Best Practice

Seven principles of setting effective primary homework

What is the secret to effective homework at primary level? Drawing upon the research, author of a new book on the topic Andrew Jones offers seven key principles for setting good homework

In September 2019, the hugely successful television presenter Simon Cowell stated: “I didn’t have that major stress about homework, because I would just throw it away.”

Similarly, in 2018, Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted that, “Homework is a waste of time.” In the same thread comedian Jason Munford complained: “I spent three hours on a Sunday with my lot doing homework, cutting s**t out of magazines and researching animal teeth!”

Tellingly, Lineker’s tweet got more than 21,000 “likes”, but are these celebrity polymaths right in their assumptive hammering of homework?

Cognitive development and independent learning

An easy answer to the above is yes. Various studies suggest that the impact of homework at primary level is negligible whereas it is moderately effective at secondary level (Cooper 1989; Hattie 2009).

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