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Marking & Feedback Policy


At Camblesforth Community Primary School, we strive to ensure that all pupils make good or better progress by enabling pupils to be gain an understanding of the learning process. Through the implementation of effective marking and feedback, we aim to:


  • Communicate regularly with children about their individual progress
  • Inform the next step in a child’s learning
  • Assist children by setting clear targets for development
  • Motivate children by praising or celebrating current achievements and raising self-esteem
  • Enable teachers to plan next steps in learning and teaching
  • Enable teachers to make judgements about a child’s attainment, particularly in relation to national curriculum levels
  • Inform individual, class and whole school assessment
  • Promote high quality work
  • Encourage reflection and self-improvement
  • Ensure that marking is developmentally appropriate to individual pupils


Assessment for Learning


Through the implementation of ‘Assessment for Learning techniques’ we strive to develop a shared understanding of areas of strength, next steps in learning and how to achieve these.


The intention is for Assessment for Learning (AFL) to occur in everyday lessons. AFL improves learning and raises standards.  High quality marking and feedback is central to this process.  In order to be effective teachers should ensure that marking is:

  • Useful and constructive
  • Meaningful to pupils
  • Used to inform and adjust teaching 


The key characteristics of Assessment for Learning are explicit learning objectives, clear success criteria and effective questioning.



Explicit Learning Objectives


Effective learning takes place when learners understand what they are trying to achieve and why it is important – ‘the bigger picture’. It is therefore important that pupils know the learning objective for the lesson.  This gives a clear focus which enables pupils to review their own progress and to see if they have achieved the objective. Teacher demonstration and modelling will closely relate to the learning objective, as will the subsequent activities. Together these will support and guide children to achieve the lesson intention.


Learning objectives are displayed prominently and shared with pupils at the beginning of the lesson.  The statements are based upon one of the following:


(We are learning) to understand …

(We are learning) to be able to …

(We are learning) to know…


Clear Success Criteria

Developing clear, succinct success criteria to achieve the learning objective helps to provide children with a framework against which they can focus their efforts, evaluate their progress and discuss issues. Success criteria can be generated by the teacher, but it has been recognised that where children together generate their own success criteria to meet a learning objective, they gain more ownership over the learning with positive results.


The number of success criteria identified within a lesson will not exceed five statements.  Feedback against the criteria frees children from personal discouragement. Some success criteria can be assumed e.g. joined handwriting, careful layout etc. and do not need to be regularly commented on. Success criteria in the form of marking ladders, for example, are shared with the children before they start writing and help them to see clearly how they can be successful.


All success criteria should be short, succinct and clear.

Effective Questioning

Questioning is used in a variety of ways. The key purpose is to develop learning and extend thinking. Questions are used to raises issues from which the teacher builds up knowledge and information about the children’s understanding and misconceptions. Time is invested into framing key questions to use during the demonstration and modelling part of the lesson in order to ensure learning progresses. Key questions, including prompting, promoting and probing questions, are recorded in teacher’s planning and shared with support staff. Wait or ‘thinking’ time is used to give all children the opportunity to think and respond. This enables more children to contribute to discussion and misconceptions can be dealt with more effectively. The use of ‘talk partners’ where children can rehearse and scaffold their answers will lead to better quality greater responses from the children and therefore provide much more information for the teacher about the extent to which children have understood the new learning.

Useful Feedback

Feedback should acknowledge what has been achieved against the success criteria and suggest a few next steps for improvement and progression. Children need to be allowed time to read and understand the feedback and then be given an opportunity to act upon it. In this way the feedback will have an impact on their achievements.

The purpose of AFL is to provide feedback in such a way that learning will improve as a result. Teachers identify the next steps to learning as well as responding appropriately to the mistakes that are made. Teacher’s feedback provides pupils with the information they need to achieve the next step and make better progress. Feedback will always be constructive and sensitive because any assessment has an emotional impact. Feedback comments on the work, rather than the child, so as to be more constructive for both learning and motivation.


A number of techniques are used to provide feedback to pupils.  These include oral feedback, self and peer assessment, and written feedback


Oral Feedback

Oral feedback is the most regular and interactive form of feedback.  It may occur at any point in the lesson.  Oral feedback should be constructive and informative in order to help pupils take the next steps in their learning. 


There are a number of different types of oral feedback used by teachers.  These include:

  • Direct feedback which is targeted at specific pupils on a ‘one to one’ or small group basis) or
  • Indirect feedback in which the whole class can listen and reflect on what is said
  • Whole class or group marking of one piece of work.  This involves children contributing to the marking of a piece of work through a process of discussion, analysis and modelling.
  • Teachers creating opportunities to model the language pupils can use when responding or giving feedback to others


Peer and Self assessment

Throughout KS2 and, where appropriate in KS1, pupils are encouraged to self and peer mark against clear success criteria.  The children will be taught to do this appropriately and sensitively.


In EYFS, learning journeys will include evidence of self and peer assessment as developmentally appropriate.  This will include verbal comments made by the child and recorded by an adult. Parents will be encouraged to contribute to these documents


Peer marking and self assessment are not meant to replace teacher marking and feedback.  They are, however, used  to encourage children to become more independent and responsible for their own learning.


Time for peer and self-assessment is identified within planning as part of the teaching sequence.



Children are encouraged to self-assess their work regularly. The following methods of self-assessment are used, as appropriate to pupil’s stage of development:


  • Traffic light stamps which the children colour red (found the work difficult), orange (challenging and need some more practice), green (completed the work successfully)
  • Children highlight success criteria on a prepared grid to indicate their progress against each of the statements (traffic light colours as above)
  • Children mark their work in the manner of the teacher, using the ‘two stars and a wish’ approach


When children have self-assessed their work, teachers will respond with a short comment relating to the pupil’s response.


