Posted in Learning

I just gotta finish this set of books…….

How many of us utter these words only to traipse up to bed 2 hours later?


Can Marking ever be Manageable?

Does it ever end?

There’s a strange realisation that dawns on you as a teacher when you complete the amazing lesson about Earthquake Case Studies with pupils demonstrate to varying degrees learning and application of how to use a case study effectively, that you are going to have to feed forward mark this work. Impact marking. Marking that actually mean something, that is more than the marking policy of the establishment, more than that box being ticked.

Should I mark everything?

Should I just focus on the P.E.E.L elements?

We have very clear Marking and Assessment guidelines at the Acadamy;

  • Marking must be done as soon as possible after the completion of the task set, so that the pupils feel that their work is valued


  • The marking code, agreed by staff, should be used and be visible to pupils when they are reflecting on their marking


  • Marking and assessment of pupils learning should be positive and celebrate successes, as well as challenging and constructive in its feedback.

These are the first 3 of 9 points, which end with the pupil response aspect, (for us it is mark I red respond in green), and for me the most important. Marking is not about value for the teacher, yes it does allow us to develop and add to the rich learning tapestry that are our pupils, but it should never be(as it was when I was an NQT), something I have to get through this evening.

Nothing better when pupils appreciate the marking and feedforward comments to improve

Nothing worse when they bypass these comments and go straight for the grade.

We use the effort RAG rating, (see Attainment, Assessment and Learning page for examples), and encourage pupils to look more at how they can use the skills they have learnt to improve rather than follow a scale and list of generic improvements, and the marking ladders developed by our literacy department have been ideal for this.

flooding marking ladder

film review marking ladder

It is about delivering maximum impact for the pupils achievement, demonstrating to them that they do make progress over time, and that their book/folder is something to be celebrated and consistently used by themselves. A great starter is to set the pupils a challenge of locating an element of learning that they now would like to change, and an element that they might still not understand. A great source of peer assessment then, and engages those learners in the lesson with their own work.

Headguruteacher’s blog has a lovely post about ‘Effective and Reflective marking’, well worth a peruse.



Assistant Head Teacher, Geographer, all round Educational Enthusiast

One thought on “I just gotta finish this set of books…….

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