Homework Information for S1 and S2
A Homework /Study Guide for parents of pupils
- Help your child develop a daily homework routine.
- Try to provide a quiet suitable place for homework.
- If possible sit with your child while they complete their homework. They may enjoy learning with your support.
- Include revision of subjects as well as homework tasks.
- Try reading out loud to your child if they becomes frustrated.
- Separate chunky homework tasks into manageable parts.
- Try to help your child generate ideas for writing tasks and projects before they start.
- Encourage them to present work using their personal strengths i.e. they could use pictures if they are good at art.
- When necessary and appropriate scribe for your child so that they can get their ideas on paper more accurately.
- Help your child to learn editing, self monitoring and check skills so they can go over their work more independently as they get older. You could use COPS –
C = Capitals. O = overall appearance. P = punctuation. S = spelling.
- Encourage your child to organise their notes and work in subjects within a folder. Colour coding can help.
- Encourage your child to use a computer. Set your computer for voice to text if helpful.
- If they are slow to complete work encourage them to us a timer and see how much work they can complete in five minutes.
- Remember to give your child lots of praise and be specific about what they have done well.
- Check the school website for homework tasks.
- Liaise with teachers to check that homework tasks are handed into school.
- Encourage your child to develop a visual plan of the correct equipment and books to bring to school each day.
Art & Design
As a skills-based subject we recognise the importance of regular sketchbook practise. This is encouraged from as early as Induction Days when we set a summer challenge to encourage an interest in the visual world we inhabit. Thereafter regular homework is set for all year groups. This usually takes the form of drawing but may later include some personal research to enhance project work in class.
Expectations are made very clear to junior pupils and a ‘Top Tips’ sheet is added to each sketchbook for pupil/parent information. Home is informed of any homework discrepancies and particularly commendable homework is merited and awarded. From time to time homework drawings are posted on OHS website.A Parents ‘How to Help’ guide is available at Parents Eves & on website. This has been particularly well received by parents keen to help their certificated senior pupils.
Business, Design & Technology Department
Due to recent changes to the junior school curriculum we have not been issuing the usual amount of homework to S1/2 pupils.
As we have been developing new courses, learning and teaching materials and resources and assessment materials in line with Curriculum for Excellence, we are still in the process of developing new homework materials to compliment our new courses.
We appreciate that some parents are a bit concerned about the lack of homework being issued by the department, but we will be working on this issue in the summer term, when there are fewer pressures on teacher’s time from senior classes as the exam diet will begin and we will be able to focus more intently on the junior school.
We intend to issue at least one piece of homework per unit and aim to utilise our school website for homework as much as possible, though paper copies will be available for those pupils that do not have access to the internet at home.
It would be a big help if parents could check their child’s planner on a regular basis and to sign it and/or the actual homework to show that they have seen it. We would also encourage parents to check the department’s area of the school website on a regular basis.
The Mathematics Department regard homework as an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Our aim is to make homework regular and meaningful.
Homework should provide opportunities
- for pupil and parents to work together
- to reflect upon learning, to consolidate knowledge and skills
- to prepare for further study.
At present, homework is considered to be of two types
- Informal day-to-day homework – given by class teacher as part of the pupil's everyday maths work. This should take no more than 1 hour per week, although this may vary according to the amount of work completed in class.
- Formal homework – given out in a two/three week cycle. Pupil will be given a number of days to complete the task after which the teacher will then collect the responses and 'mark' it using 'comment only marking'. Each homework task should take approx 30 minutes.
Pupils/Parents may find the following websites useful:
Food Technology Department
We have been trialling the new course in S2 in line with the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence. The units are in the developmental stage and as such changes may still be required based on the experience of pupils this year. The homework provision within this subject has traditionally been of a practical or investigative nature and this has continued over the past two terms.
We have issued slightly less homework this year than previously due to the course development work we have been undertaking. Work of a practical nature has been issued once termly to the majority of classes which took the form of a small recipe pack and a task planner; showing cookery and other home based tasks to be completed and the date due back. Issue of this work varies dependent on the progress of the work of the individual classes. Also this term pupils were issued with Investigative project which required them to compare and report on a piece of small food preparation equipment and produce a consumer magazine article. The latter requiring pupils to make use of the resources found on the school web site in Food Tech/ S2/homework section. Pupils without internet access were asked to let us know so they could be issued with necessary materials.
