When The Aquila School was in the planning stages, our leadership team spent 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.
In our primary school, children work very hard all day, engaged in active 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
Key stage 3 (Year 7 to 9)
When the children are in year 10 and 11 and are preparing for international examinations there will be a lot of homework to do. Therefore, in year 7 we will introduce more formal homework so the children get used to independent study not during the school day. However, we still wish to maintain the Aquila view that as children work so hard in school during the day they need time to relax and pursue other interests at home.
In Key Stage 3 the children will receive regular reading homework to develop their reading skills and a love of reading plus homework in other subjects when relevant and purposeful, in addition to AI-powered mathematics practise.
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.
Key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)
In year 10 pupils are set 30 minutes of homework per GCSE per week, in addition to asking them to read for pleasure. Homework has a seven day turn-around time, so pupils can manage their workload and fit their work in alongside their extra-curricular activities. In year 11, homework increases to 45 minutes per GCSE in term 1, and then moves to 60 minutes in term 2 – as pupils work towards completing exam-based questions. We want our pupils to be well prepared for their GCSE exams in a manageable way.