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St Mary's Catholic Primary Schools Trust

Homework Advice from the DfE

Government Guidelines on Homework. Government guidelines on homework give a broad indication of the type of activities and how much time pupils of different ages might reasonably be expected to spend on homework.

For children at primary schools the guidelines are:

Years 1 and 2 1 hour per week

Years 3 and 4 1.5 hours per week

Years 5 and 6 30 minutes per day For pupils at secondary school the guidelines are: Years 7 and 8 45-90 minutes per day

Year 9 1 – 2 hours per day

Years 10 and 11 1.5 – 2.5 hours per day

However, the guidelines emphasise that it is more important that homework helps your child to learn than whether it takes a certain amount of time. The guidelines encourage schools to plan homework carefully alongside the work children do at school, and to make sure that all activities are appropriate for individual children.

The Government's guidelines for schools Homework: Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools can be read in full on the DfES Standards Site. There are a number of key points for parents to note. How much homework? Children should not be expected to spend significantly longer on them than the guide times set out above. Activities may not take as long as the guide times: that does not matter at all as long as they are useful.

Schools and teachers are expected to organise homework carefully so that children are not expected to do too much on any one day. What sort of activities should children be doing? All homework activities should be related to work children are doing at school. However, homework should not always be written work.

For very young children it will largely be: reading with parents or carers, informal games to practice mathematical skills, spellings. 

For older children, including children at secondary school, homework may include:  reading,  preparing a presentation to the class, finding out information, making something, trying out a simple scientific experiment,  cooking

Should parents help with homework?

Generally, schools are very keen for parents to support and help children with their homework. But there may be times when schools will want to see what your children can do on their own. 

This information was kindly supplied by the Dfes (Department for Education and Skills).