Homework or home learning is often a hotly debated topic amongst educators and parents. The educational research in the area is robust, with some very clear findings and other relevant discussion points.
For us at MBI, two clear themes from the research emerge, influencing the position we are taking on homework.
1. For elementary students the effect of homework on achievement is trivial, if it exists at all. For junior high students, the effect of homework on achievement is approximately half of the benefit it is for high school students. (In the NZ context, Intermediate age children cross between the two defined age groups.)
2. Educators should develop the most effective homework practices by observing their local context and the changes in the achievement of students with whom they work every day.
As a learning community, we recognise that many of our students are highly engaged in after-school commitments; these commitments range from sport, music, to a variety of additional tuition. Furthermore, with our school-wide focus on well-being, we also recognise the importance of our students having down time and an opportunity to pursue personal interests.
Our team of teachers is committed to designing in-class learning experiences that are personalised and offer the most effective learning pathways for our learners. In support of effective planning, implementation and assessing in the classroom, we want our teachers to be focussed on practices that have the greatest impact on student learning and outcomes. Thus, time previously spent on assigning and monitoring low-impact homework routines, can be utilised more effectively to target classroom instruction and assessment.
As a result of our professional discussions and support from the research, as a team at MBI we have decided that teachers will not be assigning or assessing any formal homework. We recognise that some families may value homework routines, and in support of this value we have our ‘Home learning” website available.
This website offers a variety of homework tasks students can easily access and are related to the curricular content being covered at school.
The website is currently being updated, but will be found under the ‘Extra Curricular/home learning tab’ on our school website. At Murrays Bay Intermediate, we are proud to offer a learning environment committed to academic rigour, personalised learning, student agency and personal well-being.
We look forward to a year of academic and personal growth with our learners! MBIS Management