Homework overload damages sport

9th June 1995 at 01:00
GCSE students are having to do so much homework that some have dropped out of after-school activities, a new report from the Office for Standards in Education reveals.

GCSE coursework requirements have led to a "considerable increase" in the time students spend on homework, and some "found it necessary to withdraw from worthwhile activities such as Young Enterprise, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and sports in order to meet coursework deadlines", says the report, Homework in Primary and Secondary Schools.

It was usual for at least an hour to be allocated to each subject each week in Year 10, often increasing to 11Z2 hours during Year 11.

Pupils reported that they frequently worked much longer hours than was indicated in the homework timetable in order to meet coursework deadlines. Some worked at home for three hours each evening and for several hours at weekends, says the report. However, they were rarely given guidance on how to organise coursework to make good use of time.

The report shows that homework in secondary schools increased the working week by up to 20 per cent in lower secondary classes and 50 per cent in GCSE courses. "Some teachers felt this to be one of the contributory factors to the improvement in achievement at GCSE in their subject." The inspectors say homework provided additional time for redrafting work, leading to higher standards at KS4.

Peter Downes, president of the Secondary Heads Association, said children were working a great deal harder than in pre-GCSE days, but it would be a "great pity" if they gave up extra-curricular activities.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now