As the new courses become embedded the homework will develop more fully and a greater range of activities will be built in. It is the intention of the Food Technology Department to place a more comprehensive set of resources on our web site over the coming year for all year groups.
In S1 and S2 drama the focus of the course is mainly practical. Pupils come to Oban High School with a range of experience of the subject therefore it is important that we embed the practical skills before focussing on theory at the later stages. This ensures that pupils’ confidence and team working skills develop to a level that will allow them to cope with more complex theory as they progress through the subject.
The type of homework that your child can expect to receive in Drama would be:
- Learning lines for scripted drama
- Researching characters and context
- Generating ideas for stimulus response
- Annotation of scripted work
The pupils only receive drama once a week therefore homework is not issued on a weekly basis as it often requires 3 or 4 periods of work before the homework task can be issued for each unit.
You can help your child by:
- Checking their planner for homework tasks
- Supporting them with learning of lines particularly if your child has additional support needs for literacy
- Encouraging them to spend at least half an hour on their drama homework task
- Instilling a positive attitude towards homework
- Supporting your child to check their own work to encourage self evaluation
Pupils in S1 receive 2 periods of music per week and pupils in S2 receive 1 period of music per week. Pupils come to Oban High School with a range of experience of the subject therefore our main focus is to embed practical skills in a variety of classroom instruments. We also study listening topics and pupils have the opportunity to compose their own music.
The type of homework that your child can expect to receive in S1 Music would be:
- Theory homework
- Musical concept revision
- Short written tasks
- Generating ideas and creating a new musical instrument
At present we are delivering the first year of our new S2 Curriculum for Excellence Course and our focus has been to embed the course whilst we are reviewing our homework for S2. As the pupils only receive music once per week homework is not issued on a weekly basis as it often requires 3 or 4 periods of work before the homework task can be issued for each unit.
In addition to any homework issued in S1 and S2 music, we would recommend that any pupil who is receiving instrumental tuition in school should be practising their solo performing instrument for at least 15 minutes, 5 times a week.
You can help your child by:
- Testing their theory knowledge from their yellow theory books
- Asking them to give you the definitions of music concepts they have been asked to revise
- Support your child in written tasks if your child has additional support needs for literacy
- Maintain a practice diary with your child and encourage them to perform in front of others
RME and Philosophy
Pupils in S1 and S2 study RME one period per week. In first year pupils study a course called Marvels and Mysteries, where pupils look at different types of questions. Questions which are amazing, mystifying and puzzling. Pupils will be given a homework project to do during this topic where they are asked to investigate something which makes them feel amazed, puzzled or mystified. They will then be expected to present their findings to the class.
In second year pupils study a topic called The Ultimate Questions, where they build on the S1 course, looking a things which cannot be answered, chiefly “ Is there a God”, “Is there life after death” and “Why are we here”. During this topic for homework pupils are asked to complete a questionnaire, where they have to survey at least five people about their views on the ultimate questions. Once completed pupils then present their findings back to their class. In second year pupils complete an interdisciplinary course on the Holocaust with the History and Art Departments. During this topic homework is given out, where pupils complete a presentation on research they have carried out on ways that people have been discriminated against e.g. the Highland Clearances.
As you know, the curriculum is changing for S1-3, and we are currently working on developing new courses for CfE, this will include the addition of new homework.
All S1/2 pupils will be issued with regular weekly homework and for most classes this will always be due in on a Monday. This consists of the following:
- A Knowledge about Language exercise focussing on core literacy skills.
- A list of spelling words to learn
- Private reading of library book and completion of Reading Records (fortnightly)
S1 pupils work from our yellow S1 homework booklet and S2 pupils work from the green S2 booklet. Both booklets are available on the school website and paper copies are also issued on request. Pupils will record homework in their planners and homework jotters should be signed by parents. In addition, there are differentiated homework sheets for pupils requiring support.
Parents can help pupils by:
- Checking or helping with Knowledge about Language exercise
- Testing spelling words
- Asking about private reading including plot, characters, setting and theme.
- Helping pupils to complete an exercise for their Bronze, Silver or Gold Reading Certificate
French and Gaelic Learners
So far this year:
S1 pupils are expected to look over new vocabulary regularly in their jotters, and have had cultural tasks to complete.
S2 pupils are expected to look over new vocabulary regularly and complete homework exercises linked to class work in their homework jotters.
