We have recently updated our marking policy in the maths department. It felt like quite a bold update to our policy: it’s much less prescriptive than before and acknowledges the many ways in which feedback can be given to students.
As a school, we are in transition with our digital tools. We work in a one-to-one school in which students have iPads with a stylus or a laptop/tablet; we are encouraging them all to get a stylus. The main teaching software is now OneNote on an interactive whiteboard.
A lot of our students’ maths work still goes into their exercise books, but a lot is now being done on their personal areas of OneNote.
We discussed our marking and feedback ideas over several department meetings and devised the following new policy. I’m looking forward to the learning walk that will focus on feedback later in the school year.
Marking and Feedback Policy
The purpose of feedback is primarily to help students know and articulate their strengths and areas for improvement in the current topics of study. Teachers should share with students an idea of where their learning is heading. This can be done using learning objectives.
We recognise that good feedback happens in many ways which are chosen by the teacher in relation to the needs of the students and the teacher’s preferences. We agree that teachers can make their own choices and this policy does not require that teachers all give feedback in a certain way.
The maths department will have an annual learning walk focused on feedback in which teachers can share their methods of feedback and student reflection. This will allow leaders to verify good feedback is being given and promote sharing of feedback strategies.
We agree that a minimum frequency for recorded, specific, personal feedback is every three weeks.
Homework and classwork tasks should be marked, whether by teachers or students. Students should reflect on their work and record this in some way.
There are many ways teachers can share feedback with students. These include:
• Student self-marking of work as directed by teachers
• Student peer-marking of work as directed by teachers
• Marking by teachers in exercise books or digitally, can be done in or out of class time
• Verbal feedback, which does not need to be recorded
• Written feedback in OneNote
• Student reflections, written with guidance from teachers; can be in exercise books or digitally
• Small quizzes, online tasks, and exit tickets
• Strength and target sheets used after tests