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Lakeside Primary School “Enjoying Learning Together and Aiming High.” Policy for Marking and Feedback Introduction In our school we believe that focused feedback is a fundamental part of the formative assessment process. Assessment practice must have a positive impact on pupil’s attitudes, motivation and self-esteem. It is therefore important that pupils see assessment as a means of improving their standard of work. We believe that this is achieved through providing careful feedback, giving pupils a clear picture about what they have done well and where they need to improve. This document explains the strategies and procedures used to implement focused feedback in our school. All staff in our school have a shared understanding of the purpose of giving feedback to pupils and use it to promote the quality of learning and to raise attainment.

'Learning is well supported when pupils are aware of what they are trying to achieve in particular pieces of work, and when, through careful marking, they have a clear picture about what they have done well, and what they need to do better next time' 'Handbook for the inspection of schools' OFSTED 1992 Nature and Purpose of Focused Feedback Verbal or written focused feedback will first of all acknowledge the strengths of the piece of work in relation to the learning objective. It will then offer a very specific prompt which will indicate to the child how the work could be improved to meet the objective. Time must be allocated for the child to read the comment and respond to it, before moving on to the next objective. Feedback should have a positive impact on pupils’ learning. It is only effective if it promotes thinking. We recognize the need for a consistent whole school approach. In our school feedback, written or verbal will: •

be clear, supportive and helpful by providing feedback to pupils, indicating specific strengths in their work

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be directly related to the learning objective of the lesson, or to the pupils targets for improvement

suggest what the pupil and teacher might do to improve the work by giving a focused ‘closing the gap’ prompt

recognise achievements and indicate next steps/ways forward

identify weaknesses and areas for development - (targets)

promote individual action planning

act as a check to keep track of work and provide a record of pupils’ progress

raise attainment in school, as pupils become better learners

focus teachers on those areas of learning where groups and individuals need specific help

help schools to be accountable to pupils, parents, external agencies and the wider community

help parents understand strengths and weaknesses in a child’s work

feed into future teaching and learning.

The best practice in marking will be closely linked to clear learning objectives. However, teachers should look out for opportunities to recognise and celebrate unexpected learning. Our Practice •

In our feedback we will remember that children can only take in a limited amount of information at any one time and we will focus on one or two key areas for improvement.

When giving marks or grades, we will be sensitive to research that has indicated that can they can cancel out the impact of any accompanying comment.

We will limit comments on spelling and grammar unless they were part of the focus of the lesson, if it is a spelling the pupil should know or is specifically related to the child’s target.

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We will give the pupils opportunity to assess their own work based on the learning objective and ask them to highlight particular features in their work where it has been achieved (self-assessment).

We will use our marking code consistently to indicate to children where secretarial improvements are needed, or where there are incorrect calculations in mathematics.

We use the term improvements to encourage a positive response from pupils

After giving feedback we will endeavour to give pupils time to respond or make improvements.

Key features of effective feedback Our feedback will demonstrate an awareness that: • • • • • • • •

Oral feedback is most powerful Feedback and marking should focus on the learning objectives Pupils should be given support in order to close the gap between what they have learned and their next step Scores and grades have limited value in moving learning forward Spelling corrections should be confined to those words the child should know When marking at a distance, children must be able to read and understand comments. They should be given time to respond. Marking codes can be used for manageability and increased access to feedback The marking policy must be communicated and explained to parents.

‘For assessment to be formative, the feedback has to be used’. Black & Wiliam 1998 Feedback must be useful to the: 1. Pupil - to close the gap and provide the next step forward in learning. 2. Teacher - outcomes are used to inform future teaching and learning and make adjustments to plans as necessary. Marking Guide Marking is an integral part of the learning process and a key component of the assessment of children’s progress in school. It is a way of praising a child’s successes, valuing efforts, identifying errors and encouraging improvement. The outcome of marking informs planning for children’s progress and provides a positive record of that progress.

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If marking is effective we will see evidence that children have responded to feedback leading to subsequent improvement in their work. •

Teachers need to follow the agreed marking scheme to ensure consistency and clarity throughout the school.

The ability and needs of the child should inform correction of their work

Comments should be specific and relate to the learning objective and success criteria.

Children will often only read and benefit from comments if attention is drawn to them and they are given time to respond.

Marking should highlight strengths and areas for development throughout the piece of work using the agreed symbols in the marking code (rather than just at the end).

Comments may sometimes take the form of questions to encourage further thought (e.g. “How does this work?” in Science)

Comments should be used to highlight where the child has responded to earlier feedback – e.g. “Your use of paragraphs is better …”

The comment at the end of a piece of work allows the teacher to show the teacher’s reaction to the child:i) ii)

Praising strengths and celebrating success Offering constructive suggestions

Criticism should be saved for slovenly or uncaring work and could be indicated by “See me” to prompt further discussion withy the child. In giving feedback to pupils we try to ensure that:

• Feedback is supportive and helpful; • Both oral and written feedback is provided as appropriate; • Work is assessed against the learning objective; • Wherever possible, pupils are provided with the opportunity to assess their own work and discuss it with the teacher; 4


• Individual achievement is recognised and 'next steps' indicated. Target Setting Targets for pupils will be set based on: • • • • •

clear learning objectives that are shared with pupils; assessment strategies which are made clear to pupils; differentiation; identified strengths and weaknesses; analysis of statutory and or optional tests.

Targets will be manageable and come from day to day observations through: • • • •

evidence of work marking records of assessment pupil self assessment

Target setting will involve dialogue between pupil and teacher relating to the objectives of the lesson, how the child learns, their strengths and weaknesses and how improvements can be made. The policy was agreed by the staff and governors at Lakeside Primary School in June 2009. It is reviewed annually or in the light of any changes.

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feedback and marking policy