Homework FAQs

1. How do I know when options subjects set homework in KS4?

All students have selected 4 options for KS4. They have all been reflected in the homework timetable for KS4 and are shown as options A, B, C, or D on your child’s timetable. For example, 11B/Dr1 is a drama class that falls within option block B (11B). Therefore, homework would be set on a Tuesday.

However, 11D/Ar1 is an art class that falls within option block D (11D). Therefore, homework would be set on a Thursday.

You can view your child’s timetable on ePraise to get the class codes by clicking on My children > your child’s name > Timetable

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2. My child does not have a lesson on the day that homework is scheduled to be set. Why is this?

As homework instructions are diarised on ePraise, in the first instance, students should check the ePraise daily for homework that has been set. Given our broad curriculum offer, each year group would be unable to have their own homework timetable that worked for the entire cohort. To ensure clarity and continuity for students, parent carers, and staff, we have assigned different subjects to specific days. If students need to, there is a 7-day window for students to engage in any clarifying conversations with their teacher.

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3. Why assess PE and PSRE at KS4?

We recognise that when in KS4, the main focus of study will be on core and option subjects. However, at Sheldon, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum. We are committed to the development of well-rounded global citizens. Therefore, we value the lessons learned in PE and PSRE to support students lead healthy lifestyles and maintain healthy relationships, both within school and the wider community. We believe that setting homework (more sporadically) has merit, and reflects the breadth and balance of our curriculum offer.

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4. I have access to my child’s Microsoft Teams, is ePraise any different?

By using ePraise to diarise homework, parent carers will have the autonomy to view homework that has been set, when it is due, whether it has been completed, and associated praise points/demerits using their own accounts. Using ePraise also offers a more robust diagnostic platform for middle and senior leaders to ensure purposeful oversight of homework provision at Sheldon.

Additionally, student access to Microsoft applications should be via a secure password. As a school, we cannot advocate students giving secure passwords to parent carers. Using ePraise mitigates this.

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5. Will Microsoft Teams still be used for homework?

We recognise that on occasions, Microsoft Teams may provide a richer learning experience for students. We are also aware that Microsoft Teams does not allow parent carers the autonomy to check what has been set, when it is due, and if it has been completed. This is why we have moved towards the ePraise homework add-on.

Additionally, diarising tasks on Microsoft Teams does not provide middle and senior leaders the platform to ensure that homework is being delivered as intended, whereas ePraise does. We have asked staff to use ePraise to diarise homework to ensure better parent carer engagement and student accountability.

However, where Microsoft Teams (or other platforms) offer better functionality and learning experience, we have asked staff to use the best platform for students to complete homework. This should be supplemented with a short note on ePraise along the lines of “Please refer to the task set on Microsoft Teams”.

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6. Are physical planners redundant?

Students are still expected to record their homework in their planners. The planners will provide an overview of work set for students alongside other key information that will shape a meaningful conversation cycle between students, parent carers, and tutors.

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7. Can I see the marks achieved?

Students are able to view an overview the score achieved once they have completed their quiz. If students achieve over 80% in the quiz, then staff will mark it as completed on ePraise, with a merit awarded. Students who do not achieve 80% and/or fail to demonstrate sufficient effort will receive 1 demerit and the work will be marked as not handed in. Parent carers will be able to view the merits and demerits awarded to their children on ePraise.

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8. Why Multiple Choice Quizzes?

At Sheldon, we recognise the importance of using retrieval practice to ensure that the powerful knowledge from within our curriculum is embedded in students’ long-term memories. If students are unable to recall key facts, skills, and concepts, they are unable to apply that knowledge to their learning. Therefore, our ambition is to set low-stakes multiple-choice quizzes for students to retrieve key information and ensure that it is not forgotten over time. In most cases, this work will be set via a Microsoft Forms quiz.

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9. Will homework be marked and provide feedback?

By using Microsoft Forms quizzes (or similar), students will receive immediate feedback on the questions that they got right or incorrect. Teachers will use this data to tailor the Do Now activities at the beginning of lessons, ensuring that any gaps in knowledge are addressed during lesson time, under the expert guidance of the teacher.

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10. What about GCSE style questions?

Staff have the autonomy to reduce the number of MCQs set (particularly in KS4) so that they can focus on developing higher level skills or exam technique (e.g., extended pieces of writing, exam style questions or more general revision resources). If additional work has been set, it should be marked and fedback to students in a timely manner.

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11. Does my child need to do revision as well as homework to prepare for exams?

The Year 11 pastoral team has worked with Heads of Faculties to create comprehensive subject specific revision programmes to prepare students for their mocks, and terminal exams. This work will be launched in conjunction with Faculty Heads coordinating a reduction/the removal of MCQ quizzing to ensure that student workload is manageable. We will also be adopting this approach in the build up to the Year 10 end of year examinations.

Additionally, all students should be provided with revision topics/resources, set on ePraise, for any formative assessment at least two weeks prior to said assessment.

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12. What if my child is struggling to complete homework?

As students have at least seven days to complete homework, there should be ample opportunity to discuss with their class teacher, any misunderstanding/concerns that they might have. The pastoral team will also be monitoring homework completion ratios and will put in place support for students where there is a pattern of low hand in figures across a student’s timetable.

The library is open every day until 17:00 if your child needs a quiet space to complete their homework.

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13. Will you provide homework in the holidays?

Students will only be set homework, in line with the homework timetable, on the days that the school is open for them to attend.

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14. What if my child is absent?

As mentioned above, if a student is absent then they will be able to view and complete the diarised homework in their ePraise account at a later date by clicking on the relevant hyperlinks. Due to the broad nature of student absence, and to ensure the best interests of the student, discussions around whether they are expected to catch up on all homework missed would need to be had on a case-by-case account with the student’s tutor.

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15. Will there be an opportunity to provide further feedback?

Yes. We were keen to gather parent carer feedback regarding our intent underpinning how we set homework. We will be equally keen to gather feedback on our delivery process, and if there are any refinements and/or improvements that can be made to our intent and/or implementation. We will follow up with another survey in the Spring Term to gather your feedback once we’ve had a several weeks of setting homework on the ePraise platform.

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