As a new school, we are spending a lot of time talking to families about what The Aquila School offers and how we are different from other British schools in Dubai. A subject that comes up very often is homework.
Having asked many of our families what their view is of homework for primary aged children, we found that many families felt that there is too much pressure on primary children to spend a huge amount of their weekend and evening time doing homework, and that this puts undue pressure on families. Therefore, instead of being a shared learning experience, it becomes stressful and meaningless – and in many cases the adults end up doing the homework for the child just to get it over and done with.
We fully respect that different schools and different families will have their own views about homework, and any decision cannot please everyone, in the same way that any organisation cannot be all things to all people.
In primary school, children work very hard all day, engaged in actively learning. They take part in a wide range of activities and after a busy day learning, they are (usually) physically and mentally exhausted. At The Aquila School, we want children to develop into rounded individuals with a range of interests, so time after school can be spent pursuing them. We also want children to have time to relax, to be with their families, and to reflect on what they have learnt that day.
As such, primary school homework at The Aquila School includes:
- Regular reading with an adult at home – an enjoyable shared experience
- Giving the children the opportunity (if they wish) to talk about their learning at home, consolidating and reflecting on how their learning can be applied to the real world
- Completing individual projects that link to what is being learnt in class – but only if they are intrinsically motivated to
Our view is simple – give children amazing learning at school, and allow them to enjoy exploring other interests and enjoy childhood when they get home.
The weekly newsletter lets families hear what the children are learning and how families can help at home. This is supported by a range of family workshops and a year group handbook and parent information meetings.