Homework at Orchard Mead Academy

The evidence shows that the impact of homework, on average, is five months’ additional progress (per academic year).

In the most effective examples homework was an integral part of learning, rather than an add-on. To maximise impact, it also appears to be important that students are provided with high quality feedback on their work.

Some studies indicate that there may be an optimum amount of homework of between one and two hours per school day (slightly longer for older pupils)


…Pupils in schools which give useful homework perform better than those at schools which don’t.

At Orchard Mead Academy we set homework which develops students’ knowledge and revisits it regularly, going back and forth through their learning career. This process is called interleaving and it improves students’ long-term recall much better than simply seeing an idea once.

The concept of Knowledge can be separated into three components: facts, processes and concepts. Some subjects have a huge amount of factual knowledge to learn, and this is why students in years 7, 8 and 9 receive a Knowledge Organiser of these facts. Things change in years 10 and 11 when some subjects are optional, so each subject gives students what they need for GCSE.

Please click the link below to view our Knowledge Organisers:

Year 7                Year 8                 Year 9

60:30 homework in years 7, 8 and 9

To help students to be organised in learning their facts, teachers will set regular low-stakes tests and tell students to prepare for them.

Maths is different: students need to practice their processes, so they will be set questions to keep them fluent.

Please click here to see how to complete homework on MathsWatch

Also, we expect students to regularly read for pleasure – fiction or non-fiction, whatever genre they like. We also know that a healthy body contributes to long term wellbeing, so we expect regular physical exercise from our students.

This builds up to 90 minutes a day of out-of-class activity
60 minutes of mental exercise, and 30 minutes of physical exercise.

60 minutes of mental exercise every day

  • 20 minutes of maths
  • 20 minutes of reading
  • 20 minutes of knowledge practice

30 minutes of physical exercise every day

  • Riding or walking to school
  • Competitive sports, possibly in one of our extra-curricular clubs
  • A workout with friends, family or on your own.

Managing homework in every year group

Homework tasks are set and monitored on the online Class Charts platform. This Students and parents can see every task in detail:

  • When it was set;
  • When the deadline is, and whether the deadline was met;
  • What the task is;
  • What resources the task needs (e.g. web links or page references)

Parents receive their unique access codes early in the academic year through the post. Students get their unique access codes in school. The system works through a web browser or through the free Android and Apple apps.

Because all of the information is available on Class Charts, there’s no need for students to carry a planner, nor to write down complicated instructions. Families can instantly see what homework needs doing, and then help their children meet deadlines.

At Orchard Mead we don’t permit students to use their own mobile phones or tablets onsite, but we have plenty of access to the internet throughout the school day and beyond, including in the library. Outside school, students can access and manage their homework tasks through the internet on any device with a web browser.

If you have any queries about a particular homework task, contact the teacher who set it via a phone call to the main office.

Parents or students having any difficulty with accessing Class Charts should first contact the school office or email Mrs Bromley at [email protected]

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