Marking Policy and Procedures

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1 ST ALBANS GIRLS SCHOOL Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, Herts, AL3 6DB Tel: Fax: A Specialist School in Business, Enterprise and Applied Learning Marking Policy and Procedures Date: Summer 2013 Review Date: Summer 2015 Co-ordinator: Mrs T Liasis Version 2.1 Updated 13 June 2013 Filepath: RM Staff, Staff Resources, All Staff, 2013 Current School Policies and Procedures, Marking St Albans Girls School is an Academy Trust Registered in England No:

2 Marking Policy Updates Summer 2013 Updates in red: 1. Addition of aim 2.4 To give all students the time and opportunity to respond to teachers feedback 2. Change of wording to must Receive written positive comments linked to attainment and specific SMART targets for improvement. A recommended model for this is the PTA (Praise, Target, Action) approach in procedures 3. Addition of Do not use correction fluid to presentation guidelines (Appendix 1)

3 1. RATIONALE 1.1 Marking should be the tool that validates students understanding and provides a basis to consider future progression. 1.2 Marking helps to raise achievement by identifying a student s strengths and weaknesses and explaining how they can raise their level of attainment. 1.3 Standardised marking across the school is essential in order that students, teachers and parents/carers can understand the school s marking policy. 2. AIMS 2.1. To promote assessment for learning procedures in a consistent manner within departments To ensure that all students understand what a marking structure is within each department area and how their work will be marked and assessed To motivate students by praising current achievement To give all students the time and opportunity to respond to teachers feedback To assist students by setting clear learning targets to focus on specific aspects of work where further development is needed To provide the teacher with feedback on how well students have understood the current work and facilitate future planning of teaching and learning To recognise that there will always be a need for both formative and summative assessment for students and to understand the use of and reasons for each approach. 3. PROCEDURES 3.1 Assessment of students work should take place on a regular basis. It is expected that each half term every student should: Complete one key assessment which is levelled using formal level criteria as given in the National Curriculum documentation of each individual subject. At KS3 this should include sub divisions within the levels, which are c, b, a. For example, a student achieving level 4c is working just within level 4; a student working at 4b is working well within the median of level 4; a student working at level 4a is at the higher level and should be aiming towards a level 5. At KS4 and KS5, grades and/or bands (GCSE, BTec, AS, A2) are used to give summative information for progress checks, reports, coursework or key assessments. A key assessment can constitute a written, thinking, practical or performance based task which assesses a range of skills, knowledge and/or concepts. In addition students must: Receive regular written positive comments linked to attainment and specific SMART targets for improvement. A recommended model for this is the PTA (Praise, Target, Action) approach.

4 3.2 It is essential that all students understand what they have achieved and how they can improve the quality of their work. Thus written and verbal feedback, as well as a SMART target, are essential to ensure more effective learning. Further guidance on assessment for learning, how to engage students more effectively in self assessment and samples of good practice at St Albans Girls School are included in the Appendix. Guidance for good marking practice is given below: Marking should be linked to a specific learning objective Marking will diagnose achievement and provide guidance for improvement in the form of a specific target Comments will have a positive tone and contain praise Avoid any bland statements, like average or good work Comments should be legible Work is promptly marked and returned departmental policy should specify frequency of marking - see Monitoring section below. Time should be given for students to read the comments, with review and reflection time built into schemes of work There should be a clear understanding by teachers and students of which pieces of work will be marked briefly, and which key assessments will include extended commentary and levels/grades Improving students levels of literacy is the responsibility of all teaching staff (see Language and Literacy Policy), therefore marking should follow an agreed code to highlight common errors (see below) Involve students in marking, encouraging them to edit their own work and discuss their work with their teacher see the Good Practice in Assessment for Learning section of the Appendix Involve students in responding to teacher feedback. An example is a written response in a different colour pen Staff must keep a record of the marks and levels awarded in their mark books and/or electronically to enable school monitoring and online reporting to work effectively. 4. MONITORING 4.1. The Curriculum Leader will monitor marking, sampling exercise books each half term, ensuring that: students have evidence of positive marking and target setting, a clear appreciation of the level at which they are working and how to improve, and opportunities for dialogue with teachers and peers about their learning SLT will monitor sampling of exercise books or portfolios by Heads of Department 4.3. SLT will ensure that all departments have levelled exemplar work as well as target levels/grades and assessment criteria communicated to students, in classroom displays as well as their exercise books or portfolios On an annual basis a survey of students attitudes to learning, their attainment, progress and behaviour should be undertaken by all Curriculum Leaders for each subject area. This should include questionnaires to a sample of students across the age and ability range. Students should have regular opportunities to evaluate schemes of work and their learning experiences. Curriculum Leaders should use this data to inform future planning.

