Is that work your best? One way to ensure reflection and improvement.

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No matter how clear I am with my instructions, how well I drill students on structures and vocabulary or how much ownership  I give students over the success criteria of their work; I still find what is written or spoken doesn’t quite meet my (perhaps naive) expectations. However, whilst visiting St Joseph’s school in Slough (a very good school with a superb atmosphere and vision) I did find some inspiration.

When observing a year 12 Sociology lesson, I saw that the teacher in question (life long pal and Head of Sixth, Rhian Morgans) was using a pre-marking pro-forma. Previously, I have just asked students to check through the self-created success criteria on the board and make sure they’ve added it all in; often, this didn’t translate to the expected work. However, the sheet contains carefully selected ingredients that make up a ‘good piece of writing’ in the left hand column. The student then goes through and considers the criteria and simple ticks Yes/No. For the areas which they have ticked No, they then write a strategy to move that aspect of their work forward. Finally, the student annotates their own work in green pen with phrases, full sentences or even paragraphs that specifically address that area for development in their work. Please see the pro-forma by clicking the link below and then how one of my year 10 students has used it for their Spanish work in the picture.

Click here: pre-marking-checklist-ks4-mfl


The student here has simply drawn a line and added in a full paragraph but some students may just add in key words or a phrases here or there.

The work I think receive is far higher in quality, which reduces my marking workload but also means the feedback given (by me, in the WWW/EBI/MRI section at the bottom of the page…yet to be done here, naughty me) will make their second draft better still. Perhaps what I expect first time from students is too high, and the idea of drafting, redrafting and marginal gains are all part of the improvement process and, in the really world, ‘normal’. Hopefully, using strategies such as the above will help our students to become more reflective and develop their work independently.

As always, all feedback welcome;pleas feel free to use, lose or abuse.

One thought on “Is that work your best? One way to ensure reflection and improvement.

    Mark less, mark better. « Still learning. said:
    March 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    […] a recent visit to St Joseph’s School in Slough and you can find an article that I wrote about it here. Essentially, students use a list of success criteria and self-assess how well they have achieved […]

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