A Dublin primary school which has introduced a no written homework policy for the majority of its students has said the change is “going well” so far.
Loreto Primary School in Rathfarnham, an all-girls school with more than 500 students, is currently trialling the policy.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Sister Maria Hyland said the decision was taken after a lot of discussion about the stress caused by homework.
She said that questions were raised about how much good homework was doing, as it was causing stress for parents and students, while it was also taking up a lot of time for teachers.
Since the change, teachers now find they have more contact time with their pupils during the day, she said.
However, Sr Maria said that students are still encouraged to engage in learning outside of school.
She said the girls are encouraged to read and write at home, as well to do oral work like their spellings and tables.
Not all students are excused from written homework, with homework remaining for sixth class pupils to prepare them for the transition to secondary school.
Sr Maria said the school authorities felt this was necessary in order to prepare them for the “onslaught” of homework they get in secondary school.
She added that written homework may be introduced for students at the end of fifth class to help prepare the students.
Sr Maria said that so far parents have been happy with the change, although some were concerned about the removal of the structure of written homework.
She said the policy will be discussed at upcoming Parent-Teacher meetings, before being reviewed following a survey in the new year.
From RTÉ.ie, of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster.
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