Marking for Impact


There is no doubt about the importance of marking – it’s at the core of what we do. We need to assess if students have learnt and empower them to progress. High quality marking should inform students of what they need to do AND inform the teaching of subsequent lessons. The issue however is what constitutes good marking

One of the biggest mistakes over the years has been confusing marking with feedback and I am guilty of picking up books and looking for proof that a teacher has had input. This only led to frantic late night marking by the teacher and box ticking as opposed to really nurturing and promoting student progress.

There has to be a shift. We should be looking at how feedback and marking is helping students improve. There is no one golden method but we should be consistently asking:-

·        Is the marking or feedback benefitting progress?

·        How are they going to show me they have understood and taken on board my feedback?

As part of the staff conference Katie Huttlestone and I worked with 9 different teachers to ask them to pilot a new marking strategy in their lessons. The aim was to minimise overwhelming repetitive and futile marking and instead provide a manageable, purposeful and succinct approach to feedback.


Dot Marking – Lindsey Shearn (English) - PowerPoint

Inspired by


Essay Grids – Sonali Lariko (Psychology)

With an essay heavy subject hours are taken marking extended writing.  I needed to develop a strategy that ensures my workload is manageable and that marking is having a direct and measurable impact on pupils progress.

The first attachment was my first method of marking which involved a marking grid, which although quick seemed to be less effective for students as they were unable to show progress.

Essay feedback sheets

The extended essay marking grid is my revolutionary method which has been trialled and tested; students have found it works! It takes a little time to write the bullet points but overall significantly sped up marking time. Students have been able to use it themselves and self-mark. In addition they have asked for the template to create their own as it is like an essay plan on a page.

Template 1

Template 2





The Box – Danielle Newman (Science)

‘The Box’ summary

In your planning, consider and prepare what question you would like the students to answer to assess their level of understanding

Make the criteria.

Students answer the question and highlight around the question to create a box. This clearly indicates to you what you will mark. They stick in the criteria.

You then highlight what the student has NOT done.

Student makes this correction next lesson.








NTT…Now – Dan O’Neil (Maths)

Using questions as feedback in the short term (so the pupils have something to respond to) and focused targets in the long term are some of the best ways to help pupils progress. Experience has shown that this approach is effective over time but do you consider exactly “when” you’re feeding back and marking.

Feedback needs to be instant. It needs to be given and acted upon straight away, or it’s not having the optimum impact.

The problem with NTT tasks is that they are currently too delayed. It can be up to 3 weeks before students act on the feedback from the time the classwork was completed. Is that pupil in the same mind-set they were when they were completing that piece of work? Is their response going to be just an add-on that ticks a box? Additionally  a lot of time is page turning in exercise books for marking, looking for mistakes from the class marking. Can marking be more targeted?

I decided to re-plan to include ‘Progress Points’ in the lesson. This is the only class work marked!


PowerPoint of examples  



Tick Box marking – Chloe Anderson-Bush and Rachel Meany (Geography)

Word.doc template1

Word.doc template2

Summative assessments require grading against criteria. Rather than writing out WWW and EBI comment why not have a pre-prepared tick box which references the criteria and a bank of common errors?

The teacher ticks the WWW against criteria and then EBI which would move the students work up a grade.

Students read the feedback cover sheet and then take action against the directed improvement task.

Teacher re-reads the work and ticks the new grading


Marking Crib Sheet – Katie Huttlestone (English)

Inspired by

The crib sheet allows the teacher to go through each students’ book/work and make comments on the whole class sheet

The crib sheet is a way to provide quicker feedback to the whole classroom rather than writing comments in each book so reducing marking time.

The benefits are that it gives a snapshot of the whole class’s progress, allows opportunity to ‘fine tune’ lesson planning and it also gives activities and tasks for students to complete within DIRT the next lesson.

Exam Feedback

DIRT activities post crib sheet


DIRT by  numbers – Jo Bayley (History)

Inspired by

English example

Directed improvement reflection time is a great way for students to act upon the feedback that you have given as their teacher.

DIRT allows students to reflect/act upon the comments that have been written, as feedback. Therefore ensuring the feedback is being put to use and is supporting the progress of our students, not for their next piece of work but NOW – today, in their lesson.

As you read through the work, collate the most common errors and assign a number to these. On the students work you simply write the number of the task the student needs to do. This save marking time but also ensure the students are guided in the follow up task.











History Example in detail


Gallery Critique – Megan Youell (Art)

Inspired by

Gallery critique is when students spend an extended period of time assessing the work of their peers, giving high quality, specific feedback based on the success criteria outlined by the teacher.

In Art there is continuous dialogue between teacher and students but how can we get them taking more responsibility for responding to feedback?

See outcomes of Galley Critique


Success Criteria – Hayley Derrick (PE)

A practical lesson is often rich in verbal feedback but as a teacher it is difficult to monitor if the WHOLE class have responded to make progress. We can clearly see through observing a sample but how do we know that all pupils have engaged with the feedback?

By using success criteria and peer feedback we can encourage our pupils to coach each other as every student is accountable for another’s progress.

Students work in pairs and observe another student’s performance, marking with a tick or highlighter the skills that are demonstrated. At the end the pupil gives their partner a target. This is repeated with the assessor now in the ‘performance’ role. Students will then have time to implement their partner’s target which is reviewed at the end of the lesson by teacher and pupils.

Success Criteria Example1

Success Criteria Example1