Most teenagers will almost always complain that they are too bogged down with homework to enjoy themselves, but are they just being narrow-minded and ignoring the positive impacts on their learning or is there truly cause for concern?

There are plenty of positives of students completing homework regularly. Not only can it aid a pupil’s learning and reinforce their understanding of a particular topic, but it also encourages them to begin managing their time better, improves their organisation and instils a better work ethic in them. Revision homework and assignments over long holidays can also be beneficial as they urge teenagers to keep refreshing themselves with information when they wouldn’t normally, which helps them to remember important information in the long-term.

On the other hand, homework can cause lots of psychological problems such as intense stress and sleep deprivation. It is recommended that teenagers get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night, but less than 1 in 5 get anywhere close to that, with homework believed to be largely responsible for this. Many also complain that their homework is overly time-consuming and not entirely relevant, or is based on something that they have not been taught yet or at least taught to the point that they fully understand it.

Either way, I’m sure we can all agree that engaging in extra-curricular activities and balancing your social life with friends and family is equally important as schoolwork, and therefore teachers need to be more mindful when setting homework. From my experience, I find it particularly frustrating when teachers see weekends and holidays as an opportunity to set more homework because they expect students to be less busy during this time, when I know that in many cases this is in fact the opposite.

Additionally, I think that teachers need to consider how time-consuming and relevant the homework is that they are setting. For example, an assignment to create a poster on a particular topic - although it would encourage the student to independently strengthen their understanding of the topic - would often require the student to also spend hours and hours worrying about the presentation of their poster, when this time could be better spent completing other assignments or having some relaxing downtime.

At a time when more and more schools and other organisations are proclaiming that they aim to prioritise the mental wellbeing of their children above anything else, you would hope that they would back this up by monitoring the amount of time students spend completing homework – which is over 3 hours a night on average – and being open to feedback from students and parents, but this is often not the case.

Although I would say that homework is very beneficial to a pupil’s learning and that I would strongly oppose the idea of abolishing it completely, schools definitely need to be more considerate over the quantity and type of homework that they set as well as the effect that it has on their students before they begin to feel overwhelmed and these issues get out of hand.

By Oliver McCabe.