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How often should work be set and marked in GCSE years?

(25 Posts)
BusyBusyBusy1 Fri 14-Oct-16 13:17:00

Interested to find out how often your DC gets homework set and marked during GCSE years - my DS in year 10 has only had two pieces of homework marked in 7 weeks.

Somerville Fri 14-Oct-16 13:26:37

Yikes. My year 10 is set homework for 2/3 subjects every day. It is all marked, as far as I can see, except where the homework was revision for a test the next day. But in that latter case the test is marked of course.

At her school the staff seem pretty paranoid about the new grading system and curriculum changes and I've heard from parents who also have older kids who went through this school that they think the burden of work has increased.

BusyBusyBusy1 Fri 14-Oct-16 13:28:28

Thanks Somerville
That is what I had expected, I was shocked to find out the homework frequency.

Somerville Fri 14-Oct-16 13:30:34

Maaaaybeeee staff are giving them until half term before they up the pace? I'd be going in to check, I think, and if not then buying study guides and setting homework myself. (My kids LOVE me.)

Whynotnowbaby Fri 14-Oct-16 13:33:31

I'm a teacher and would say it depends on the subject, school policy etc. In my school we set hwk twice a week per subject in ks4. I would expect to mark all books once a week but that doesn't always happen as sometimes I will set different sorts of homework. So it may be something they can mark themselves when we go through it in class (I will then note down marks and check marking when I next collect books). A test where checking each other's work is part of the learning experience (essentially covering the material again to assess from a given mark scheme). Or the work may be to give an oral presentation of some sort, in this case they will do it for a partner in class while I listen in as I go round and then a couple will 'perform' for everyone.

Are you talking twice across the board (so only two pieces of work in any subject?) or about one specific one? If it's across the board then it sounds like the school has a very lax marking policy - contact the Head of Year and ask how your dc is being assessed and if bit satisfied take it further. If one subject this could be the case if they are being assessed in other ways. You could contact the teacher and ask for clarification of how often books are likely to be marked and how assessment is made when they are not marking. Many schools have a policy that books are marked once a fortnight but it does vary.

BusyBusyBusy1 Fri 14-Oct-16 13:54:13

It is English that I discovered this in. Now I am looking through other exercise books to find out what the frequency is. I have asked the school to let me know what their policy is across the board. It is a new Academy (he will be in the second year to do GCSEs). We have never received any test results from the school - although they do 'assessments' each summer, the only feedback we get comes in the middle of the summer holidays when we get a score between 1 and 9 for application and knowledge. We have never had any actual exam results.

He has dyslexia (and will have a laptop and extra time in GCSEs) but has not yet been given a laptop to work with, nor has he had any exam practice yet.
I am worried - younger DS at a girl's grammar is getting plenty of homework, exams, tests etc.

Whynotnowbaby Fri 14-Oct-16 14:51:29

Hmm I would say English is definitely s subject that needs regular teacher feedback. It can't often be assessed with right or wrong answers like some other subjects and they need to be explaining how even the most advanced piece of writing can be improved so your do can access the top grades. Alongside talking to the school about their across the board policy, do talk to the individual teacher and if necessary escalate to head of department. If no luck there you will need to address a complaint the head who will pass it to the HoD's line manager.

OldBeanbagz Fri 14-Oct-16 15:04:18

DD has just started Y10 and is getting 5-7 pieces of homework a week, all back and marked within a few days. She's managing to keep on top of it all as well as music lessons too which i'm surprised about.

HereIAm20 Fri 14-Oct-16 15:56:33

DS (year 10) has 3 x 40 minute HW per night. All are marked.

noblegiraffe Fri 14-Oct-16 17:48:50

School policy might be detailed teacher feedback on each class once every three weeks, so twice so far would be right.

Given the amount of time it takes to mark a set of books properly, any more often would reduce the quality of the marking or the lesson planning.

BusyBusyBusy1 Fri 14-Oct-16 17:54:02

Thanks! Yes, I completely understand how much work it must be doing all that marking - hence good idea to do peer to peer marking, for example.

When your DC do a test do they generally get a percentage or grade?

noblegiraffe Fri 14-Oct-16 18:10:20

My school doesn't issue test results to parents, the students know what they got and should tell their parents!

pointythings Fri 14-Oct-16 18:19:21

It's one item per week for everything except English and Maths, where it's two at the school DDs go to. DD1 is in Yr11 and doesn't have a lot right now because she is doing CAs and a lot of mocks - but she is expected to revise a lot. Fortunately she does.

OldBeanbagz Sat 15-Oct-16 08:57:33

DD is given both percentages and grades for test results. She normally tells me what her results are.

DailyMailFuckRightOff Sat 15-Oct-16 09:12:14

All schools will have different systems but most GCSE students have English for 4-5 hours per week. So you'd be looking at at least 2 homeworks per week.

Also depends on the feedback policy - are some of them being peer or self assessed? We had a policy of teacher marking once every 3 lessons but had to revisit as it was simply unworkable - for me this meant 15 hours' marking per week, before I'd even started looking at lesson planning, revision sessions etc!

