Homework lovers

14th February 2003 at 00:00
Finding and devising homework tasks that stimulate and inspire my Year 6 class has always proved difficult.

So this term I introduced a more creative approach to homework and it has been an overwhelming success. Even the most reluctant children have started asking for homework tasks earlier and can be heard discussing their ideas at playtimes.

Devising the tasks has been time consuming, but rewarding. Recent favourites the class has carried out include designing a James-Bond-style watch with three gadgets. The children then had to write a short adventure story in which the hero used all the gadgets. Tasks like these have particularly appealed to boys.

Children were also asked to make out a list of objects they would take with them to a desert island. They took great care over this, offering explanations for their choices. Other tasks, such as writing an estate agent's brochure for their house, have enabled the children to involve their parents. More open-ended tasks like these are certainly less tedious to mark than endless pages of sums, and they give greater insight into your pupils' thinking. You see them in a new light.

Giles Hughes, arts co-ordinator, Colmore Junior School, Kings Heath, Birmingham

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