The end of Key Stage 4 progress made by students at Spalding Academy is very good, with learners performing above national average.
We want to keep this success high, therefore we are making some positive new developments to our assessment and marking policy for all learners. The sole focus of feedback is to further a child’s learning.
Feedback must empower a child to take some responsibility for improving their own work, with teachers alone not doing all the thinking work for the student. We see that assessment and marking should serve a single purpose, to advance student progress and outcomes.
Currently our teachers are working to mark all coursework and homework tasks, which is resulting in students at times receiving more limited feedback on their work and some general ‘tick and flick’ responses that serves no purpose in furthering a student’s learning. We feel that this current system can be a limiting factor for our learners, with certain comments made by teachers not being specific enough to help advance a students’ progress.
Moving forward we have reflected on our assessment processes and have recently introduced a new system, which will impact positively on all our learners, involving a wider variety of assessment: low stake (online activities, quizzes, etc); mid stake (practice exam questions, homework, etc) and high stake (end of unit tests, essays, coursework, exams, etc).
This means that students will receive a wider range of feedback, which will include: summary comments on final complex pieces of work; coded marking responses; immediate verbal feedback; peer and self-assessment and other approaches.
In addition, rather than assess every single piece of work, our teachers will now start to mark a sample of student work in a ‘forensic way’, which will be shared with all learners in order to make any necessary refinements in their work, using our ‘purple pen redrafting system’ that is proven in its success.
You may ask what this will mean for students and parents / carers?
They may start to notice that not every single piece of class and homework will be marked for their child.
However, they will also start to notice that feedback is far more in depth, relevant and will more clearly identify key areas for improvement, with increased opportunity for learners to develop the greater independence needed to meet the needs of increasingly challenging GCSEs and BTEC programmes of study.
We see our revised assessment processes as important and necessary change.