Year 8 Homework Expectations19/05/2022
Learning and Teaching News
At our Year 8 Assembly on 9 May, we spoke to the cohort about Catherine McAuley College’s approach to effective learning, in and out of the classroom.
We began the conversation by talking about the value of practice through repetition and how repetition helps us improve. This was illustrated with a couple of examples; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (“that old guy who was good at music” as a student recalled later in the day) was considered to be a child genius as he wrote his first opera at the age of 11. Historians have helped us understand that Mozart played the harpsichord at age 4 and wrote his first music at age 5, largely because he practised music every day due to his father being one of the head teachers of music at the Salzburg Music Academy, somewhat debunking the notion of child genius.
A more contemporary example is Steph Curry, a basketballer from the Golden State Warriors (most students knew this person). Although his father was a former NBA player, Steph Curry has become known as the NBA’s best point scorer due to his hard work, determination and repetitive nature of his training. He makes 1000 baskets every day – even on game days! So, with this in mind, I reminded the students of the value of using repetition in their lives and practising the skills and ideas they are learning about in all of their classes at CMC. Students need to undertake this repetition as homework.
Our learning time in class is spent on exploring new ideas and developing new skills, but this time alone isn’t sufficient for students to fully consolidate their learning. For students to get the most out of their learning they need to practise outside class time. The Year 8 Teaching Team is encouraging Year 8 students to evaluate how much homework they are currently completing. The strong recommendation is that Year 8 students are completing at least thirty minutes of homework a night, five nights a week. Typically, the five nights might encompass Monday to Thursday and Sunday night as well. Homework can involve a range of activities; it doesn’t simply mean sitting silently at one’s desk and reading new material. Examples of homework tasks are listed below. This list is not exhaustive.
- Checking emails
- Reading SIMON notices
- Emailing teachers for assistance with current tasks
- Finishing class work
- Revision work for a test or assessment
- Reading English novels
- Conversations with parents/carers/siblings about what they are learning at home
- Teaching others at home about new concepts they have learned
- Reading online or watching videos on topics they are learning about in class
We are asking for parents and guardians to support us in encouraging a healthy homework regime for our students. Set up a quiet space at home, with as little distraction as possible (phones away, no TV, well lit, etc.) and reward and encourage your student when they do sit down and focus on school when at home.
Please get in touch with your Student Advocate, a member of the Year 8 Leadership Team or me if you have questions, need support, or would like to know more about how to help your child develop healthy homework behaviours.
Mr Kieren Prowse, Year 8 Interdisciplinary Learning Leader
Catherine McAuley College has a strong focus on “deep learning” and ensuring students are focused on their “learning” rather than just the doing of the task. Parents can support their children in their learning by starting conversations with open questions rather than “did you get your work done”. For example:
- What did you find out at school today?
- What surprised you?
- What did you learn that was new?
The message to our Year 8 students has been echoed in similar ways at other year levels and across all learning areas – we want students learning new ideas at school and then spending dedicated study time to the rehearsal and practice of the ideas they encounter in class.
Mr Matthew Angove, Acting Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching/Organisation