This is a blog about UnMarking – reducing the marking burden placed upon teachers, so that effective and targeted marking can have deeper impact.
Is it time to tie a noose around those bad marking myths?
Inspired by The Marking Frenzy, this blog aims to equip teachers with strategies for reducing the burden on marking, and more importantly, sharing a few ideas for leadership teams across the country to help clarify what marking is not needed. Click this.
Over the past term, I have observed marking in my school. During the coming term, I will be looking to achieve the following 10 bullet points with middle leaders and our core teaching and learning group.
- Review the marking policy
- Review our assessment policy
- Share examples of good marking
- Share examples of not yet good marking.
- Offer CPD opportunities for all teaching staff.
- Build marking into our observational culture.
- Remove the fear and burden associated with marking.
- Enable teachers to mark with least workload and maximum impact.
- Help students to redraft without rebuff
- Help students to continue making progress.
We are now on version 4 of our proposed marking policy after Taking Look at Books earlier on this term. The policy is nowhere near complete, but it was shared with staff and middle leaders following on from our very successful CPD session, and incredibly well-read blog, Power from the Floor.
I’ve never been a fan of marking. What teacher is? But the more and more I delve deeper and deeper into policy and workload strategy, it has made me think much more seriously about my own marking, and much more cognitively. Dare I say, I am now enjoying marking now that I understand it much better than when I first did as an NQT and a young middle leader. I now understand the impact marking can have on student progress, as well as (if streamlined), how marking can appropriately and sensitively help reduce workload.
Our vision for marking will always be tackled from a full-time classroom teacher’s perspective.
5-Point Marking Plan:
I have previously blogged the details A Common Sense Approach to Marking Workload. Our 5-point plan approach considered the following;
- To develop high quality assessment.
- To develop diagnostic feedback across all subjects.
- To approach marking from a realistic, workload perspective.
- To keep in mind a common-sense approach.
- To ensure we are getting it right for students and teachers from the outset.
In terms of workload, A Common-sense Approach to Marking shared 3 versions of the document below. After much consultation, even feedback from colleagues on Twitter, this is where we are now with our 4th drafted document. Hopefully, we will be in a position to publish this in the summer term and have the document printed as a reminder and useful reference point for every teacher – within our very own teacher-planner.
Read Constantly Tweaking Teaching for more information.
Below is out latest marking-workload guidance. Click to share the document.
In the ‘Expected Practice‘ column, the terminology has changed from ‘Always‘ to ‘Aim for.’
Download Marking Workload Guidance – Version 4 – 26.3.15 … and please do feedback your thoughts as we are not yet finished with this.
I’m sure you will agree, all schools must tie a noose around those marking myths, to enable teachers the freedom to mark less with greater impact.