Working in partnership with the Department for Education, Bath Spa University and the Sigma Teaching School Alliance

Certainly a hot topic at the moment is marking and discussions around the frequency and quality of feedback. It is in the interest of all teachers to ensure that the students make significant progress over time but how can this be done in a smart way which does not impact negatively on teacher workload?

Improving the quality of your verbal feedback with students is key. As @TeacherToolkit would advocate, “working tightly on the depth of your teacher-instruction and teacher clarity”. The focus should be on improving a student’s work rather than evidencing conversations and written feedback.

So how can this be implemented successfully? In line with your school’s marking policy, teachers should be taking in books to mark on a regular basis. The secret is not to mark all of the work (the students can help by self and peer assessment) but to mark one key piece of work thoroughly and provide detailed feedback as how to improve. Carol Dweck (pioneer of Growth Mindset) suggests that each student is on a pathway to academic success and the phrase “not yet” can be a powerful starting point to your written and verbal feedback to students.

Of course it is important that time is given in the next lesson after taking books in for students to review their work and to make improvements based on the detailed feedback provided. I find it is best to follow up the review process in class whilst circulating the room rather than waiting for the next submission of books and the inevitable burden of double or triple marking.