Marking & Feedback inset



ON our last INSET day we devoted the morning to marking and feedback, and developing our practice. This post reviews the morning and shares the good practice that came out of both cross-curricular groups and curriculum teams.


This session started with a keynote address by Richard Thompson, DH of Wellsway School. His input was much appreciated and generated a lot of positive energy. His slides are here: SBL Staff Development Day 13-2-15 and the address (including the Arnie reference) can be summed up as follows:

  • Richard started by reminding us of the Coe Report on What Makes Great Teaching, which defines great teaching as teaching ‘which leads to improved student progress’ and  identifies six essential components:

Screenshot 2015-03-01 17.32.29

  • Richard then pointed us towards the research which proves that good quality, regular marking and feedback makes a difference ( as proven by the original and Black here; the  Sutton Trust Teaching and Learning Toolkit;  and Hattie’s table of effect sizes here)
  • The teacher standards clearly identify marking and feedback as a requirement of all teachers. Sarah presented some of our students’ impressions of the marking at SBL – many really like the yellow stickers and clearly understand its value, but there were perceptive comments and observations from all years:

students not liking marking

  • After a veiled threat from Arnie (or was it Richard? I saw a similarity) Benjamin, Greg, Rachel and Louise (I loved that film!) and the English Trio shared some excellent practice in their own departments, as follows:

Benjamin: To Sir, With Love

  • Benjamin outlined his department’s efforts to eradicate the tokenistic comment (more on that later) – all his slides are included in the main ppt above. Benjamin reminded us of the importance of precise EBI so that the students can respond accordingly:

what to do

 Claire, Jenny and Caroline

  • Claire shared the English Department’s Marking and Feedback pledge – it would be great if all departments could create one of these:


  • Caroline shared examples of effective KS3 feedback and responses being developed in the department. (Her complete ppt can be found here.)

Screenshot 2015-03-01 17.10.20


This session was devoted to reviewing and sharing marking and feedback strategies in cross-curricular groups. We asked the following:

screenshot 1

The responses were detailed – and very similar from cross-curricular groups. The yellow sticker is a successful strategy that is now ready to be refined – Sarah asked for volunteers to form the Yellow Sticker Working Party, because that, my friends,  is how we roll.

Screenshot 2015-03-01 13.06.24

From Table 1 came a superb idea from Greg who has been thinking about ways to embed quality marking and feedback to enable students to improve their work. This formative assessment circle clearly enables differentiation and personalisation, and allows the teacher to embed critique/peer assessment as well as specific feedback linked to relevant assessment criteria.

Greg's assessment cycle


  • refine and develop the yellow sticker
  • Link WWW to success and assessment criteria (and make sure these are shared with students in student-friendly language)
  • Frame EBIs as no more than two questions with demonstrable actions required on part of students
  • Relentlessly follow up student responses


In this session, curriculum teams looked at giving students a common language for learning in order to develop their responses. Teams were asked to discuss and complete their responses to the following statement:

Screenshot 2015-03-01 16.04.29

Responses are collated below:

Screenshot 2015-03-01 16.36.23

Finally, teams worked on developing EBIs for the yellow stickers, working backwards by identifying the kind of tokenistic response from students that are barriers to learning, then writing model student responses to precise EBIs, usually framed as questions.

Screenshot 2015-03-01 16.44.25

Responses in the form of an uber-collage are below (and will be displayed on the new teaching and learning board in the staffroom – the whiteboard at the back of the room! They will be much easier to read…)

Processed with Moldiv


  • common recognition of the value of the formative feedback strategies currently embedding
  • a requirement for time to further develop practice on developing student language
  • need to share good practice and model student responses school-wide, and include visual examples in SoLs
  • further CPD on Blooms, and using precise, targetted questioning to personalise and differentiate learning for each student, and ensuring that students themselves understand Blooms and use Blooms verbs in their responses and own target-setting
  • create classroom posters in each curriculum area modelling effective student responses
  • ensure that similar subject areas (eg practical subjects) can collaborate to devise effective student responses
  • give time to develop this critical aspect of our practice before moving to the next thing
  • develop strategies to ensure that feedback is meaningful to all groups of students, especially those with SEND


  • our recent review has identified rapid improvement in the quality and consistency of marking and feedback
  • the improvement now needs to be sustained and developed further
  • Two CPD sessions will be devoted to further development work before Easter – Greg, Matt S and Katherine J-L  and I have been working on two workshop sessions to which all teaching staff are very warmly invited – we need your collaboration, enthusiasm and classroom expertise!

Many thanks to all for an inspiring and productive staff development day. Hasta la vista, colleagues.




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