5 APPENDIX 1 PRESENTATION GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS All exercise books must be free of graffiti and have no pages removed Titles and dates should be underlined Underline using a ruler Classwork (c/w) or homework (h/w) should be noted in the margin Complete each page and do not leave gaps avoid wasting space Use both sides of paper Handwriting should be legible Write in pen/biro blue or black ink Draw in pencil Do not use correction fluid Comment in the margin Symbol in your work New paragraph needed Np. // Spelling error Sp. O Punctuation error P. Poor expression Expr. Missing word Wrong word Ww. ^ Very good point/word Vgd. Correct an error C.

6 APPENDIX 2 GOOD PRACTICE IN ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING All lessons at St Albans Girls School will contain most or all of these features. Good Assessment for Learning has: Clear Learning Objectives made explicit and revisited Models of outcomes students know and recognise standards Self and peer assessment - planning next steps for progress Teacher feedback constructive, identifying next steps Use of questioning - to consolidate and extend learning Developing confidence for all learners to improve learning climate/seal Review and reflect students and teachers engage in meaningful dialogue about learning Appropriate assessment tasks - to give quality information Additional Guidance 1. GAUGING WHAT STUDENTS HAVE LEARNED: Sharing learning objectives with students at the beginning of the lesson makes it easier to make judgements about assessment. Potential openers for a lesson could be, for example: What I am looking for in this lesson is To be successful at this you will need to be able to What things will make you successful at this? These examples of sharing learning intentions help students to establish success criteria. The third question is effective because it implies that students have been drawn into the process of planning their own learning one of the key features of successful learning. Observation, by watching students carrying out tasks or listening to a group discussion, is also an essential tool.

7 2. PROVIDING EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK The key to effective feedback is providing quality information to students. The focus should be on: what has been attained, and what next steps should be, i.e., how to improve In order to facilitate effective feedback, target setting should be used to guide students into diagnosing and improving their work, thus facilitating learning. Setting individual SMART learning targets is the best way for students to develop a specific awareness of what is right or wrong and how it can be fixed: S - Specific, showing precisely what the student needs to do M - Measurable, the result will be very clear A - Achievable, success is possible for this student at this stage R - Relevant, the targets involve the student and are perceived as important T - Time-bound, deadlines are set for the achievement of targets 3. STUDENT SELF ASSESSMENT An important attribute for all learners is the ability to recognise their own achievements. Without this, learning depends on someone else s view. Independent learners are able to judge their own learning needs and set targets for themselves. To achieve this, self assessment skills are needed. Students will find self assessment difficult without some form of guidance. This will be most effective when the culture of the classroom encourages reflection and critical discussion of the work in progress an active involvement of the students in learning. This requires time and the provision of opportunities, which can arise through: End of topic/specific project reflective reviews Editing and marking of own work as it is completed, or during the drafting process with the student adding their own evaluative comments End of term reviews of achievement completed after discussion with teaching staff Questionnaire style assessment sheets following the completion of a piece of work Learning logs, in which regular notes in diary form record both the work completed and some evaluative comments Self assessment proformas e.g. for essays The development of self assessment skills will be encouraged in classrooms where teachers: Share learning objectives with students Make explicit the criteria for assessing work so that students are clear about what they need to do to be successful Give students the technical language to talk about their work Encourage students to talk about each other s work Build in time for individual, group and whole-class reviews of work completed or being undertaken Sometimes allow students to mark their own work, before it is marked by the teacher When self assessment is in place it should help to develop guided independence, which will help students to have a view of what they should concentrate on next. Gauging what students have learnt, including the use of self assessment as well as the provision of feedback, contributes to effective assessment for learning. This leads to much more focused and meaningful target setting.

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