Kilbrittain National School


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Attendance/ Homework Policies

School Policies

Homework Policy

1, Why give homework?
To reinforce what the child learns during the day
To provide a link between teacher & parent
To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
Homework is meant to be achievable by a child i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. The Learning Support /Resource Teacher also assigns homework in the case of special needs pupils. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability-no more, no less.

2. How often is homework given?
Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays.
There are two exceptions:
If homework has been neglected during the week
In senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends.

Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off” as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.
Please note extra homework may be sometimes given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.

3. What is the content of homework?
Ideally homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks.
This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning “is as important as written work”.
Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned to heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.

Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.

4. How much (time) homework?
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are guidelines only:

Junior Infants: up to 20 minutes
Senior Infants: up to 20 minutes
Rang 1: up to 30 minutes
Rang 2: up to 30 minutes
Rang 3: up to 40 minutes
Rang 4: up to 40 minutes
Rang 5: up to 50 minutes
Rang 6: up to 1 hour

5. How much help should parents give?
Parents should try to help their children with homework by:

Providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
To prevent interruptions or distractions, like TV or other children
Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty
If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child.

6. How often should parents monitor homework?
Parents should check and sign child’s homework journal every evening. Children in older classes may at the discretion of teacher have weekly signing only except in circumstances specifically requested by teacher.
The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
Ideally all written messages to your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal (additional pages available at the end of the journal)
Please check that your child records his/her homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
In Kilbrittain NS letter to parents are placed in the correct day of the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis.

7. How often do teachers monitor homework?
Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day.
As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once a week.
Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.

8. When should parents communicate with the teachers about homework?
When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
When your child cannot do homework because he/she cannot understand some aspect.
If the time being spent at homework is often longer then the recommended amount of time.

9. When should homework be done?
Each family situation is different – both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school while your child is still fresh; however, some children need a break before starting homework.
Homework should never be left until morning before school.

Remember.
When homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong!
This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher .


Ratified by Board of Management on: 14/01/13



School Attendance Policy


There is a very strong tradition of good attendance in Kilbrittain N.S. However, the changing social fabric of the nation is altering attitudes to school and we are anxious that parents be aware of the absolute necessity for regular punctual attendance at school. Quite simply, children cannot learn if they are not in school. The following strategies have been put in place to help foster an appreciation of learning and good attendance.

The aim of the attendance policy in Kilbrittain N.S. is to:

Encourage pupils to attend school regularly and punctually
Inform the school community of its role and responsibility as outlined in the Act.
Identify pupils who may be at risk of developing school attendance problems.

The school will ensure that:

The importance of school attendance is promoted throughout the school.
Pupils are registered accurately and efficiently.
Pupils attendance is recorded daily.
Parents or guardians are contacted when reasons for absences are unknown or have not been communicated.
Pupils attendance and lateness is monitored.
School attendance statistics are reported as appropriate to:
The National Education Welfare Board
The Education Welfare Officer
The Board of Management
Pupils with very good /excellent attendance are acknowledged at the end of each term.

Punctuality:

School is open from 9.20 a.m. and children are required to be in their classrooms not later than 9.30 a.m. All pupils and teachers are expected to be on time. The school will contact parents/guardians in the event of pupils been consistently late. The Principal is obliged under The Act, to report children who are absent 20 days or more to Tusla.

The school operates a sign in/out system. Children must be accompanied by parent/guardian / nominated individual when leaving school during school hours.

Appropriate contact as outlined below will take palce between the school and parents/ guardians of these children.

  • For chronic absenteeism the Principal will inform the Education Welfare Officer and notify parents of this by letter.


Guidance for Parents:

Section [(21) (9)] of the Act states that “a pupil’s absence can only be authorised by the Principal when the child is involved in activities organised by the school or which the school is involved”. The school principal cannot authorise a child’s absence for holidays during school time. However, it is essential that parents inform the school of such arrangements.

Reasons for pupil’s absences must be communicated in writing, by parents/guardians to the school and will be retained by the school. To facilitate this, such communications should not be in the homework diary, but on a separate page or sheet of paper. If a child is absent, when the child returns to school he/she should give/send a written note to the class teacher, which contains the child’s name, the date of absence and the reason of absence. These notes will form a record, which may be inspected by the Education Welfare Officer on a visit to the school. The school will contact parents when a written explanation for the child’s absence is not received by the school.

Parents/guardians can promote good school attendance by:

  • Ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.
  • Notifying the school if their children cannot attend for any reason.
  • Working with the school and Education Welfare Service to resolve any attendance problems:

Discussing planned absences with the school.
Refraining if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time.
Informing the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school.
Ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc) are arranged for times outside of school hours.
Contacting the school immediately if they have concerns about absence or other school matters.


Pupils:

  • Pupils have the clear responsibility to attend school regularly and punctually.
  • Pupils should inform staff if there is a problem that may lead to their absence.
  • Pupils are responsible for promptly passing on absence notes from parents to their class teacher.
  • Pupils are responsible for passing school correspondence to their parents, on the specified day.


School Principal:

The school principal will:

  • Ensure that the school register of pupils is maintained in accordance with regulations.
  • Inform the Education Welfare Officer/ Tusla :

(a)If a pupil is not attending school regularly.
(b)When a pupil has been absent for twenty days or more during the course of a school year.


Ratified by Board of Management on: Date: 14/01/13


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