The trouble with homework…

This week Tabatha and Jack led a fantastic session looking at homework strategies that get pupils excited to do homework and most importantly, take pride and ownership in  the work they are doing.


We all know that most students dislike homework. So I thought I would put this to the test. I simply typed in ‘homework’ into the search bar in twitter…. the results speak for themselves.


The results were endless: My personal favourites were the following:

  • “all buses operational” is no doubt the worst thing to hear when you haven’t done your homework”
  • “Doing homework at 3 in the morning doesn’t mean you’re such a dedicated student, it means you waited till the last second to do your stuff”
  • “me: *has homework to do* me: *takes buzzfeed quiz to see what kind of pizza I am*

Tackling it head on…

So how did Tabatha and Jack suggest we try and change this attitude amongst the teenage nation? What home-work could possibly change the way they feel about homework?

They looked at a range of strategies, influenced by a variety of wonderful teachers who have inspired them!

  1. Take away home works
  2. Design your own essay question
  3. Discuss a theory/ idea in 1o words
  4. Using homework as classroom displays to encourage pride and appreciation

Here is Westfield Academy staff trying a takeaway homework version by @ItsNads88 Nando’s #TakeAwayHmk click the link to visit the tweet.

hoemwork 1


Here is a wonderful takeaway work and extension task station by @StevewalkerBALP

Tabatha has instilled in her classes such a wonderful appreciation and competition  about homework. She believes the reason behind this is showing pupils  that she admires their enthusiasm and dedication. Tabatha  gives the pupils opportunities to compete for a space on her display board, which highlights to her pupils that what they are doing for homework is relevant to their learning and helps the learning environment as well.

Jack looked at how we can change up long reading and research asks for our pupils:

Reading an extract and delivery the meaning in 10 words really stretches their ability to communicate and analyse in a restricted word limit. It really focused on inference and deduction- skills that are imperative to any child.

Tom Sherrington from @headguruteacher blogged about the top 6 reasons we should continue to set homework: 

1) Bridging between teacher-led and student-led learning

2) Extending learning time

3) Creating Opportunities for Creativity and Choice

4) Developing the skills required for independent learning

5) Reducing the diverging effect of home support: ie it’s about equal opportunities

6) Communicating the values of the school and the teacher

Tips for marking homework

1.Give your students an ‘effort grade’ out of 10. This is easily done without taking too long – plus the students love getting their marks

2.Collect work in and hand it back out to other students in the class. Use secret markers to grade other peoples work using criteria provided.

3.If they are right or wrong answers then put the answers up as a hook and get the students to mark their own work.

Tips for setting/ collecting  homework

1.Ensure homework is clear – if they need clarification then it was probably too complicated

2.Ensure the student has the skills required, from their lessons, to complete their homework

3.Relate homework to the work they are doing that week

4.Set tasks that will further the students learning but will also keep them interested.

5.Set and collect homework on the same day every week. This ensures no confusion.

6.Find a routine for collecting homework that suits you. For example; I have students leave it on their desk ready to be collected during a longer task.