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Creating a manageable science marking workload

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by john_delaney, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. john_delaney

    john_delaney New commenter

    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or examples of how they have reduced or at least made manageable their marking workload. As a science teacher, I have to mark practical work, maths and extended pieces of writing and at the start of this year, there was "big" push to attempt to make our workload more manageable. However, since then there has been a steady erosion in this policy and an increasing shift back towards judging our teaching through the quality of the feedback and presentation of books rather than content. As a result we are pretty much having to deep mark our books. In science we already spend many many hours a week marking and now it would appear this needs to be increased. But i can't help but feel that there must be another way to a) effectively provide feedback and b) satisfy Ofsted and non subject specialists. So I thought I'd put it out there, see if anyone has any bright ideas. The only limits are you cannot mention stamps or verbal feedback.
  2. adeniran1983

    adeniran1983 New commenter

    This is a simple one as far as I’m concerned. One piece of work per week done by the kids in silence at the start of a lesson. This then gets self marked by them for immediate feedback (they self mark it in a different color) and then taken in by the teacher for additional comments. Nothing else is marked other than this.

    I’m a head of maths and ofsted loved this when they came in. The key thing is to get it written into your department policy. Ofsted don’t dictate any particular method of marking. What they don’t like is when there is variability acrosss a department.
  3. madscientist101

    madscientist101 New commenter

    Another science teacher here. My school has had various marking policies the current one is the lightest in terms of marking workload. It sounds quite similar to what adeniran1983 suggested. Give a task the students know they are going to be assessed on. 6 mark question for GCSE, a diagram and few questions for KS3. Data analysis / maths check useful for everyone Then mark ONLY THAT. Peer marking if you have a class that is capable of doing it well. Based on the outcome of this task either give an extension task or do some gap filling then retest. An excellent way to spot knowledge gaps and show progress. I'm assuming the extended piece of writing are A' level essay prep. Here peer marking is another teaching opportunity and to be encouraged.

    WE do set and mark homework and have regular more formal assessments, such is teacher life....

    I will be interested to read the other suggestions...
  4. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Our policy consists of:

    1) All work not marked by a teacher must be peer marked. All marking is in green so the student can identify corrections.
    2) Once a term, for every student, the teacher must mark a mid-unit miniquiz (normally tickbox/multichoice), a proper GCSE level test that matches the work taught over the term and a 6 mark question on a required practical or higher level thinking skill from a recent GCSE paper.
    3) The teacher assessed work is in a different book and the teacher does not, under any circumstances, have to mark the student peer-marked book just ensure that students are self-marking as part of normal classroom routine by circulating during the lesson and ensuring that students have met the required standard.
    4) Homework, teacher has to maintain a log of homework handed in, if it needs to be marked it must be peer-assessed.
    5) Some form of literacy work must be carried out each term, i.e. what does this list of suffixes mean? Frayer model on these words, etc.

    And that's it - our aim is that staff should spend no more than an hour a day marking and we find that we're not quite meeting it but we're getting there. We're currently redesigning certain parts of our policy in gained time to help us meet this target.

    We also divvy up planning sensibly, by the end of our gained time this year every lesson should be planned and differentiated across the board. So next year we will have no planning bar adapting the work to the sets need/prior progress. Which, as there are already three tiers of lessons planned, shouldn't take long.
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    There are various online schemes which mark themselves

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