Homework is a very important part of the curriculum which supports progress in several ways. These include:
One and a half hours homework each day adds 30% to the learning time, equivalent to a day and a half per week of extra lesson time. Over five years between year 7 and 10 this would equate to one and a half year's worth of extra school days. Imagine the impact this can have if homework is done properly.
In key stage three the pattern usually (with some exceptions) consists of regular issue and return of relatively small tasks. As students age and move into key stage four, some tasks become longer and more open-ended, which helps to prepare them for the more sophisticated and mature study in the sixth form. Post-16, a substantial proportion of independent study between lessons should be self-directed and broadening, such as wide reading and reading ahead, making notes and exploring subjects in greater depth, as well as completing tasks set by the teacher. Sixth form students will have only 19 timetabled hours in year 12 or 16 hours in year 13. A full time job would occupy at least 37 hours per week so students should use as much of the extra time as possible deepening their independent study of their subjects.
In all key stages students should make the best possible use of the planner. Sometimes the most well-organised people outperform the cleverest!