AN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL is trialling a no-homework policy and it's apparently working wonders.
Loreto Primary School in Rathfarnham, Dublin, has adopted the policy for all pupils except for those in Year 6, and principal Sr Maria Hyland says the trials have been successful thus far.
"Children come in fresh and happy in the mornings," Sr Maria tells the Irish Times.
"There is a great buzz around the place, which is nice."
The school believes that the added stress of homework causes problems for everybody, and that removing it offers opportunities for children to grow and learn in different ways, and initial reaction to the change from parents and (unsurprisingly) children has been very positive.
"Homework was causing stress for the children, stress for the parents policing the doing of homework and pressure on the teachers to mark homework that is 'do-able' at home, explain it and ensure all knew what they were required to do," said Sr Maria.
"School children need to rest their minds and relax a little to recharge their batteries. And to take time to explore something of interest to them."
Quoting Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, Sr Maria adds: "the goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for the child to invent and discover. To create people who are capable of doing new things."
One parent, with three daughters at the school, admitted she was apprehensive at first, but now welcomes the change with open arms.
"It’s given me more time in the evening. The children are definitely less stressed as well," she said.
"In the initial email that the school sent out, they encourage children to play outside, help cook the dinner, to record and watch the children’s news.
"That’s actually been my favourite part of it. I just think it’s great that they’re a little bit more aware of what’s going on in the world."
Boy, I wish this kind of thinking was around when I was at school!