 Peer assessment

Often children cannot see the areas for improvement in their own work but they can recognise it in other’s work. This helps them to be critical readers and writers and to become better at checking their own work.

Peer assessment may be verbal, written or take the form of a short activity.  Examples of peer assessment prompts which teachers may use are:


  • Find one word you are really proud of and underline it. Tell the person next to you.
  • Decide with your ‘talk partner’ which of the success criteria you have been most successful with and which one needs help or could be taken further.
  • You have 3 minutes to identify two places where you think you have done this well and read them to your partner.
  • You have 5 minutes to note down one thing you could do to improve this piece of work next time.
  • Children marking one another’s work ‘like the teacher’ using the two stars and a wish technique



Constructive Marking


We aim to ensure that all children have their work marked in such a way that it will lead to improved learning, develop self-confidence, raise self-esteem and provide opportunities for assessment – including self-assessment. Marking will encourage learners to be aware of how and what they are learning and what they have achieved successfully. The emphasis in marking will be on a child’s achievement and what the next steps need to be in order for the child to further improve. These improvements will link to targets set for individuals, groups or the whole class.


Closing the gap’ statements will be used to provide individual activites and guidance to pupils.  These take the form of:


  • Reminders – What else could you say here?
  • Scaffolds – What was the dog’s tail doing? The dog was angry so he……! Describe the expression on the dog’s face.
  • Examples – Choose one of these – He ran around in circles looking for the rabbit/the dog couldn’t believe his eyes.


When closing the gap statements are included in feedback pupils will be given time to respond to these and complete any specified activities.


Early Years Foundation Stage


In the Foundation Stage, marking and feedback strategies include:

Verbal praise

Written annotations and narrative observations

Annotation of work and photographs by staff

Oral dialogue with children about their play and other work

Application of other aspects of the marking policy as developmentally appropriate to individual pupils



Key principles and guidance for marking:


  • All marking will be positive, informative and constructive. Comments must relate to the learning objective and the success criteria. Feedback should be linked to aspects of the work which children were asked to pay attention to.


  • The ‘two stars and a wish’ approach is used for both written and oral feedback. The stars indicate positive aspects of the piece of work whilst the ‘wish’ identifies the next step in learning.  These statements will be closely related to the learning objective, success criteria for the lesson, and curricular targets.


  • Traffic light’ highlighting of learning objectives by teachers and/or pupils is an effective means of providing visual feedback to pupils.


  • Marking is only of value if comments are read and responded to.


Teachers will:


  • Complete all marking in green pen.
  • Check the accuracy of all work which has been peer or self-assessed, and then respond with a short comment
  • Use highlighter pens to complete ‘traffic light’ colour coding of success criteria or learning objectives
  • Display the presentation rules in all classrooms
  • Include the presentation rules at the beginning of pupil’s maths and English books
  • Use the presentation code as an accepted standard which does not need to be included in success criteria
  • Complete an in depth marking of each pupils English and maths, twice each week
  • Complete all marking prior to the next session in which the relevant curriculum subject will be taught
  • Write comments in child friendly language, which reflect the age and developmental needs of the individual pupil
  • Write neatly in a manner which reflects the handwriting and presentation policy
  • May use highlighting to identify areas of strength within the work.
  • Display the marking symbols in Key Stage Two classrooms and use these consistently as is appropriately to the developmental needs of the pupil
  • Limit spelling correction to threee words which the child should know. 
  • Record spelling corrections in the margin and ensure that the child is given time to record these on their personal word wall.
  • Monitor the use of identified spellings in subsequent pieces of work and raise expectations of spelling accuracy over time.
  • Include planned opportunities for pupils to correct, redraft, edit, add and respond.
  • Use marking to assess pupil attainment and progress within lessons and overtime
  • Ensure that the same comments are not being used time after time, as this demonstrates ineffective marking.
  • Be able to demonstrate, and evidence, the impact of their marking and feedback upon pupil progress and attainment both within lessons and over time


Support staff, students and temporary teachers will:


  • Initial any comments which are written on pupils work
  • Record brief observations in relation to pupil progress and achievement within lessons to assist the teacher
  • Ensure comments are accurate in terms of grammar, spelling and reflect the handwriting and presentation policy
  • Contribute to AFL through the use of questioning and modelling of AFL techniques
  • Have  a clear understanding of the planning, learning objective and success criteria for the session


Pupils will:


  • Respond to marking, or complete self/peer assessment in coloured pencil, and initial the comments
  • Reflect on their success and think about how they will meet their targets or next steps
  • Be reminded to glance back through their books at previous targets so that they use them and respond to them
  • Use their ‘literacy toolkit’ book as an aide memoire in relation to ‘top tips’ from teaching and ‘things to remember’ from marking and feedback
  • Record their spelling corrections on their personal word walls
  • Record their initials after peer marking another pupil’s work
  • Complete corrections and responses to marking below the last piece of work.
  • Evaluate their work using the traffic light system.
  • Respect the work and efforts of other pupils in order to respond sensitively



Agreed Whole School Marking Symbols (from Y3, to be introduced gradually in Y1 and 2)

Editing and Revising Symbols


Spelling                   ________

Paragraph                    //

Re-order sentence     

Better vocab                   *

Missing word               ^

Add detail                    +

Punctuation                 p


Monitoring and Evaluating this policy

This policy will be monitored by consultation with staff, and through planned reviews.  Children’s books will be monitored by subject leaders and the headteacher.

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