Feedback and Marking
At Christ the King, we have recently begun trialling a new method for marking and feedback. The teachers in Key Stage 1 and 2 have been using this new system since we came back to school in September.
When you look at your child’s work in Maths or English books, you will notice that they are not marked in a traditional format. This is because the school is now operating a "whole class feedback model." Some teachers are also starting to try out this method in other subjects like Science, Geography or History.
Why are you doing “whole class feedback” and not marking my child’s book individually?
The most up to date research shows that traditional marking has very little impact on a child’s progress. Most of the time, comments aren’t read by the child, or they can’t read, or they are not acted upon. This means teachers spend lots of time, giving lots of effort, for very little gain.
With less formal marking to do, teachers have more time to plan next steps for individual children and deliver more personalised lessons. Teachers will still look at every book everyday, but they will be making general notes as to who needs what next, rather than individual comments or ticks.
Does this mean my child’s teacher will never tick a book again?
No, we will sometimes mark something traditionally, but this will probably be when the teacher is actually sitting with the child, rather than afterwards away from them.
If teachers still wish to make quick comments in a child’s book about something fantastic or in need of attention, they may still do that. Remember, they are still looking at each book everyday, just not necessarily making a pen mark in it.
Is this possible with 30 children in a class?
Yes, because even though each child is an individual, many of them will have similar strengths and weaknesses after each lesson. Those children can then be taught the next step together in the next lesson. Children who have specific learning needs will be noted and then a staff member will work with the child to address any areas of difficulty.
What about children who always get things right?
They shouldn’t! If they are being challenged, they shouldn’t find their work easy. Teachers will make notes to plan the next steps to ensure each child is challenged.
What about children who always get things wrong?
Again, they shouldn’t. If the teacher is pitching the work correctly, it should be challenging but within their capabilities.
But my child is in the top/middle/bottom group!
Not anymore. Groupings are fluid at our school as we do not believe children’s abilities are fixed. The way we are marking now means that children may change groupings daily depending on how well they learned that day’s lesson. Teachers are planning responsibly all the time.
Surely teachers know what they’re doing before the week starts, how can they change it daily?
Teachers know what they are teaching over the course of the term and what the learning aims are over the course of a week. But the finer details, the “who needs what next,” is done responsively after lessons, once every child’s book has been looked at.
This allows teachers to plan for the next lesson knowing exactly what each child needs. Previously, children would have to fit into plans, so there would have been a lot of pressure for teachers to accurately predict how each child would learn. Now, the teacher plans in response to the children’s learning needs, as and when they appear.
My child thrives on knowing how well they did in a task. How will the teachers communicate this to them?
At the beginning of each lesson, we recap previous learning, as this is how we learn best. During this part of the lesson, teachers give whole class feedback. They might show children good examples of work by putting it up on the screen, or discuss common errors and misconceptions whilst children are looking back at their work to address any mistakes.
This skill is far more important for children to learn rather than the teacher telling them. This is also when children will receive praise for their efforts, publicly or privately, depending on the child. Each teacher will know the best way to do this.
So what does the feedback look like?
It is a sheet of notes on a proforma for the teacher to use when they are checking the books. The whole time the teacher is looking back at a book, they are considering the next learning steps for each child and making notes correspondingly.
They are monitored by the senior leadership team, but they are not completed for senior leaders - they are completed to enable every child to make progress by matching the next learning step to the needs of each child.
What should I look for in my child’s book then?
Look for their own corrections. Look for something they get wrong one day, then right the next day or following week.
Older children should be able to tell you what they need to work on next because they will check for themselves and think about their own next steps within independent tasks.
Is this just for Years 1 - 6?
Yes, but it actually builds very well on what has been happening in Early Years Foundation Stage for a long time.
If you have any further questions, please just let us know!
Culcheth Lane, Manchester, Lancashire M40 1LU
0161 681 2779
For telephone enquiries please ask for Mrs Potter.
At point of contact, enquires and queries will be dealt with by Mrs. Potter.
For a paper copy of any information on this website, please contact the school office.
SEN enquiries will be passed on to the school SENDCo Mrs Holroyd.