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Year 7- how much hmk, which subjects?

(30 Posts)
Salbertina Mon 02-Sep-13 07:00:56

Could do with a lowdown and what to expect in terms of amount, level, rage of subjects for year 7 homework. Also how big is the leap typically from year 6? Thanks.

NoComet Tue 10-Sep-13 12:07:01

Meaningful, marked and not too long winded. Also with sufficient scaffolding in lessons.

History projects almost pass except they are way too long (history produces more HW than Geog, MFL, RE & PHSE put together) and then teacher added a bit extra.

Geography failed totally on the scaffolding. I'm a cheek bolshy sod. DD2 isn't, she likes to obey the rules, if something is too open ended and vague she doesn't start it in case she does the wrong thing. She also won't extend stuff because she's only in Y7.

German and science have a few crazy sheets, clearly given out without reading them, just because the pupils ought to have HW.

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Sep-13 20:54:26

My DD1 has just started y10. She doesn't find schoolwork particularly easy.

What I have found, is that the subjects she did best in y7-9 seem to be the subjects that set homework and/or had regular assessments with stuff sent home to prepare/revise for in advance.

So subjects where I have had enough visibility at home of what they are doing so I can help explain / practice / learn techniques she is doing better in.

So maybe homework doesn't help bright kids, or kids whose family doesn't have the time/skill/interest to help. But it sure helps my daughter.

Sadly, some key subjects do not seem to set meaningful homework (and exercise books are kept in school).

NoComet Mon 09-Sep-13 18:17:01

Ok I'm being a bit cheeky.
Well thought out HW is valuable. Practicing maths, writing English essays in peace, well thought out MFL that teaches vocab and humanities that extend the lessons.

Please finish what we didn't finish in the lesson, please answer questions on exactly what we wrote in class, please do a pile of maths on a topic you already under stand are not.

I'm dyslexic, I find hand writing, neatly, with reasonable spell jolly hard work. Stuff like DD2's write a postcard from a dirty Elizabethan London drove me mad.

I'll regurgitate all this stuff in the exam, until then leave me alone! (If you make me write it out for HW I'll only have to endure your sarcastic comments about my writing).

CarpeVinum Tue 03-Sep-13 15:15:24

Since I got straight A's (in the days before A existed) without doing a lot of HW, I'm very sceptical about it. Especially in Y7-Y9*

I think the bright kids who pick things up easily may get less benefit from HW. Mine on the other hand, (who needs time to poke around, go over and approach from other angles before things click into place) is now a "not so far from" straight A student BECUASE of the homework.

It's been evident that where quality homework is set and gets done well (not rished, half arsed) he masters and retains the topic. Not so much if it isn't or he makes a lazy pig's ear of it.

By the latter half of last ac. year he settled into the different educational culture and was pretty much consistent with doing his homework well.

He went back to school yesterday, one piece of homework (freer extensive writing) handed in and marked already. The difference between what he was prepared to do and could produce last year and this is dramatic. The school is great, the lessons are well planned and engaging, the teachers approachable and good at their jobs. But what has made one of the most dramtic contributions to his all round improvement is the expectation he will put his back into homework, take charge of his own learning and hone his skills via practice.

I'm not skeptical that some children find it a useless time consuming bother that doesn't add much to their education. However I don't believe they are the majority. There are more Bog Standard Somewhere Around the Average kids than there are children at either extreme. For those boringly averageish kids engaging, quality homework and the expectation that it will be done, and done well, can make an enormous difference.

I've done a complete 180, I hated homework and wished it at the bottom of the ocean when he was at Italian state cos there was far too much of way too little real value. Now he's at a British school I regard it as one of the fundemental supoort pillars of his his education. Cos when a school hits the right standards in terms of well thought out, quality tasks and spreads the load accross the week so it doesn't become a daft sized burden, bloody hell what a difference it can make.

