“In the context of curriculum freedoms and increasing autonomy for schools, it would make no sense to prescribe any one model for assessment. Curriculum and assessment are inextricably linked. Schools should be free to develop an approach to assessment which aligns with their curriculum and works for their pupils and staff”
Commission on Assessment Without Levels, 2015.
…so to, teachers ‘should be free to develop an approach to assessment which aligns with their curriculum and works for their pupils’. The expectation is that assessment for learning is continuous; there is no defined or instructed time-frame. Assessment should form a dialogue between teacher and pupil with the aim to improve pupils’ understanding, learning and raise achievement. Assessment should be motivating and meaningful for both teacher and learner - teachers will glean information about pupil performance and use this to inform planning and progression for individuals and groups, whilst pupils will have an acute awareness of what they need to do to improve but more importantly, how to improve and understand the importance of that progression.
|Marking everything that moves does not gurantee progress - in fact it is detrimental. Honorous marking burns out teachers and takes away time from more impactful activities such as planning great lessons and delivering them with energy!|
Marking and feedback are key components of effective assessment but the quantity of marking should not be confused with the quality. Both the regularity and purpose of marking and feedback should be communicated to pupils so that they have an informed expectation of assessment. To be effective, feedback through marking should be about challenging tasks or goals rather than easy ones. Give feedback about what has been done well and about what can be done better and ensure that pupils have time to make improvements and corrections to their work.
Focus on the 3Ms of marking:
Meaningful marking will vary by age group, subject and what works best for the pupil and teacher in relation to learning and progress. Manageable means that marking is proportionate and considers the frequency and complexity of written feedback, as well as the cost and time effectiveness of marking in relation to the overall workload of teachers. Motivating marking should help to motivate pupils’ to progress. This does not mean always writing in-depth comments, sometimes, short, challenging comments or verbal feedback can be more effective.
If the teacher is doing more work than their pupils are, this can become a disincentive for pupils to accept challenges and take responsibility for improving their work.
Meaningful, manageable, motivating – make it matter.
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- David Didau - Why Marking is an act of folly
- Tom Sherrington - Get assessment right and reduce workload