Tuesday, 21 May 2013


In any organisation communication is very important. I know that in my role as the principal of a school even when I think I have done a good job of communicating, often more is still needed.
One of the areas that communication sometimes breaks down is about homework.  I wanted to clarify some points that have caused some misunderstandings.

Every child in the school has homework every week. If your child says they have none, or you don’t know what is expected, or the homework is not set at the correct level  (particularly in the case of Mathletics) please contact your child’s teacher. The best way to do this is by email. All of our teachers’ emails can be found on our website. Just click on the “Our People” tab. If you don’t get a reply within 24 hours feel free to copy me in and I will follow it up.

If your child does not return their completed homework, or does not complete all of their homework, or does not get the required signatures he or she will receive a letter from the teacher.

When your child receives a letter they are not kept in, they do not have to copy out any lines or part of the letter and they are not punished in any way. They are just given the letter to take home. The purpose of the letter is to communicate with you that the homework was not done, not handed in or not completed as per the class guidelines.

We want you to sign and return the letter to us so we know that you received it.  If your child did do their homework but they forgot to hand it in then just initial the letter to say it was received and send the book in the next day. If it comes as a surprise that your child didn't do their homework then this is an opportunity for you to talk with them and make them do it. If part of the homework was not done or signed you are welcome to give a reason for this. Your child will not be challenged about the reason given. If the level of homework is too hard or too easy for your child this is also an opportunity for you to communicate that back to your child’s teacher.

I wrote these letters because we found that there was a wide range of consequences across the school for not completing homework. We also wanted to clearly communicate with parents when homework wasn't being done so people stopped asking, “So why doesn't my child have any homework?” We also wanted to clearly communicate that we believe that setting and monitoring homework is the responsibility of the teacher and making sure that the completion of the homework is the responsibility of the child with an appropriate level of parental support and guidance.

These letters have upset some people. That is not my intention and if you would like to give me feedback on these letters you are more than welcome to.   

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