How We Mark Learning.

Most teacher marking is wasted as it does not lead to rich learning said Paul Black an eminent educationalist.

Feedback should cause thinking said Dylan William another highly thought of educationalist.

There are five stage of feedback that we use at Bloxham Primary School.

  1. 1. Showing success ( Highlight in green)
  2. 2. Indicating improvement/ next steps (Highlight in pink)
  3. 3. Giving an improvement suggestion (Question, specific task)
  4. 4. Making the improvement (Green pen)
  5. 5. Checking the improvement (Teacher responds)


Stage 1 and 2: Showing success and indicating where to improve

Highlighting is related to the learning. This can be done during the lesson whilst teachers wander round or when books are taken home.

Green is great

Pink to make you think


Some children struggle to read teacher’s comments so this is quick simple and effective.  Children can also be challenged to achieve more green!

 2 stars and a wish will be used when teachers comment in more depth


Stage 3: Giving an improvement suggestion.

There are 3 types

  • Reminder What else could you say about the weather? Think of a better word than bad. Say more about… Explain your thinking…..
  • Scaffold – provide examples of what they need to do

What was the monster doing?

What kind of monster was he?

  • Example – give exact sentences, words or processes to copy

Choose one of these words instead of bad

Ferocious, terrifying, evil

The most effective feedback is oral feedback after which pupils should take immediate action on this feedback.

It isn’t feasible to expect teachers to give all pupils oral feedback during every lesson, so self-assessment, peer assessment or teacher marking can occur.

Stage 4: Making the improvement – In lessons teachers plan for DIRT (Directed improvement and reflection time)

Children are unlikely to embed any suggestions for improvement and apply them to later work unless they are given time to respond to the feedback. About 10 minutes classroom time is needed. Any child who needs support in either reading or understanding the feedback works with an adult.

To show that feedback has been acted on children use green coloured pens.

Stage 5:

Teacher checks that the improvement has been done and comments/ticks it.

Research shows that some colours are unsuitable for certain learners, so purple pen is used to mark work.


Children traffic light their work at the end of a lesson, if it is appropriate, to show their understanding. This is shown at the end of the title, so teachers can instantly see children’s understanding before work is marked


Marking spelling and grammar within a piece of work

Spelling and grammar errors are highlighted in pink if they have been taught recently or it is something the child should know. Children correct in green.

A maximum of 3 to 4 errors is kept to depending on the ability of the child.

Our marking code is displayed in every classroom and in every book.