Marking and Feedback Policy 2017-18

The Purpose of this Policy

We recognise the positive value and impact that marking and feedback can have on pupil progress, and we can demonstrate excellent marking and feedback in school. We recognise that teachers’ ‘checking’ of pupils’ progress and pupils’ own self-assessment of their own progress and attainment are central functions in the learning process. We are committed to driving standards forward further.

This policy has been created to ensure consistency, to share best practice and to promote a philosophy of ‘getting it right first time’. Whilst Subject policies for, marking and feedback will dictate the details that are most suitable for their specific purpose, Faculties will all follow the core principles covered in this policy. Consistency within the Faculties is also important and can come from consistent high standards rather than unvarying practice.

This Policy has been designed in consultation with Heads of Faculty and Faculty Coaches.

Aim

All forms of assessment, marking and feedback serve a single purpose – to advance pupil progress and outcomes.

Definitions

Summative Assessment – assesses pupils’ progress over a major project, essay or unit of work, at stated intervals (eg at the end of the unit), recorded in the style and terminology of STEPs or public exams (eg 4D or Grade 7). It is completed, as a minimum, at least twice per half term for core subjects and once per half term for non-core subjects.
Formative Assessment – assesses incremental pupils’ progress over a shorter timescale, and focuses on elements of a learning objective. It takes place at least once a week for core and non-core subjects. It takes a variety of forms, including targeted questioning, verbal feedback, self and peer assessment, written feedback (eg. ‘www; ebi’) and dot-marking. Formative marking uses green-penning as the standard vehicle for pupils to practise improvement.

Principles

1. Marking is Valuable

  • It values pupils’ effort for learning and promotes pride, and a feeling of self-worth amongst our pupils

2. Marking is Informative

It allows teachers to identify:

  • whether knowledge & understanding is secure enough to move forward, or whether consolidation work or a different approach is necessary. If assessment is of a skill, it should be able to demonstrate application of the skill with increasing independence or confidence over time.
  • which pupils to target from additional support.

3. Marking is Collaborative

The responsibility for progress is shared with pupils, teachers, school leaders and parents.

  • Written work offers evidence of progress over time where careless mistakes are marked differently to errors resulting from misunderstanding. The latter may be best addressed by providing hints or questions which lead pupils to underlying principles (correction evidenced by green penning); the former by simply marking the mistake as incorrect, without giving the right answer.

4. Marking is Manageable

We follow the key findings of the Independent Workload Review Group report, ‘Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking’ and the Education Endowment Fund review, ‘A Marked Improvement’. These can be summarised as:

  • Any marking practice that does not have the desired impact on pupil outcomes is a time-wasting burden for teachers that must be discontinued.
  • Exercise books belong to the pupils and their work must show their progress over time only.
  • Progress should be checked on a weekly basis so as to inform lesson planning and to intervene swiftly where required, both of which enable pupils to progress faster.
  • Verbal feedback provides this opportunity, for example, through a whole class plenary or 1:2:1 dialogue between teacher and pupils. This may occur during lesson time.

5. Marking is Rigorous and Regular

We emphasise that to have the most impact, detailed marking and written feedback should only occur on formative assessments. We believe that

  • Acknowledgement marking is unlikely to enhance pupil progress.
  • Verbal feedback has the same merit as written feedback, so long as pupils’ outcomes show evidence that progress is at least good as a result of the feedback. This means that green penning shows an improvement in the quality of written work.
  • Self and peer assessment is effective when pupils are clear about the outcomes they are expected to achieve. Skills used in order to access the knowledge, application or evaluation of content are defined. The self/peer reviewed work articulates what has been done and what needs to be done to improve. This encourages pupils genuinely to own their learning and to share this with each other.

Practice – A Whole School Approach

In order to be effective and efficient in promoting learning we expect variations between different subjects and different age groups of pupils. However, we have agreed that in all subjects we are expected to adopt this core practice.

Core Practice

1. All work in books/folders is accompanied by a clear purpose ie title, classwork/homework and a date. Both are underlined using a ruler.
2. Teachers check progress in books or folders at least once every three weeks. This may be more often in some core subjects than in non-core subjects.
3. Presentation skills (date, title and technical vocabulary) are always checked. SPAG Codes are used.
4. Marking models high expectations (spelling and grammar is correct).
5. Teachers’ comments are completed in clear, legible handwriting.
6. Pupils respond to marking with green pens.
7. When books are returned, time is provided for pupils to make corrections and improve identified areas through green penning.
8. All books show evidence of improvement through formative feedback.

Recommended Practice

1. Assessed work is to be accompanied by success criteria (format to be decided by Faculties).
2. All books are to show a clear journey of progression, although the format of this may differ according to the subject.
3. All teachers are to highlight where the pupil has hit the success criteria. This may be in the form of a written comment or they might choose simply to highlight the actual work.
4. All teachers to use the language of Bloom’s Taxonomy when advising pupils to improve in www & ebi. Teachers select the right level of Bloom’s to challenge the child without inhibiting them.

SPAG Codes

P Punctuation missing/unclear
SP Spelling mistake
WW Wrong word
AP Misuse of apostrophes
|| Paragraph needed
^ Word missing
0 Circle to show incorrect use of capital letter, comma or full stop
(one tick) Good point
(two ticks) Excellent point
? This doesn’t make sense/unclear