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Number of classes and marking

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I changed the policy.

    Now nobody has to waste their life on pointless admin tasks.
  2. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    I'm primary KS2 and this is my Monday marking each week: English books, Maths books, handwriting books, dictation books, topic books and six spelling journals/six reading journals (these are part of my guided reading session). That's 162 books in ONE day!

    This is what I do:
    I've got a selection of stamps e.g. You've achieved your learning objective, verbal feedback given, we will practise this again soon etc.

    The handwriting, journals and dictation receive a tick and one of my stamps (children come up in table groups) I can do 30 books in 2 minutes as I've got it down to a fine art spotting mistakes etc.

    Peer mark or self mark maths (we all do maths in pencil so they peer or self mark in blue biro) then I call them up table by table and stamp verbal feedback but children write it in their book in purple pen not me.

    English and topic - when they finish show me (I save the last ten minutes of a lesson for marking now) the early finishers do an early finisher task e.g today's number, number or letter boggle etc.

    I refuse to spend hours marking and for 'deep' marking sometimes make stickers with a check it, try it, push it theme to move them on depending where they are at.

    Having said all this I'm older and have been doing this for donkeys years and finally we are out of the ridiculous five different coloured pens marking rubbish.

    Children benefit from a quick verbal comment from their teacher all the other marking c r. a. p. is for someone to come in and tick a box, it doesn't benefit the teacher or child.
  3. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Well said.
  4. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Thanks, install.

    The following are from the criteria sheet for year 8 English:






    singular /plural

    consistent tense

    full stops

    speech punct.


    depth of content





    topic sentences




    Oral English


    relevant response

    supports views

    Class Reading




    The following is a sheet I got students to use before handing in work:

    8 English Work Checklist

    [​IMG]I have checked my spelling very carefully against my personal spelling list, and all the words from it are spelt correctly.


    I have checked all my sentences, and they really are sentences.

    [​IMG]I have checked my sentence punctuation, and every sentence has a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark at the end of it.

    [​IMG]I have checked my organisation, and I have an introduction, a body and a conclusion,


    and my work is correctly divided into paragraphs.

    [​IMG]I have checked all my paragraphs, and I have written a topic sentence for each paragraph,

    [​IMG] and the topic sentences are in a different color from the rest of my writing.

    [​IMG]I have checked my vocabulary, and I have used at least two new words, which I have added to my new word list.

    My work has been proof read by my colleague .......................................................

    When I was the English coordinator at one school, I set up a comments database for reports in which all the comments were tagged with a number, so that the computer would calculate the student’s level of achievement for comprehension, writing and so on. There was a manual override in case the teacher thought the allocated level was inaccurate.

    Some think comments databases are impersonal. They are. They are also efficient. Teachers can decide if they want to complain about their workload or do something about it.

    Bonnie23 and install like this.
  5. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I think that's rather unfair.
    Mamy of the things that increase worlkload are directed by slt.
    One department in my school devised a numbered method of feedback. (i.e. a sheet with the 20? most used comments was pasted into pupils exercise books and the teacher could use the relevant numberin their marking, eg "see 7", Good 3 etc)
    They were banned from using by slt.
    (Although the schools DH was still using it at least 1 year after the banning)
    The regularity of marking was also prescribed (requiring at least 3 sentences for each for each piece of work) regardless of whether there was any meaningful work to mark)
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    It depends how many teachers complain - :)
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    "we have a three week marking policy"

    Marking policies that are based on time rather than number of lessons seem a little strange. If you have so many groups, that suggests that you see some of them once a week, while other teachers may see them three times.
    I guess the problem with a policy that says something like "every 6 lessons" is that potentially a pupil might not be picked up on something for several weeks, but you can be monitoring that they are getting something in their books without taking books in for formal marking. (Oh, but I forgot, SLT will only have any evidence if you do formal marking. Can a row of ticks in a markbook suffice?)

    Perhaps the marking policy could be challenged, on behalf of all subjects where teachers see them only once a week.
    Bonnie23 and install like this.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Exactly my point about why I did complain about my workload.

    This requires teachers to be trusted as professionals (why do slt appoint people they don't trust to do the job?).
    This was the schema I offered as a solution. It was rejected.

    Actually, I think I could have written in Sanskrit as long as there were three sentences (minimum) in the appropriate colours

    I challenged. The response was as if I was speaking Sanskrit.
  9. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Thank you all for your comments. I think I will raise it with my SLT link and get their advice - I've never had so many groups before so they might understand that if I'm only seeing a group once every week work is going to be built up over a longer time period. I like the idea of the marking grid because a lot of the comments I'm writing are so repeated. I'll trial one, I know other departments use them so I might see what they're doing.
  10. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    When I said, “Teachers can decide if they want to complain about their workload or do something about it “, I was referring to teachers who complain that comments databases are impersonal and then complain they have too much work to do. They have to make choices.

    On the wider issue, I’m speaking collectively. Teachers need to regain the whole concept of professional solidarity and stop allowing themselves to be exploited and bullied. It seems to me from years of reading this site that they regard themselves as the downstairs in Upstairs Downstairs. I just can’t imagine any other profession putting up with the contempt with which teachers are treated.
  11. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    To save time with my marking, I am, this year, doing my www / ebi on a word document rather than writing out the same things again and again (in my fairly messy handwriting). Students then stick in my comments at the start of the next lesson. It also has the advantage of highlighting for me the most common issues with the work set which I can then go through with the whole class the following lesson.
    Bonnie23 likes this.
  12. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I did something similar once .
    It wasn't approved.
  13. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I think you've highlighted another reason for shortages.
    Lack of control over each of our very different workloads.........

    neither school leaders nor OFSTEd nor the dfe have ever been able to appreciate that different people teaching different subjects with completely different academic outcomes not to mention number of outcomes!...Add to that.....different numbers of SEN, behaviour issues and pupil premium students will each seek to find a way to cope with their own individual workloads.....add to that different line managers with individual targets to reach over our heads......

    It is the only way not to buckle under the enormously large number of policies, ticklists, learning walks, pulse taking missions, performance management expectations and behaviour management expectations of those who have the least teacher-student ratios in our system.......,.

    they can't seem to look beyond their own noses!.......pay packets....dfe leadership points.......

    The problem starts when some individuals seek to impose the one size fits all across the board.

    Like OFSTEd who expect schools with both hands tied behind their backs to produce the same outcomes as those whose cohort are more or less the same.......

    They put differences down to 'teachers with lowered expectations' so easy to pass the buck to those whose jobs they have full control over............

    Anyone seen my rose tinted spectacles?
    Bonnie23 and felicity5183 like this.

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