<strokes iPad screen showing first homework grade of the year>

Marmitelover55 Tue 03-Sep-13 14:35:32

Oops - sorry about typos - on phone grin

Marmitelover55 Tue 03-Sep-13 14:34:35

My DD1'z school is a comp which Getz excellent results. But I am dreading all of the homework on her behalf as they get 2-4 pieces a night. This will be a huff shock to her after one piece per week at primary (and nothing at all since the SATs in May).

Salbertina Tue 03-Sep-13 05:50:29

Star arent you s v clever exception to the rule tho?

NoComet Tue 03-Sep-13 00:39:32

Since I got straight A's (in the days before A* existed) without doing a lot of HW, I'm very sceptical about it. Especially in Y7-Y9

teacherwith2kids Mon 02-Sep-13 23:44:50

DS - good state comp - has homeowrk set nightly, according to a homework planner issued with his timetable at the beginning of the year. Every night has something, no night has more than 2, Initially, all homework is due in the following working day. Once they can see that children are in the routine of doing some work every night, and have identified any children with whom there are issues, they start giving chunkier pieces with slightly longer deadlines (never longer than a week, some still set overnight).

Science has the biggest workload, Geography next. I suspect that the Maths load might be hard for other kids but it's one of DS's 'things' so it's done like lightening.

It is ALWAYS done, almost invariably before I get home unless it's a longer piece. It is, however, a matter between DS and the school. He knows I expect it to be done. He knows he can ask me if he needs help or advice - but he also knows that he can take himself off to homework club at school to get things finished there, and he does that fairly regularly.

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 14:25:32

Sorry- *HW is designed to...

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 14:25:01

curlew- I spoke not as a parent but as a former teacher. Secondary school homework can add as much as one whole academic year to the achievement of pupils over the first 5 years of secondary school. Lessons are not just periods of time to be sat through during which learning magically passes from the teacher's brain to the pupil's. It is designed to reinforce the learning presented in school lessons, which evidently in 45 mn lessons will not be long enough for the points covered in the lesson to get into every brain in the class. Most pupils need to look over the lesson content at a later date as well- it is extremely rare for even very bright pupils to remember every single point covered.The teacher's job to introduce the concept in the most interesting possible way and in as many different ways as possible to account for all learning styles. HW helps the pupil become reacquainted with the topic beyond the lesson, potentially kindling their interest enough to prompt them to explore it further.

You wouldn't (I hope) take your child to a weekly music lesson without them having done any practise in the week- that would be utterly pointless. The same is true of every other lesson they study at school. By not supporting your child's hw or even its existence you are doing them a grave disservice within the education system. You are also teaching them that learning is something that should only happen in school, which is manifestly rubbish.

Salbertina Mon 02-Sep-13 11:54:24

Thanks for all the info, surprising how much schools differ.
And trying not to panic at huge gulf between where we are and UK system, gulp!

NoComet Mon 02-Sep-13 11:17:08

Depends on which sets, which teachers and how much your DC does on the bus or in the library and you never see.

I refuse to read planners, and just sign them for months in advance because no one checks anything other than the page waved under their nose.

DD1 is dyslexic, her planner is illegible.
DD2 is a law unto herself and best left to her own devices,

I shout HW at appropriate points during the evening and the weekend and apart from that it's their problem. School is pretty hot in giving out detentions for undone HW, neither of my DDs are keen on getting in trouble, so I don't need to nag much.

DH tries a bit of micro management, but it just winds the DDs up a bit and me a lot.

Had my parents tried to get involved with my HW (much of which I didn't do) it would have ended in me simply lying about what I had. My DDads blood pressure was never up to interacting with my slack set up comp.

curlew Mon 02-Sep-13 10:58:41

"Personally I feel that it does the pupils a disservice not to get them used to homework by year 6. The point of homework is to encourage the love of learning for its own sake, to explore topics in more depth, to extend the learning into the home environment so that the parents can become involved and teach children what they know"

No it isn't. The point of homework is usually to placate parents who think that!

FiveHoursSleep Mon 02-Sep-13 10:33:32

We've been told to expect 1-1 1/2 hours of homework a night. DD is going to a partially selective comprehensive with a reputation for being academic.

