We’ve begun formulating some ideas for improving on the way we use feedback at school. I was impressed that for the first time during an INSET activity we were encouraged to reflect on recent ideas from influential teacher bloggers. We found the following blog posts particularly useful:
Tom Sherrington on Closing the Gap
Shaun Allison on Verbal Feedback
Andy Tharby on Marking: Minimum Effort for Maximum Pleasure
David Didau’s classic piece Marking is an act of love
Joe Kirby’s What if you marked every book every lesson?
Part of the twilight involved a book scrutiny which provided plenty of reassuring evidence that a variety of interesting and effective practice was flourishing in different departments. We established some core principles that could underpin a new policy on assessment and feedback and then began to list a range of helpful strategies.
Towards the end of the session the accountability agenda injected itself somewhat uncomfortably into the discussion by raising the perennial issue of what constitutes a reasonable time interval for marking books. Feeling that a rigid policy in this regard could actually undermine any transformational practice, we suggested that teachers should be required to demonstrate understanding of the principles of a new assessment and feedback policy. The implication is that we need be able to make feedback work more effectively and that the days of ticking and flicking to suit a marking timetable should lie firmly in the past. Closer scrutiny of assessment and feedback at department level will be required to ensure not just compliance, but understanding of good practice.
The presentation below represents the very start of our thinking and the plan is that by sharing it via our Google Apps-based network, all teachers can contribute to a dynamic resource that improves over time.