At King Richards, we have a 'Feedback and Marking' policy. Feedback comes first, to emphasise how important the conversations in the classroom are in supporting and assessing learning. The full policy document is linked to above and it gives lots of the research and theory behind our approach.
A shorter version of the policy is below:
KRIII's Feedback and Marking Policy
- All of our children, parents and staff should have a clear understanding of the school’s high standards and expectations;
- These should be communicated in a way that is effective and respectful;
- All of our interactions with children should be focused on raising their self-esteem at the same time as ensuring that they make progress in every lesson.
- The most effective response to a child’s work will be found in the planning for their next lesson.
- We respect the hard work and professionalism of all of our staff and strongly believe that they will have the greatest impact on learning when sharing ‘in the moment’ feedback with our children and when planning high quality ‘next step’ lessons based on their ongoing assessments.
- “Marking practice that does not have the desired impact on pupil outcomes is a time-wasting burden for teachers that has to stop.” (See Appendix A in the full policy for the full summary of the Report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group)
- “The quantity of feedback should not be confused with the quality. The quality of the feedback, however given, will be seen in how a pupil is able to tackle subsequent work.” (see Appendix A of the full policy, as above)
To embed high expectations of learning, progress and written work across all areas of our school.
To have a consistent approach to feedback and marking in the way that we respond to children’s written work and other evidence of learning and progress.
To share strong and effective practice across the professionals in our school in a way that maintains high expectations at the same time as reducing high and unnecessary workloads.
To engage children in evaluating their own work in age-appropriate ways and in all classes.
In our Foundation Stage and Year 1 classes, our key method of giving meaningful feedback is verbally; this takes place with the children, during the lesson. This practice is highly effective and is continued in Year 2 wherever possible.
- Verbal feedback may be individual, group-based or with the whole class.
- Well-managed verbal feedback gives each child opportunities to discuss, question and really ensure that they understand what to do next time to improve their work.
- Feedback will be two-way where possible, giving the child the opportunity to explain where they need further support.
- At the end of each week, teachers review children’s work and collaborate around planning and assessment, highlighting and planning specific actions they will take in future lessons (such as working directly with a child, changing their support or the group they work with, offering some advice, providing more challenging work etc.).
- None of this verbal feedback needs to be recorded in writing in the child’s book, although the teacher may make a note or mark on the work during the lesson while the child is working. Written feedback is only given by teachers if they have worked with that child in the lesson and they do so there and then.
- Where there’s time and opportunity, feedback discussions with a child will allow the teacher to review their work and progress over time with them.
- Teachers use their professional judgement as to whether a written comment is needed or if verbal feedback would be more effective. It’s also acceptable to simply say ‘well done, keep going’.
- If we spot a misconception in a pupil’s work, we act on it straight away but each teacher will decide the best way of giving feedback.
Any written marking that is done should be MANAGEABLE, MEANINGFUL and MOTIVATING.
‘I am learning to…’ statements will be shared verbally in every lesson in a way that is appropriate for the children and age/ability range.
Where written comments and marking are necessary and are recorded by adults in a child’s book, this will be done in purple pen.
Where adults record comments in a child’s book, this should be done neatly in a way that models the expected standard for that child’s work.
Adults are not expected to ‘quality mark’ or even to add a comment at the end of every piece of a child’s work after a lesson has finished.
We do ask that the teacher always initials each piece of work to show that:
- they have seen and accepted the work, with an implicit message that
- they will give an effective response to that work and in a way that results in improved work from that child next time.
Instead of writing ‘next steps’ for each child, the next lesson is the next step.
Teachers should feel empowered to identify and adjust techniques and approaches depending on which marking method will have the most effective impact on learning and progress for each piece of work set.
Evidence of feedback is incidental to the process; we do not provide additional evidence for external verification. Appendix B of the full policy gives information about different evidence of meaningful feedback across our school.
The best evidence of effective interaction between a child and their teacher will be seen in the clear progress in children’s books and in teachers’ ongoing assessments over time.
In-depth review - ‘quality marking’
This style of marking of children’s writing will be seen at intervals in their books in our Key Stage 1 classes.
It will include the marking of key skills, concepts and personalised targets for those children.
Children should be given the time to read and respond to any written marking to ensure that the feedback provided has maximum impact on their learning.
This will be seen more frequently in our Year 2 classes, where teachers are gathering evidence towards end-of-year Teacher Assessment Framework records. However, it is our strong feeling as a school that this should not contribute to a disproportionate workload for our Year 2 teachers and that it should not be done in a way that has no clear impact on a child’s learning and progress.
Where we add a comment at the end of a child’s piece of work, the focus will be on progress and hard work, rather than on innate ability – “You worked so hard to achieve this!”, rather than “You’re really good at this!”
Sometimes children will mark their own work. Children are encouraged to self-assess their learning with a smiley face and a brief comment.
It can be helpful for children to assess the work of others in the class. Feedback may be verbal or written. Talking about learning is an important skill that we are working to develop throughout the school.
Presentation and care in children’s books
We want our children’s books to be something in which they can take great pride, and we also want their work to show evidence over time of meaningful, independent achievement. From an early stage, if something needs to be stuck into a child’s book, adults will be teaching the children how to do this well for themselves. Where possible, children won’t be working on worksheets in any case, although scaffolds will often be helpful - particularly for our children who are new to English or with Special Educational Needs.
Children need to be aware of the need to work on the next page, to take care of the covers of their book etc.
Courage and independence
In communicating high expectations, setting standards and giving feedback/marking children’s work, we want to ensure that our children continue to develop courage and independence in what they do, rather than nurturing the restrictive belief that only perfection is acceptable. We want to see our children use and apply their learning freely and independently so that we can make meaningful assessments of their understanding and plan their next steps in learning.
We have identified creativity, innovation and risk-taking as the heart of our school vision and ethos. We want our children’s books to demonstrate and celebrate these qualities as much as our children do.