Homework Primary School

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The WA Education Department does not take sides in what can be a controversial debate.

It only requires schools to document their approach, taking into account the needs of students, their age and the context of the school.

Glenn Savage, a senior lecturer in education policy at the University of Western Australia, said there was a huge gulf between good homework and bad.

Background information: According to an article in the ''Key for School Governors'' (the national information service that provides governors with guidance, insight and instant answers to their questions on all aspects of school governance, see: ''Homework in Primary Schools'', source: https://schoolgovernors...

They're on task, they're really learning a lot, so we think after school is a time to do something else, not be on their screens but get outside and play."It's a stress for parents, it's a stress for teachers."Finding that time to sit down with your child is difficult if you're busy." She said only a small number of parents requested homework for their children and the school directed them to online learning resources including ABC Reading Eggs and Mathletics, or encouraged them to get a tutor.

Newly opened Southern Grove Primary School, in the south Perth suburb of Southern River, introduced its no homework policy this year.

They argue homework is of no benefit to younger children and can even be detrimental because it gets in the way of important family and recreation time, which allows children to recharge their batteries after a busy day of learning at school.

It could be the start of a quiet revolution, with a number of other schools watching closely before taking the leap themselves.

Departmental guidelines stipulate that homework should not require unreasonable levels of parent help, should not impinge on family, recreational or cultural time, should not be given as a form of punishment, and should be directly linked to learning.

WA Education Department principal advisor Doug Cook said a blanket approach to homework does not work."Every school has a different context," he said."If you look at the size of our state, from tiny little Wheatbelt schools with one teacher where kids go home from school and actually have work to do around a farm, extra tasks on top of that might make the home life difficult."We have remote schools, where some of the home lives aren't ideal, and setting tasks for kids to take home into an environment where they may not be able to do it sets them up for failure."Making a blanket rule for a state this size, with so many different contexts, would be short-sighted."While the prospect of no homework is relished by some, not everyone is convinced.

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