Home-learning is a critical part of the learning cycle. It includes homework, study, revision, and assessment completion. At Xavier College, we value the education of the whole person, and know that formal subject learning is only part of the curriculum offered at our college.
There are four aspects to home-learning:
• Homework (teacher driven)
• Study & Revision (student driven)
• Assessment (teacher driven)
Home-learning combined with music and co-curricular activities makes for a balanced after school program that aims to promote personal wellbeing and academic achievement. During the VCE Years (Year 11 and 12), there is an increased demand on SAC/SAT assessments and therefor an increase in the time dedicated to home-learning.
The following times are recommended for home-learning across Years 7 – 12:
|Year Level||Non-Cocurricular Afternoon||Cocurricular Afternoon||OR weekly equivalent|
|Year 7 & 8||60 minutes plus 30 minutes of reading||60 minutes total||5 - 7.5 hours|
|Year 9 & 10||90 minutes plus 30 minutes of reading||90 minutes total||7.5 - 10 hours|
|Year 11 & 12||120 - 180 minutes plus 30 minutes of reading||120 minutes total||15 hours +|
What is Homework (Teacher driven):
“Tasks assigned by schoolteachers that are meant to be carried out during noninstructional time” (Cooper in Bembenutty, 2011b, p. 185).
Homework is designed to meet course requirements and to prepare students for assessment.
Use homework as designated time to:
• Read and reflect on task and assessment feedback
• Proofread coursework before submission
• Finish incomplete classwork
• Complete work tasks set by your teacher that aim to increase your understanding of the topics being learnt in class.
Research indicates that, along with classroom instruction and students’ responses to class lessons, homework is an important factor that increases student achievement (Cooper, Robinson, & Patall, 2006; Keith & Cool, 1992; Keith et al., 1993; Paschal, Weinstein, & Walberg, 1984).
What is Study and Revision? (Student driven):
Study is also carried out during noninstructional time but is student led. It refers to time spent reading and processing material, either to review what has already been covered, or to prepare for future classes.
Revision refers to the act of reviewing and relearning information that you have previously learnt in class. Revision usually involves going over notes, completing textbook questions, trial exam/SAC questions and other learning materials in preparation for an exam or assessment. It is an essential part of the learning process because it helps you to consolidate what you have learned and to identify areas that you need to further develop. Revision can involve different strategies, such as summarising key points, creating cue cards, practicing past exam papers, or explaining concepts to someone else.
Consistent study and revision enables students to retain the information taught in class, which helps them perform better on exams and assessments. It also helps in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as students learn to apply their knowledge in different contexts. According to a study by the Education Endowment Foundation, effective revision strategies, such as spacing out practice and self-testing, can lead to a significant improvement in academic outcomes for students (Education Endowment Foundation, 2018).
*Focus on homework first, then use the remaining time for study and revision
Effective Study and Homework looks like:
1. Use Cornell Study Note template to assist with effective note taking
2. Highlight key information. This draws the eye, making the information more likely to stick.
2. Take the most important highlighted information and write it on a post-it note. Stick the post-it somewhere you regularly frequent - e.g., on your desk, the bathroom mirror, or on the fridge.
3. Every time you see the post-it, read it out loud. This will help convert the information from short-term to long-term memory.
When sitting down to study:
1. Recreate the exam setting as much as possible. Research shows that studying in a similar setting to the exam produces better memory recall.
2. Take regular breaks. Movement breaks refresh your brain and body, increasing your energy and focus.
3. Before you start, make a to-do list of the topics you want to study. Tick them off as you go, so you can see your progress. If you don't complete the list, that's okay, you should still be proud of what you have achieved.
Active Study - students learn by getting involved in the information and synthesizing it through various methods. Examples include:
• Starting a discussion group with your peers
• Playing a memory recall game
• Conducting an experiment
• Creating a trivia quiz
• Getting a study buddy so you can work together
Passive Study - a more internal process in which students take in and memorise the information that's provided to them. Examples include:
• Read a textbook
• Meet with an expert (such as a Magis scholar)
• Listen to a podcast
• Watch an Edrolo/YouTube video
• Observational drawing and folio annotation (Arts)
• Take notes in different ways:
- Make lists (like this one!)
- Create a mind map
- Give yourself a practice question to answer
Resources and Support offered at Xavier College:
- Magis Scholars in the Library (Monday – Friday after school – 8:00pm)
- MAX- Maths at Xavier (Monday-Friday before school)
- English Breakfast Club (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings)
Additional Resources and Weblinks
- Study Skills Handbook
- Melbourne University, Task Management resource
- Tips to combat procrastination:
• Break tasks into smaller, manageable chunks: Procrastination can often happen when a task feels too overwhelming. By breaking it down into smaller tasks, it can become more manageable and less daunting.
• Create a schedule: Set specific times for when you will work on each task. This can help you stay focused and accountable.
• Remove distractions: Identify what distracts you and remove it from your work area. This can include turning off your phone, logging out of social media, or finding a quiet place to work.
• Set deadlines: Assign deadlines for each task and hold yourself accountable to them. This can help create a sense of urgency and motivate you to get started.
• Start with the hardest task: Often, the hardest task is the one that we procrastinate the most. By tackling it first, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum to continue with the rest of your tasks.
• Reward yourself: Create a reward system for completing tasks. This can be as simple as taking a break, treating yourself to something you enjoy, or celebrating with friends.
4. Additional useful weblinks: