School slashes homework
Tuesday, 23rd September 2008
Schools to slash all homework
A London school has slashed homework claiming that it’s “counter productive”.
Staff at Tiffin boys school, in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, have announced to parents who have sons in Year 7 that homework schedules are to be scaled back and replaced with a programme of independent learning.
For pupils aged 11 plus homework schedules of three or four hours a night are common.
The Government currently recommends 45 to 90 minutes for that age group, rising to a maximum of two and a half hours for older pupils.
But now the years 7 to 11 boys at Tiffin have just one 40-minute assignment per night, along with 20 minutes of independent study, which they can use to do anything they feel might help their education. Suggested activities include watching a television documentary or visiting an art gallery.
Although homework is not compulsory in England’s schools, it is officially encouraged. But research has cast doubt on its effectiveness as it can tire children of learning and put pupils under too much pressure.
Many parents complain about the school day.
One person who has taken things into her own hands is My Baby Radio listener Kimberley Saunders. The mum-of-two has decided to school her children from home.
“It’s always interested me. Education has been changing…there’ve been numerous methods some worked and some didn’t. I decided it would be fun to give it a go," she said.
She added: “You don’t have to follow the national curriculum and we don’t. The national curriculum is designed for large groups…when you’ve got one child or even two you’d be sat for an hour”.
Kimberley does not receive Government funding but support is available through Local Education Authorities.