Homework: It’s All About Quality, Not Quantity.

Teachers in Po Leung Kuk Dr. Jimmy Wong Chi Ho (Tin Sum Valley) Primary School have been busy reviewing the homework given to their students earlier in the current academic year.

According to Mr Andy Li, the Curriculum Leader of the school, teachers need to list out the homework distributed in different subjects this year for further evaluation and comparison. This practice aims to avoid assigning unnecessary homework to students next year.

‘Without having to spend time preparing and marking unnecessary homework, teachers will have more capacity to work on other areas, such as lesson planning or pedagogy innovation, to enhance the quality of learning and teaching,’ said Andy. ‘Students will also be free from the stress of having too much homework after school.’

Knowledge Consolidation

Andy said there had been a common misconception in the education community that giving out more homework was significant for students to acquire more knowledge or to improve in different learning areas.

He noted that homework should help students consolidate what they had learnt, and by examining the mistakes students made, teachers could help students address their learning difficulties with further guidance.

‘Any homework which does not serve the mentioned purposes should be exempted.’ said Andy.

Curriculum Adjustment

This review practice is just part of the curriculum adjustment plan in the school. According to Andy, the plan aims to ensure smooth transition from kindergarten to primary school for their students.

‘By revising the existing curriculum, we hope to help students adapt to a brand-new school life and enhance their learning motivation,’ said Andy.

Assessment for Learning

According to Andy, assessment is inevitable if teachers intend to understand students’ learning outcomes. Assessment for learning would be the right way to ensure true reflection of students’ actual learning progress by focusing on what the students have actually learnt.

Assessment for learning is a process in which assessment information reflecting students’ learning progress is used by teachers and students to adjust their respective teaching and learning strategies to enhance effectiveness.
In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Education City provides an online platform called ‘STAR’ to help teachers assess students with instant assessment reports. By using ‘STAR’, teachers can create assessment tasks for individual students or classes, and receive student performance reports. They can also provide students with appropriate follow-ups based on the reports. The system facilitates the use of assessment information for teachers to enhance learning and teaching. Details: star.hkedcity.net

Leadership and Management

Andy joined the school only 10 months ago and was glad to see that change was already underway. He said he was happy to have the backing from the headmaster Mr Yeung Wai-yin, who was willing to innovate.

Andy thinks the great support from Mr Yeung has allowed them to try new things, such as school infrastructure and equipment for facilitation of eLearning, school policies promoting the use of technology among students, as well as having professional staff oversee and coordinate school development.