Homework Policy

At Northwood, we believe that homework is an important way for students to progress in their subjects and develop independent working skills. 

Evidence supports this belief: the Education Endowment Foundation toolkit shows that completing good quality homework helps students make 5 months’ extra progress within a year. 

Cathy Vatterott (2010) identified five fundamental characteristics of good homework

  • Purpose – homework should be meaningful and students should understand the importance and relevance to their academic studies.
  • Efficiency – homework should not take an inordinate amount of time but should require some hard thinking.
  • Ownership – students who feel connected to the content are more motivated than those who do not. Proving students with a chance to personalise tasks through choice is a good way of doing this.
  • Competence – students should be competent in the completion of homework. Homework should be challenging and differentiated rather than a ‘one size fits all model’
  • Inspiring – a well-considered and clearly designed task impacts positively upon student motivation.

Aims of homework at Northwood:

  • Consolidate and extend work covered in class or prepare for new learning activities.
  • Encourage students to take ownership and responsibility for their learning, and work independently.
  • Allow students to deepen their knowledge and understanding, leading to better progress.
  • Access resources not available in the classroom. 
  • Develop research skills.
  • Enhance students’ study skills e.g. planning, revision, time management and self discipline. 
  • Engage parental cooperation and support and create channels for home-school dialogue.

Homework at Northwood may take different forms, including:

  • Consolidation of content taught in class through practice tasks and questions
  • Revision and self-quizzing to prepare for an in-class retrieval test 
  • Extension of content taught in class
  • Researching & preparing a topic for presentation to the class 
  • Reading
  • Progressing coursework
  • Feed forward tasks to improve on their work

Practicalities of homework at Northwood

While believing in the value of regular homework, we also recognise that students may have other demands on their time during the week. As such, students will always be given a reasonable amount of time to complete homework, (in most cases 3 or more days).

Homework is always set on our school platform, Satchel:One (previously ShowMyHomework). This helps students to stay organised, and parents can also access this to check what has been set. 

Students can expect the following homework frequency:

Maths, English, Science, MFLHumanities, performing arts, computer science, REArt, design & technologyPETotal Time
(Years 7-9) 
30-60 minutes per week 30-60 minutes per fortnight30-60 minutes per weekUp to two 30-60 min per half term4-8 hours
per week
(Years 10-11)
30-60 minutes per week per subject, including BTECs/other optionsUp to 90 minutes per week (may be practical)No homework for core PE5-10 hours per week
(Years 12-13)
KS5 students should expect to do at least an hour of independent study or homework for every hour of lesson time.
This generally translates to 4-5 hours of independent study or homework per subject per week.
At least 12-20 hours
per week*

*KS5 students should study independently for at least 12-20 hours per week. There are some study periods built into the school day to facilitate this. KS5 students should allocate their time outside of lessons to include wise use of their study periods in addition to working at home. 

SEND students

  • Students with special educational needs and disabilities will generally be expected to follow the same homework schedule as their peers.
  • Teachers should work to make sure this homework is appropriate and accessible for them.
  • SEND students can get support with their homework at lunchtime in the SEND department.
  • We work with individuals and families where adaptations need to be made.
  • Year 7 students in our special resource provision have an additional homework club once a week during the school day.
  • Organisational mentoring is available to students who are having difficulty staying organised with equipment and homework.

Extension tasks and further challenge: 


Extended Learning Challenge runs annually – chance for students to get stuck into an extended project of their choice.

KS3 & 4

Extension and enrichment suggestions are available on our website.


Students need to make effective use of their time as success at A Level is not just about completing the homework set but acting independently and undertaking further reading, revision or research, and gaining a deeper understanding of ideas, concepts, processes and their applications. All students are encouraged to do wider reading around their subject as part of their Northwood Diploma. Subject specialist books and publications are available in the school library.

We work with students on an individual basis to help them find opportunities to deepen their understanding of their subjects, and prepare them for further study.

Monitoring of homework

  • Homework setting across the school is monitored by a member of the Leadership Group and Heads of Department to ensure it is consistent across classes and of a high quality.
  • Class teachers are responsible for checking that homework has been completed to a satisfactory standard.
  • Parents/carers receive feedback on their child’s homework standard in their termly reports on a scale of 1 (outstanding) to 4 (inadequate) for each subject.

Feedback on homework

Our feedback policy does not require teachers to mark individual homework pieces. However teachers should aim to provide some feedback to the class in one of the following ways:

  • Setting self-marking quizzes so students receive instant feedback
  • Going through answers in class – students self-assess
  • Peer marking where appropriate 
  • Providing whole class feedback based on looking at a sample of homework 
  • Student presentations of homework (where planned for) with peer/teacher feedback

Homework sanctions

  • KS3 and KS4 Students who do not hand in homework on time will be given a 40 minute detention.  They should complete homework during this detention time to stop the cycle from repeating. 
  • Homework clubs are available to support students in Key Stage 3.
  • KS5 students who fail to complete their homework or who struggle to complete sufficient independent study will be invited to attend an office hour after school to help them catch up. 

How can parents support their child?


  • RECIPEpoints will be awarded for excellent pieces of homework. 
  • Outstanding homework is often showcased on displays, in assemblies and on social media.


Social Wall

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2 weeks ago

The whole of year 9 did themselves proud showing off their amazing projects during the Northwood Science Fair. Congratulations Year 9 on your fantastic achievements. Winners of the Northwood Science Project Shield will be announced after the Easter Break.

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2 weeks ago

The whole of year 9 did themselves proud showing off their amazing projects during the Northwood Science Fair. Congratulations Year 9 on your fantastic achievements. Winners of the Northwood Science Project Shield will be announced after the Easter Break.

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4 weeks ago

The winners and runners up for this years Extended Learning Challenge (ELC) received their Headteacher's Commendations this morning! The winning projects were based on a wide range of themes, including AI, The Natural World and The History of our Civilisations.

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Our office opens at 8am and closes at 4pm. Any calls after that will be tended to the next working day. If your child is a member of Northwood School, they will be able to contact their teachers by using their school Gmail account, or via Google Classroom.