A Cape Town school is leading the way in the education sector by doing away with homework; and six months later they’re seeing surprising results.
Gavin Keller, principal of Sun Valley Primary in Fish Hoek, told John Robbie on Radio 702 this morning that learners across all grades at the school are excelling academically, in spite of not having homework. He says the school is looking to do away with the idea that children have to put in extra academic time after a seven-hour school day. Instead, the time learners spend at school is more focused, on task and fun, allowing them to concentrate on sports and other activities after hours.
At first, Keller admits, even his staff were sceptical, with expectations running high that parents would be up in arms at the idea. Quite the contrary, however, as parents are delighted with the results. Books at the school’s library are reportedly flying off the shelves for the first time in years, the children are reading more, and getting more involved in conversations at the family dinner table.
Keller says the 21st century family is stressed, and many parents simply don’t have time to sit with their children in the evening to help with homework. He says children who were getting help in the evenings were managing, but those without that kind of support after hours were simply being left behind.
The Western Cape Education Department has taken notice of the success of Sun Valley Primary’s no homework trial, and will be meeting with Keller soon to discuss his education policies at the school.
I wish Gavin Keller and his team had been around when I was still at school…
Photography courtesy Sun Valley Primary