Blog Archive

Sunday 12 May 2019

A spotlight on marking and feedback - the English Department

As the hit book 'Mark, Plan, Teach' highlights, there are three things that teachers must do well - mark work, plan lessons and teach students well. That can be learned from the title alone, so what specifically can we do to support teachers within these three areas, especially to ensure impact for students and manage workload for ourselves? Well, lets start with the first - mark work (

The English Department, with thanks to James R specifically, have provided an excellent insight into their departmental policy and evidence of it in practice which was seen during the recent DDI's.

James writes:

The new marking policy is a department concept which we all use. The theory comes from the idea that previously assessed work wasn’t treated as a “special” piece of work that the students were proud of. Books were looking scrappy and often used and discarded within a short period of time. We wanted a system where assessment could be tracked and monitored and where progress could be clearly seen and traced. By having an assessment book where students could produce a “best piece” on a fortnightly basis meant a sense of pride was achieved. Assessments generally alternate between Reading and Writing pieces throughout the term. Note books or class books are used at other times and are not marked.

The marking policy is now consistent within the department and also from Year group to Year group. 

During feedback lessons each student is given a laminate of the colour coded marking policy so they can use the sentence starters to build on and develop their responses. I would say marking is now far more meaningful and immediate (as evidenced by John Hattie in his meta-analysis) and also takes far less time! Through this process students are now more engaged with which AO's they are trying to hit in each piece of work. Subsequently they are able to track their A0 strengths and weaknesses and address these in the following piece.

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