Many schools report to parents 3 times per year with a predicted grade for each subject and an effort grade. Individual subject test results will not be communicated centrally, you will probably need to speak with your child about these, ask to look at books, folders etc. When I'm feeling on top of things I tend to send reward postcards home if a student meets or exceeds their target grade in a class test, and many parents have come back to me and said 'I didn't know he/she was doing a test'. Teenagers eh?!

Hmmmm....not sure if that helps to answer your questions at all, but it might be that the teacher is new to the school / new to the spec / new to the marking policy?

It might also be that your child doesn't always hand their book in (there are certain students who can get through to January without me seeing their book because their automatic action at the end of the lesson is to scoop everything up and shove it in their bag). Does your son seem satisfied that his experience is typical of others in his year group?

Certainly raise your concerns but perhaps start with the class teacher. There could be a v simple explanation, or yes, it could need to be escalated.

Clonakilty Sat 15-Oct-16 09:37:20

Be aware that many teachers will have 150 plus pupils that they see weekly with only 3 hours in total for planning, marking and writing reports. If the teacher spends 5 minutes on each book, he or she will still only mark 12 in an hour. In order to stay on top of it all an English teacher might have to take work home and do an extra 4 hours daily. The marking is one of the main reasons why English teachers are not staying in the profession and why so many children are being taught by teachers without degrees in their subject.

Clonakilty Sat 15-Oct-16 09:39:57

Two pieces is probably about right for English, especially if they are full length essays.

MrsWooster Sat 15-Oct-16 09:44:42

Peer assessing, self assessing, read, think about xyz.... all useful homework. Consider if your son feels ok about what he is studying, talk about the subjects/text and let him 'teach' you. If he is comfortable and confident about the subject, then maybe, just maybe consider trusting the teacher?

DoctorDonnaNoble Sat 15-Oct-16 09:47:44

Most schools don't have 4-5 hours of English a week. None I have taught in do. We have 3 hours of English a week and I can set up to 90 minutes of homework. Usually I set an hour.

Rosieposy4 Sat 15-Oct-16 20:56:09

150 kids a week!, as a science teacher, mainly exam years, i have 340 kids per week. I cannot mark every childs book every week, especially when you add in tests, question booklets etc.

Clonakilty Sat 15-Oct-16 22:35:05

Thank you for your comment, Rosieposy4. I am always reluctant to post anything except on the Feminist site because I usually get my head bitten off; I am quite vulnerable and can't deal with it. Yes - 340. That's impossible, isn't it? I feel for you trying your best in those circumstances. No wonder we are exhausted and have prolonged sickness, We need to teach fewer children, rather than more - or we need much more time to plan and mark. 11% of the profession left last year and 79% of schools struggled to recruit secondary teachers. In a survey conducted by the Guardian, 75% said the job and the unreasonable demands were having a serious impact on their mental health. Maybe some people think it is ok to have their child being taught by someone who is seriously mentally ill - I don't know; but If my child's teacher was that ill I should want the person to take time off and receive the medical intervention necessary. People break when they are pushed that far; I know I did. I know several teachers who have been hospitalised and so many are on antidepressants. Teachers and medical staff - these professions are in crisis.

BusyBusyBusy1 Sun 16-Oct-16 11:33:58

Clona, I completely agree with your points (work in NHS myself). Not criticising his teacher at all , just concerned that the school overall doesn't have a GCSE plan and that the first cohorts to do GCSEs will suffer. (In year7,8 they told me they didn't have a syllabus because they were allowing it to 'evolve')

Cary2012 Tue 18-Oct-16 17:07:59

I teach KS4 English. Our KS4 students have four one hour periods in English per week. I see over 80 year 10s and 60 year 11s per week. I set one piece of homework for each per week, to be handed in the same period the following week. I mark and return within a week.

From the start of year 10 the students are following the GCSE 'flightpath'. They all have copies of grading criteria for various types of writing in their folders. They identify and self assess their own grades. I then mark all work and correct their grades if necessary. We have a two week turn round on marking, I try to do it within a week. Detailed marking, on extended writing at top set can take me 30 mins per book. Part of the homework I set is the students undertaking the corrections/re-writing I've identified in their marking.

I mark and grade to the exam criteria.

Hope that helps.

Lilly948204 Tue 18-Oct-16 19:53:19

I'm a science teacher, homework is set every week for KS4, however at the start of the year we finished off two GCSE topics that were started in year 9 so the homework set was revision for exams. This covered about four weeks. For the past three weeks they have been set a homework every week.

Books are marked every two/three weeks in my school.

There could be other things going on like revision which is why homework hasn't been as obvious.

In my school grades are sent home five times a year to parents. Hope this helps for comparison :-)

Mrssjo Tue 18-Oct-16 21:28:30

My DS is in year 11 and barely getting any homework at the moment, this is because in many of his subjects controlled assessments are in full flow and they cannot be worked on at home.

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