Over the years, I’ve come to realise that the more I mark my pupils’ books, the more I like the class, the individuals and the efforts they are making.
As an English teacher, there’s never any shortage of marking, so the issue is certainly one of quality, not quantity. This year, I’ve taken a slightly new approach, considering exactly what I ‘feed’ these pupils when I feed back and feed forward. I’m working on building a bank of key subject skills, revisited frequently, reviewed and revised regularly, corrected and improved where necessary, as often as needed.
These improvements are recorded on the left hand pages of books, while the ‘new’ learning and independent notes go on the right. What has emerged now, a month into the two year GCSE course, is that patterns of errors, real stumbling blocks, the need for intervention and real breakthroughs in understanding can be clearly seen on the page and charted over time.
Pupils number their pages and keep a contents page, so it’s easy to note something like ‘See p 16 for an example’ when directing pupils to make an improvement. Time for making the changes is built into the weekly plan, along with a ‘development’ task for those who don’t need to make so many improvements. Feedback and feed forward are personal, comments are ‘growth mindset’ orientated and, so far, pupil engagement has been high.
@Lisa7pettifer – English teacher/CPD leader, Cumbria