A Snapshot of Marking in our School (Oct ’16)

This blog was constructed based on visits to lessons and conversations with pupils. Its aim is to share good practice and provide advice on common areas for development. Crucially, we have been looking for evidence of learning without excessive marking: time-efficient strategies that help to advance pupils’ knowledge/skills and close gaps in their understanding. There are some good examples of such strategies below to illustrate. An earlier blog (https://kennetlearning.com/2016/09/30/getting-the-most-from-written-feedback/) contains the slides from the recent training on marking and feedback as well as some guidance on how to make sure marking is targeted and efficient.

Some examples of feedback leading to learning:


KS3 English

In this example, peer/self assessment is well structured using agreed criteria. The teacher has set the target here, but could have given pupils a target bank and then verified their selection. There are also some good examples of pupil response and improvements in purple pen. This pupil has also corrected their own mistakes, which is good. A review of research by the EEF suggests that simple corrections e.g. spellings made by teachers do not impact on pupil progress whereas pupil corrections do lead to learning.


KS3 Science


KS3 Science

This is an example of pupil progress from a KS3 Science book. In this example the teacher has gone through the work on the board and the pupil has repeated the work with reference to the teacher’s notes. This is a good example of a piece of work that does not need to be marked in detail because the corrections are factual and common to several pupils. A similar strategy is to provide pupils with a mark scheme or model answer which they can use to assess their original effort before making improvements.


KS3 English

This teacher has used the codebreaker technique from the lunchtime inset session (details here: https://kennetlearning.com/2016/09/30/getting-the-most-from-written-feedback/). It is good to see a challenging feedback task being used with a less able group.


KS3 Science

This is an excellent example of a targeted question being used alongside specific key words. In this case the teacher is encouraging precise writing and use of key words.


KS4 French

Here a pupil has highlighted the errors in a peer marking exercise before improvements and corrections have been made. There was evidence that this is regular practice and pupils were able to explain what they got wrong and how they will avoid similar mistakes in the future. Strategies like this help to develop better self-correction and checking behaviours in pupils. An added advantage is that feedback is quicker than if marked by the teacher.


KS4 French

This is a good example of pupil correction and checking alongside clear target setting from the teacher. Crucially, the pressure is on the pupil here to check, correct and improve their work.


KS4 Music

An innovative example of technology being used to facilitate peer-assessment. The music department are using a web-based programme called ‘Padlet’ to enable pupils to comment on audio recordings.


KS5 Sociology

An example of a PLC being used to encourage reflection on a topic.


KS5 Psychology

A good example of pupils reflecting on their feedback and keeping a written record of this.


KS5 Psychology

This is an example of identifying mistakes without making corrections. In this case the pupil has been guided on how to achieve the marks they have missed out on in an exam question.


KS3 Maths

This piece of work has been improved as a result of additional whole-class teaching. Purple pen has been used to make the learning clear. This is a useful strategy where you think that a class haven’t quite grasped an idea or elements of it need to be retaught.


KS3 Maths


This is a really good example from Maths where the teacher has saved time by planning the marking and producing a sticker containing the key concepts. The pupil has done some significant DIRT work following the feedback and identified the reasons for their mistakes.


KS3 Geography


KS3 Geography

Here are some examples of targeted DIRT questions being used to probe for more detail. The pupils in this lesson were used to the idea of completing DIRT tasks and the department support this through the use of a stamp where a response is required.



KS4 English

In this example from a Year 11 exercise book, the teacher has used the codebreaker marking exercise and this has led to extensive pupil annotation and redrafting. A good example of a quick marking strategy which leads to lots of pupil learning.

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