are even more important in S5 and S6 when young people may also have part-time jobs. It is important to achieve the correct balance and to plan well!
What Can Parents Do to Support Their Child’s Learning?
- Encourage your child to see the importance of home study in supporting learning.
- Help your child to achieve a balance between the demands of home study, leisure activities and part time jobs.
- Ensure that your child is punctual in handing in homework.
- Help your child understand that regular revision is no less important than written formal exercises at all stages of their secondary education.
- Monitor your child’s progress by checking their Planner, or other materials used for homework.
- Offer praise, guidance and encouragement.
- Listen and support your child in their preparations for assessments.
- Register your child, especially if they are in S4-S6, with the school app.
We positively acknowledge the involvement and influence of parents in their child’s learning and ultimate progress and look forward to working in partnership with you. Where concerns are highlighted by teachers regarding non-completion of homework, we will contact you by letter or telephone. Please note that many of our Faculties provide course notes, revision materials and homework exercises on Glow. Materials available via Glow allow pupils to catch up on work missed through absence and allows further preparation for revision tests and exams. Each pupil is provided with a password to access Glow. Glow is a national safe and secure online community for pupils, parents and teachers and gives access to information and activities including interactive educational games, revision papers, links to other sites and news features. These resources support pupils to learn in innovative and exciting ways. Please note a number of other activities, aside from homework, are promoted to support learning beyond the classroom.