School and homework go together like salt and pepper. Homework has always been a key part of the school experience, but in recent years several schools around the world have decided to shake up the status quo and stop giving their students homework to do. One school in particular hit the headlines earlier this year for banning homework altogether and here’s more about it.
Philip Morant School and College in Colchester made the news because its headteacher, Catherine Hutley, decided to scrap homework because doing so would give teachers more time to plan better lessons. She feels the amount of marking teachers have to do can be burdensome and that their time should be spent making sure lessons are of a better quality. In place of homework, students at the school are being encouraged to organise any additional learning outside of school via the school’s website. She thinks independent study outside of school hours is better for both teachers and students than having homework. Additional work done outside of school hours won’t be compulsory and there will be rewards to encourage students to make use of it.
Will it work?
It’s too early to tell whether this somewhat controversial approach to learning will affect students’ learning in any way. Of course, this decision has received a somewhat mixed response: some think the decision was made to benefit the teachers and that students can miss out by not having homework, while others think the decision could have benefits and has the potential to improve the learning experience.
What about other schools?
Other schools have said goodbye to homework for various reasons. Cheltenham Ladies’s College has stated that it’s considering phasing out homework and eventually ending it for good. The reason? It’s believed that homework plays a big role in the development of depression and other mental health conditions in school-age children. Cheltenham Ladies’s College therefore wants to phase out homework to hopefully improve the wellbeing of its students. Kelly Elementary School in Holyoke, Massachusetts, scrapped homework for a year because studies showed that homework didn’t improve academic results. To make up for the lack of homework, the school day is being extended by two hours. At the end of the school year, a review will determine whether the no homework policy has been beneficial and should continue, or whether homework should be brought back.
What do you think?
The idea of school without homework sounds great on paper, but what would it be like in practice? Do you think your school experience would have been more enjoyable and less stressful without homework or would the lack of homework have made your suffer academically?