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Homework Policy

Last revised July 2015

Definition of Homework

1. Homework refers to any learning activity that students are required by teachers to complete outside of curriculum time.  This includes assignments and projects but not revision of school work or studying for tests and examinations.

Objectives of Homework

2. Homework, when used appropriately, can reinforce students’ learning, provide feedback on their progress and cultivate a healthy disposition towards continual learning.  However, excessive homework can have adverse impact on students’ holistic development and well-being, and could negatively affect their motivation for learning.

3. Effective use of homework can:

(a) reinforce learning and deepen understanding of lessons taught;
(b) students to regularly practise, and apply skills and concepts taught;
(c) good study skills and habits; and
(d) greater ownership and responsibility for independent learning.

4. Judicious use of homework allows teachers to:

(a) consolidate learning that has taken place in class;
(b) check for students’ understanding and progress, so as to provide timely feedback, intervention and support; and
(c) review effectiveness of lesson.

5. Homework also provides parents with:

(a) timely information on the learning progress of their child; and
(b) opportunity to be involved in the child’s learning.

Setting Homework – General Considerations

Quantity of Homework

6.         The quantity of homework assigned takes into consideration the following:

(a) For holistic development, students need a balanced life with adequate time for family bonding, social activities, personal interests and rest;
(b) The amount of homework given should be age-appropriate and take into account the competing demands on students’ time (e.g. CCA, competitions, enrichment classes, tests, examinations);

    • P1 – P2: not more than 1h per day
    • P3 – P4: not more than 1.5h per day
    • P5 – P6: not more than 2h per day
LevelEnglish, Mathematics (& Science) totalMother Tongue/HMT
P1 & P245 min15 min
P3 & P41 h30 min
P5 & P6 1 h 30 min30 min 
P5 & P6 HMT  1 h 15 min45 min 

(c) There is a point of diminishing returns to giving more homework and homework overload can have detrimental effects on learning;
(d) Assignment of homework, if un-regulated and un-coordinated across subjects/departments, can lead to homework overload; and
(e) Amount of homework assigned to students, where appropriate, should be differentiated, such as by academic courses or ability level.

7. Teachers also need to be mindful that school holidays are meant for students to take a break from formal learning and they should therefore not be given excessive homework.  As a guide, if homework is to be given during the school holidays, the daily homework load should not be more than 50% of the daily load given during the school week. No homework is to be administered during major festivals namely, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji and Deepavali.

Quality of Homework

8. Homework given should be well designed to bring about the intended learning outcomes.  It should:

(a) be purposeful and encourage critical thinking;
(b) be worth doing and related to class teaching;
(c)  be explicit and clearly defined so that students clearly understand what is required of them;
(d) be within the students’ capabilities and developmental readiness;
(e) involve the use of only material resources that are known to be readily available to students; and
(f) be differentiated, where possible, to meet the different needs and abilities of students.

Feedback for Homework

9. Homework should be properly checked, with timely feedback, interventions and support given.  To some extent, the quality of homework is only as good as the quality of feedback and interventions given by teachers.

Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders

10. Educators, parents and learners all play an important role in ensuring that homework serves its intended purposes.

11. Teachers will:

(a) design appropriate and meaningful homework;
(b) set realistic deadlines for submission of homework;
(c) establish and communicate clear expectations to students on the purpose and procedure of homework;
(d) record it on the white board with estimated time of completion of homework;
(e) ask the pupils to record homework for the day in the Pupil’s Handbook;
(f) coordinate with other teachers of the class on the frequency and quantity of homework to be given;
(g) check homework and provide timely feedback to students;
(h) provide timely intervention and support to students;
(i) ensure that workbooks, exercise books & files are to be seen and signed by parents at least once a month
(j) engage parents on homework matters and provide them with information pertaining to students’ learning progress;
(k) assign only MT spelling on Fridays and EL spelling can be given on any school day except Fridays;
(l) ask pupils to use green pen for corrections for all subjects at all levels; and
(m) ensure pupils who are absent are also kept informed of assigned homework.

12. Students should:

(a) understand the purpose of homework and what is expected of them;
(b) keep track of homework instructions and deadlines;
(c) manage time well to ensure that homework is completed and submitted on time;
(d) give his/her best effort in completing homework; and
(e) review feedback from teachers on homework submitted.

13. Parents should:

(a) create a home environment conducive for studying and completion of homework;
(b) supervise and provide support for child’s learning;
(c) reinforce good study habits and attitudes;
(d) be mindful of the stresses arising from school homework and out-of-school activities, and help their children prioritise their time among these activities; and
(e) work in partnership with teachers to support child’s learning and development.