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Getting boys to do homework!

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by ktaylor60, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. ktaylor60

    ktaylor60 New commenter

    I am part of the pastoral team (Head of Year 8) and we are trying to crack homework - we have an issue with boys in particular not doing it and repeatedly getting detentions but not caring. They have to do their HW in detention but are still not doing it before.
    Any ideas or strategies that anyone has to offer would be very welcome.
    We are a mainstream, mixed school.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Make it relevant , differentiated and accessible . That said you may have to look again @ your curriculum on offer ? I have never worked in school which had cracked this issue. I think homework is generally poorly set and ill conceived by most departments - waste of time in my opinion
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. jiin71

    jiin71 New commenter

    Get rid of homework or at least cut down on it. Then you get rid of the constant battles and can start to develop better working relationships between students and teachers. It's such a pain to have to spend time in/before/after lessons dealing with missed homework. It's a complete waste of time most of the time. It stresses out kids, parents and teachers alike.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  4. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    Don't let them do it in detention. Essentially you have created a homework club which absolves them of the responsibility of managing their own time and working independently. Set a totally different activity for detention with the homework still due.
    tosh740 and sbkrobson like this.
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    The head that I worked for that got the best results (80+% in an inner city comp) changed the homework policy to:
    Teachers will set HW, Teachers will mark it when done, Teachers will inform parents when it is not done. That was it. Homework was a home responsibility not a school responsibility.

    If you really must set weekly homework as hated by both staff and pupils....
    Set it online and don't comment on what time it gets done! Use online tools as much as possible.

    Finally get subjects to set longer term tasks that reflect coursework if they have such a thing. And look at the longer term topic homeworks that most Primaries set, the outcomes can be spectacularly good. And make some of them competitions.

    And finally, if teachers don't have time to mark it before the net piece is set, then it should not be set at all.
    pepper5 and minnie me like this.
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Yes - this was our policy too. Set and marked by staff but that was our responsibility covered. It meant of course that it became a ‘ token ‘ exercise but the number of students who just did not attempt made this our only option. It was not a battle worth fighting as we had so many other more fundamental issues to tackle
    JohnJCazorla, hammie and pepper5 like this.
  7. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I never ever had any homework at all until I was 15, learning Pitman's Shorthand, and at college. I have somehow managed well all my life without it, passing exams and teaching for 30 plus years. They have too much homework today and not enough free time - or perhaps you don't agree. They're under a lot of pressure today to learn such a lot. People forget that you learn every day of your life something new and interesting - and we're supposing to be living longer today so there is more time in which to learn it.
    hammie and pepper5 like this.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I've said this before-there will always be those who really want to do homework, even if only a few. Not recognising this by cutting back homework setting is a disservice to them.
    It ought to be an optional thing, which can be then brought to the teacher if desired. Who can either say "brilliant,well done" or put a sticker on it, or tick it or deep mark it. Whichever is more meaningful for that child.Trust us.We know them. Personally it's no biggie for me to set a task or an ongoing project on a weekly basis,but monitoring who's done it and chasing up who hasn't is a complete mare.

    I have had homework brought to me scribbled onto the corner of a pizza flier -three words only,by a year 9. Yep, I had to say.Tick. Done.
    It wasn't work. It was complete rubbish. We've all seen such stuff. Yet this boy was told implicitly that he'd done some work. He was out of trouble. He continued to make no effort in class.

    Surely there's a message in there somewhere about the value of compulsory HWK?
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  9. scilady

    scilady New commenter

    JosieWhitehead, minnie me and pepper5 like this.
  10. itsjohn756

    itsjohn756 New commenter

  11. RuthTom

    RuthTom Occasional commenter

    Detention is your homework club. You might as well just rename it.
    hammie likes this.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Depends a lot on parents-I once worked in a school which had supportive parents and we tried to set meaningful 'thinking' hw on topics they could investigate and it was marked and discussed in class. If students did not complete hw, their term grades fell (as half the points were offered for hw) so they were moved down sets, so parents encouraged them to do their hw so things worked well.
    Now a lot of hw does seem pointless-I was recently told that a so-called 'good' primary set online hw requiring pupils to drag and drop the correct modal verb in a certain space. The computer 'marked' the work and the pupil could have as many attempts as she liked. She eventually got 100%. But she still doesn't know what a modal verb is.

    So the teacher is not involved at all and hw is a complete waste of time. But it doesn't have to be, and wasn't in the past.
  13. Fairandaccurate

    Fairandaccurate New commenter

    If you remove homework, you limit the abilities of those that want to learn.
    If you force homework you upset the those to do not or cannot do it (I know a child that work in the family takeaway business every night)

    To that end @hammie says it right
    If the parents do not want to chase it up, that is their choice, there is little you can do.
    tosh740 and hammie like this.
  14. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

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