What do the different types of homework mean?

Compulsory homework

XP Boost homework

Target homework

Full-length homework

Half-length homework

Optional only homework

Compulsory homework

Compulsory homework focuses on any topics you have put into homework for that week and for that class, using the Planner page on Teacher Portal. Compulsory homework also includes bespoke consolidation on topics that students have covered but haven't yet mastered, as well as revision questions on topics they haven't seen recently.

The time taken to complete Compulsory homework depends on the length option you choose using the Planner page on Teacher Portal. Full-length Compulsory homework should normally take around an hour to finish. Students must get all of their questions correct in their Compulsory homework before they are deemed to have completed it.

XP Boost homework

XP Boost takes around 30 minutes to complete and is an opportunity for each student to continue their learning by answering more consolidation and revision questions from topics previously covered in homework. It may also include some in-focus topics from that week when appropriate.

Please note: if homework is set to “Optional only”, XP Boost will take around 60 minutes.

Target homework

Target homework is made up of up to six questions that Sparx thinks each student will find challenging. We recommend that students work through their Target homework with someone who can help them if they need it, however, it is important that students ultimately answer the questions themselves so that their answer accurately reflects their ability.

Parents and carers receive emails each week with information about the current homework assignment, and a link to a video that can be used to support their child in answering their first target question.

Note: Target homework will not be generated if no topics are included for that week in Planner.

Full-length homework (Default length)

Full-length means that homework is assigned at its regular length, which is normally 60 minutes. New students, or those who have not been assigned homework for at least three weeks, temporarily receive a week or two of shorter "warm-up" homework before they move to the full hour.

Half-length homework

Ordinarily, Compulsory homework for each student should take around 60 minutes to complete. Sometimes it may be necessary to change the length or type of the current homework for a class or individual. For example, if a teacher plans to set some separate homework to cover a topic that is not included in the Sparx homework, then they may want to change the length of the homework to Half-length, so students still receive a manageable amount of homework.

Optional Only homework

Optional only homework is made up of XP Boost and Target homework and is available each week. The student will not receive a late mark if they do not complete their work. Teachers might choose to set Optional only homework for various reasons, which may include

  • Planning to set some separate homework to cover a topic that is not included in Sparx homework
  • Making homework Optional only over the holidays
  • Giving students the chance to catch up on missed homework (for example after long-term illness). The homework can then be set back to Compulsory once they’re up to date

Note: If homework is set to half-length then this will not affect the length of time it would take to complete Optional Only homework. XP Boost and Target homework will still be the same length as normal.