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The rise of the homework-free school

A couple of weeks ago we explored Finland’s laid back and successful approach to education, and it seems that the innovative education system has taken off after it was announced that another primary school has scrapped homework altogether.

Inverlochy Primary School in Fort William, which boasts 193 pupils, has made the move towards a more relaxed education system after a poll with both parents and pupils alike. Instead, the children are being urged to spend the time they would otherwise be doing homework, reading books, magazines and comics. Nearly 80 per cent of pupils, and an overwhelming 62 per cent of parents supported the creative move, with the 10-strong teacher force split with five agreeing and five not. However it was the pupils and parents who won out in the end.

This more liberal move hasn’t been undertaken completely blind however. The school carried out a six-week trial of the system last year, during which the pupils were given no homework to enable them to have more time to play with friends, toys and spend more time with their family.

After the trial was seemingly a success, pupils were then sent home with forms that simply asked their parents whether they thought this new policy should stay or not. Well over half the parents voted in favour, while pupils welcomed the idea, however with the teaching force not overwhelmingly convinced, it has proven to be a controversial talking point but the school has not held back, partly due to the fact it has recently been implemented elsewhere.

This move by the Scottish Highlands’ school is hot on the heels of another Scottish primary school scrapping homework. Last month King’s Road Primary School in Rosyth, Fife, got rid of homework for their pupils, but this did lead to complaints as many parents said they hadn’t been consulted.

The parent-backed move isn’t unsurprising; there has been numerous arguments about the amount of homework young children are bringing home every week. The increasing amount of pressure on children at such a small age has resulted in many parents raising their concerns with schools, arguing that children are becoming more stressed, tired and simply do not have time to “just be kids”. Whether or not the move will prove to be smart when it comes to education is yet to be seen. But with Finland pioneering the move and still cementing itself as a leading force when it comes to literacy and numeracy, the signs certainly point in its favour.

What do you think to the adoption of the no homework policy for primary school children – would you back it at your child’s school?

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