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 10:16:40

My children's private secondaries have usually been 2-3 pieces per night of around 30 mn each. They had come from private primaries where they were doing about 2 x 30 mn every night so it wasn't a difficult leap for them.

Our nearest primary gives no homework at all even in year 6 (just one of the many ways they like to distinguish themselves and feel special) and I know for a fact that many of the children going on to the feeder comp where they are expected to produce 2-3 x 30 mn a week find it a big problem to organise themselves to do the hw.

Personally I feel that it does the pupils a disservice not to get them used to homework by year 6. The point of homework is to encourage the love of learning for its own sake, to explore topics in more depth, to extend the learning into the home environment so that the parents can become involved and teach children what they know. It is all preparation for more self-directed learning and study required at GCSE, A level and degree.

tiggytape Mon 02-Sep-13 10:05:44

My DS started Year 7 (state school) last year. He gets about 30 minutes - 1.5 hours per night depending on what it is and how well he's organised himself.
Some homework is ongoing for half a term so they should do 30 minutes towards it each week but if they let it build up, it might mean a whole weekend spent on it just before the deadline. They seem to learn to pace themselves.

Generally the work is due for the next time they have that subject not the next day but some of it has to be sent as email attachments to the correct teacher. They have to get used to writing deadlines etc in their planner.

The level wasn't a huge leap from Year 6. DS finished Year 6 on high level 5's and I would say the top group homework in Year 7 started at around that standard too. He didn't find anything hard at first although the pace did pick up by Easter.

Tigerblue Mon 02-Sep-13 09:41:02

My daughter's school trialled a new homework system on the Year 7s last year. My daughter was regularly doing at least two usually three hours a night and about six hours at the weekend. On top of this, she also had an incredibe amount of books to read (the aim up to 20 with different teachers, only did 5 our of 8 for one, 3 out of 4 for another, 1 out of one and the other is still ongoing. Anyway, they've apparently taken into account comments from parents and many are anticipating a reduction - we will see!

SoupDragon Mon 02-Sep-13 07:40:05

Sorry, yes - no more than 3 pieces of HW a night. Often it is only 1 or some are really short and easy and they aren't always due in the next day.

Salbertina Mon 02-Sep-13 07:34:52

Gosh what a waste and v disheartening for dc!

curlew Mon 02-Sep-13 07:33:09

My children are at different schools. One is a much better school in practically every way, up to and including exam results- and has a policy of as little homework as possibly. The other has loads- I suspect as a smokescreen "it must be a good school, look at all the homework they get!" So it's not a simple picture. There is also the question of what happens to it after they do it- another school I know has lots. Of homework set, but it's like dropping it into a black hole- it's never seen again. Very discouraging,

Salbertina Mon 02-Sep-13 07:28:35

Thanks, will check a few likely schools but no definite option yet, hence my plea for general info.

curlew Mon 02-Sep-13 07:26:15

It depends on the school. Have you looked at their website? Both of my children's schools have their homework policy on there- ds's actually puts what day they get which subject and when it's due back.

CarpeVinum Mon 02-Sep-13 07:23:58

My son started year seven (private school) last year. Compared to Italian state he gets very little homework.

He can spend a long time on it becuase it isn't generally "buzywork" style stuff, quite projecty/open ended writing. He could finish a lot more quickly in most cases, but it was a bit of a transition from him after being more used to reams of rote learning so there was a learning curve slowing him doen. And sometimes he would get wrapped up in the topic and produce epic sized pieces of work.

This year I think he'll speed up becuase it's not so new anymore.

The way his school works he never gets more than two subjects' worth of homework on any given day. Which I like becuase back in the day it seemed there was a special forcefield stopping the teachers from talking between themselves to make sure they didn't all dump massive endevours onnthe kids all at the same time.

Salbertina Mon 02-Sep-13 07:19:36

And core subjects being maths, combined science (or are they separate at this stage?), hist, geo, a language, i missing anything? Do they also have to manage this independently in terms of hmk recording, meeting deadlines etc or are they still closely monitored and supported?

Vv different system currently, hence my basic questions.

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