Homework Policy

Homework Policy

This set of summary guidelines applies to the entire school community including students, parents and teachers. We encourage the active involvement and participation of all in developing coherent approaches to this important aspect of student development.


This is work assigned by a subject teacher for completion by the student outside of school time. It may be written, oral, aural, reading, project-based work or revision work. It will be challenging and purposeful and enhance pupil motivation. It should be coordinated, regular, marked promptly and accurately and followed with relevant feedback.


The purpose of this set of guidelines is to inform the school community of the school’s position regarding homework. The aim is to assist and encourage students to develop to their full potential in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect.

  • Regular homework is a valuable aspect of the learning process and contributes to the development of sound study skills. It consolidates and supplements the work done in class and promotes independent learning and creativity.
  • Furthermore, it helps to ensure that a student is interpreting questions properly and highlights where difficulties lie.
  • It strengthens Home/School links and offers those at home insights into what is being taught in the classroom.
  • The final responsibility for satisfactory completion of homework rests with the learner


Teachers expect that:

  • Students record homework.
  • Students make an honest effort to complete homework fully and on time.
  • Students have adequate facilities to enable them to do homework.
  • Students absent due to school related activities (e.g. matches, debates etc.) must ensure that homework set in their classes is completed.
  • If absent for any other reason students should catch up on work missed.
  • Students will present books, homework, relevant materials and all work for class in an exemplary fashion.

 Parents will support students in carrying out assigned homework.

  • Parents will examine the homework journal regularly.
  • Parents will furnish an explanation note if homework is incomplete or not done because of a particular domestic issue.

Students may expect that:

  • Homework in each subject area will not take up an unreasonable amount of time.
  • Adequate allowance is made for time consuming homework e.g. essays, projects etc.
  • Homework is related to class work.
  • Homework is fully explained, as is the quality of work expected.
  • Homework is corrected and that feedback to students is positive and constructive.
  • Adequate time is given for the recording of homework.
  • A record will be kept of students who fail to attempt homework or to complete it to the accepted standard.

Parents may expect:

  • To be requested to check journals regularly and to sign relevant comments.
  • To be kept informed of difficulties regarding homework.
  • To be given the opportunity to discuss homework problems with relevant teacher.

Duration of Homework

We suggest the following only as a broad guideline regarding the duration of homework based on best practice. It is not definitive:

  • 1st Year 1 ½ hours
  • 2nd Year 2 – 2 ½ hours
  • 3rd Year 2 ½ – 3 hours
  • 5th Year 2 ½ – 3 hours
  • 6th Year 3 – 4 hours


If a student presents homework that is:

(a) Not done (b) Incomplete (c) Poorly attempted (d) Poorly presented

  • Every attempt must be made by the subject teacher to sanction their student.
  • They must administer their own suitable penalties (e.g. a note in the journal, verbal admonishment, extra work, detention, etc.), and record it in their own handbook.
  • If the student’s effort at homework does not improve or meet with the teacher’s expectations a Blue Monitoring Card will be issued.

 Once a Blue Card has been issued the following may apply:

  1. Parents/Guardians of the student will be informed by letter as to the reason for the monitoring card. Parents/Guardians will have to sign the card on a daily basis.
  1. This card will monitor a student’s classwork, including homework, for one week. It will then be decided what further action, if any, will be taken on completion of the card. This card will be kept in the student’s file.
  1. When on a Blue Card, students may be excluded from all out of school activities/extra- curricular activities etc.
  1. If a problem persists with homework, then Parents/Guardians will be asked to visit the school to discuss the situation.
  1. The Code of Behaviour in Terence MacSwiney Community College will be implemented if the homework problem continues.

Homework Club

This is a supervised group of students who can complete their homework in school after school hours.

If homework is incomplete at the end of supervised time it must be completed at home. It is not the responsibility of the supervisor to check homework, though help may be given at the discretion of the supervisor.

The school will issue times and dates as to when the Homework club operates. All students are encouraged to attend the Homework Club.