News Sep 30th 2016

Essex School Bans all Homework

Female teacher bossing around a bored kid

Children spend their entire day in the classroom and many parents and educators feel that going home to more work is unnecessary and detrimental to a student's progress and wellbeing. One school in Essex and called Phillip Morant School and College has taken a drastic step and banned all homework. Not only does this free up time for kids, but it also gives teachers more time to plan because they won't be spending all their time grading papers.

A letter was sent home letting parents know that homework was banned and that students would be encouraged to take control of their own learning at home. That includes letting them use the school's website for additional learning opportunities.

The letter reads, in part, "We are changing our approach to homework and moving away from the traditional style towards a more independent model. Students will be expected to select appropriate tasks based on guidance from their teachers, their own targets and their own interests."

Despite being a controversial move, principal of the school, Catherine Hutley, feels that the students will benefit from the new system. In addition, Hutley feels that banning homework will also give overworked teachers a chance to do a better job of classroom planning and will cut down on the number of hours they have to spend marking assignments. She wants the teachers to have as much time as possible to plan for the varying needs of their students.

Teachers spend many hours teaching during the day, which means they have to spend their free time or the hours after school planning and grading papers. By cutting back on the number of assignments that a teacher has to grade, it gives him or her more time to create lesson plans that target the individual learning styles of the students in their classroom.

Students who use the website outside of class to further their learning will receive rewards for finishing the tasks offered to them. There are several benefits to cutting back on the amount of homework a child has to do. It gives students time to pursue outside interests, such as sports and clubs that are educational in their own way and offer a well-rounded lifestyle that will benefit children as they get older. Banning homework also gives kids more time to read on their own, which is great for furthering their knowledge at home.

For now the students at Phillip Morant School and College will be completing all work in the classroom with their teacher present. This is great for getting help with tough topics when needed. Students will be encouraged to engage in a wide array of outside learning opportunities. In the meantime, the teachers can stop worrying about running out of time and focus completely on their students during the school day because they know they will have ample time later in the day to complete their planning tasks.

Other schools have tried banning homework by lengthening the school day. Some schools are simply saying no homework and having the teachers complete everything that's needed in the classroom. There are mixed results, but the idea has promise and could be something that more and more schools choose to adopt as time goes by.

For kids in today's day and age, having fewer things in their over packed schedules could be good for their development and ensure adequate rest when they aren't in the classroom. For teachers, no homework means more opportunities to do their best for their students. It remains to be seen whether the Phillip Morant School and College benefits from banning homework, but for now the students and teachers are enjoying it.

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