We are however currently updating our homework pieces in line with the new curriculum. Vocabulary and tasks will appear on the website after the Easter holidays.
Gàidhlig fluent speakers homework S1 and S2
Pupils have a weekly reading task from their reading books.
Pupils are expected to complete a written task every two weeks, which also incorporates aspects of grammar and spelling.
Pupils are directed towards a programme on BBC Alba every week to watch and for discussion in class.
In social subjects pupils will experience History, Geography and Modern Studies in a rotation. Each rotation lasts approximately 10 weeks. Pupils are expected to complete and submit varying items of homework for each subject as they progress through the rota. The homework can range from written tasks to research activities depending on the topics.
S1: In the mapping unit pupils are given exercises to consolidate atlas skills and grid references. In the Earth forces unit pupils are asked to create a storyboard of the eruption of Mount St Helens. They are also given the opportunity to carry out research for the Kobe newspaper report.
S2: In the wind farm topic pupils are asked to audit their use of electricity in the home, they are also asked to investigate ways of reducing their carbon footprint in the home, from which they go on to design an information leaflet illustrating their findings. In the natural regions topic pupils are asked to construct and interpret climate graphs for three natural regions. If time allows they may be given an investigation to complete on a particular natural region.
S1: For the Sources of History unit pupils complete a homework task identifying different types of historical evidence and may also complete a detective exercise. For the Romans topic pupils undertake an internet based research project on the Celts in order to compare and contrast the Romans and the Celts.
S2: In the Holocaust topic pupils, using primary and secondary sources on the Hitler Youth have to complete a series of questions demonstrating their knowledge and interpretation of the sources. In the Rebel Nation unit pupils are asked to compare and evaluate primary sources on the Highlands in the 18th Century and to create a “Highland postcard” based on their knowledge of the differences between Highland and Lowland life at that time.
S1: In the Representing the People unit pupils have to write a letter to their local councillor on a local issue.
S2: In the USA topic pupils have to use the internet to build up a profile of an American Hero.
The way social subjects are delivered is changing. In the future pupils will experience a period of core social subjects and opt in to two periods of either
1. People, Place and Environment, People,
2. Past Events and Societies or
3. People in Society, Economy and Business.
We are in the process of developing new courses, assessments and homework therefore some, but perhaps not all, of the above homework will be issued along with new items currently under development.
We have recently been re-furbishing our junior school programme. This will be launched in August as a newly developed S1-S3 curriculum in line with a Curriculum for Excellence.
As a result of feedback from students and parents we have not been issuing homework in S1 or S2 since Christmas. We are aware that the homework issued was often too confusing and too much. We have taken these comments into consideration and while we have been developing our new junior school curriculum we have been working to generate more suitable homework tasks that will be completed alongside the practical units.
In the summer term of 2012 we will be reintroducing homework tasks for S1 and S2 classes. There will be a single homework task for each practical unit. This task may vary for each unit i.e. a written task for one unit and a diagram or drawing for another unit.
The homework tasks will be issued in the first week of the new unit and the students will be informed of the hand in date at this time, this should be recorded in their daily planners. The homework task will be highlighted on the PE department website.
This can be found via a link on the Oban High School webpage or by typing the address directly in to your browser:
We would encourage parents to be aware of the PE webpage and how to access it. Each teacher and class has their own page and there is a contact page if you wish to email or telephone direct to the PE department.
The Science Faculty is made up of the three departments including Biology, Chemistry and Physics along with Curriculum for Excellence Science courses in S1-3. Homework varies across the subjects but generally follows a common pattern.
In S1-3 formal homework will normally be issued twice per topic. However, there are a number of times throughout the course when extra tasks will also be issued. In general these tasks will be completing an activity which has been issued in class. For example, in many parts of the course pupils are asked to create a presentation on the main points of the topic. These presentations may be given in front of the class and although there is time given in school to complete these presentations the pupils who produce the best work will usually have spent some time at home working on it. Tasks issued at this level will invariably have success criteria clearly explained to pupils, so that they can assess their progress and learn how to improve.
In classes from S4 onwards homework will usually be issued weekly and will be in the form of questions which must be completed. In addition to this it is expected that pupils will carry out a significant amount of individual study over the year to consolidate and build upon the learning that they receive in class. To assist pupils with homework the computer room is available on level three every day at lunch time for them to complete any homework tasks issued in Science.