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Effective marking

Find out the aims and impact of effective marking and how it can help pupils to improve their writing skills.

Aims and impact

Effective marking aims to:

  • value, encourage and motivate all pupils as learners and writers
  • identify what individual pupils learned from tackling a particular writing task and any learning gaps so you can support their progress
  • praise attempts to experiment and be inventive with techniques and styles
  • identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses to set future targets for individuals and groups
  • provide evidence of progress, drawing on Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP), progression maps and targets, which can help to provide support for individual pupils.

How to mark effectively

Effective marking and response to pupils' writing is typically:

  • selective
  • constructive in tone
  • valued by the pupils and parents
  • manageable for you
  • regular and timely
  • not just proofreading, but providing prompts to tell pupils how and where to improve
  • specific so pupils are aware of what they have done
  • collaborative, involving peer and self-marking when appropriate
  • directly related to objectives
  • easy to read and interpret
  • a contribution to improvement through prompts
  • a basis for discussing not only marks and levels but also the next learning steps with groups and individual pupils.
  • part of helping pupils manage their own improvement over time
  • consistent across a department, school or organisation.