Marking and Feedback Policy

Mission Statement

We believe feedback and marking should provide constructive feedback to every child, focussing on success and improvement needs against the learning objective, enabling children to become reflective learners and helping them to close the gap between current and desired performance.


Marking and feedback should:

  • Be manageable for teachers and children.
  • Relate to learning objective, which need to be shared with children.
  • Involve all adults working with children in the classroom.
  • Give children opportunities to become aware of and reflect on their learning needs.
  • Give recognition and appropriate praise for achievement.
  • Give clear strategies for improvement and development.
  • Allow specific time for children to read, reflect and respond to marking.
  • Involve children in the same process (whether oral or written), to ensure equity across subjects and abilities.
  • Take a sensitive approach (where attainment is based on that person’s previous attainment) within the context of marking towards the learning intention.
  • Respond to individual learning needs, marking face-to-face with some and at a distance for others.
  • Inform future planning and individual target setting.
  • Be accessible to children
  • Use consistent codes throughout the school.
  • Ultimately be seen by children as positive in improving their learning
  • Encourage and teach children to self-mark or pair mark wherever possible before the teacher works with the child.
  • Where possible mark with the child.
  • When working with a group, mark that group with them to give them instant positive feedback or next step.


Summative feedback/marking 

This usually consists of ticks and circles around anything incorrect and is associated with closed tasks or exercises. We do not use crosses for any incorrect responses.

Formative feedback/marking

With oral feedback, in the course of a lesson, teachers’ comments to children should focus firstly on issues about the learning intention and secondly on other features. The teacher, where possible should write on any work if oral feedback has been given using the code VF (verbal feedback), see list of codes for more.

Quality marking

Not all pieces of work can be “quality marked”, but work will be looked at by the teacher and the child will know that it has been seen. The WALT is to written as a I can or Can I? depending on the subject and year level. All work from years 2 to year 6 will be marked using the traffic light marking system at the minimum e.g.

  • Green – achieved WALT (We Are Learning Today)
  • Yellow – not quite there
  • Red – not understood the work and needs to work with the teacher.

This is a very visual way of showing the children that they are on track or not. The children from year  two will also put a coloured dot next to their learning objective to show their own belief of how they have progressed. In year 3 and above, the children are to write a comment to the teacher (some year 2 children will also do this), explaining how they have progressed in the lesson and this could include a next step for themselves or an area that they found more difficult.

Children in Key Stage Two will reflect on their own learning using: Heart, Head, Bag, Bin

Heart – What did you enjoy?

Head – What did you learn?

Bag – What skill will you take away?

Bin – What would you change?

Wherever the task is open or narrative, feedback should focus first and foremost on the learning intention of the task.  The emphasis in marking should be on both success against the learning intention and improvement needs against the learning intention. A focused comment should help the child in “closing the gap” between what they have achieved and what they could have achieved (e.g. “What else could you say about the prince?” “Say something about the prince’s personality”, “Try one of these words: handsome, elegant, arrogant”). For example, with English narrative writing codes can save time and make the feedback more accessible to the child: highlight three things (maybe two or even one per child with younger children) which are best against the learning intention and highlight with an orange dash where improvement against the learning intention could take place, including a “closing the gap” comment. Where codes are inappropriate, success and improvement should be pointed out verbally or in written form.

Useful “closing the gap” comments for all subjects are:

  • reminder prompt (e.g. What else could you say here?”).
  • scaffolded prompt (e.g. “What was the dog’s tail doing?” “The dog was angry so he…”, “Describe the expression on the dog’s face”).
  • An example prompt (e.g. “Choose one of these or your own: He ran round in circles looking for the rabbit/The dog couldn’t believe his eyes”).

To make marking simplier for the children to understand, teachers are to use thinking bubbles for next steps for children.

Key Stage 1

All work in Key Stage One will be marked in one of the following ways:

  • For younger children (mainly year one) children most feedback is given orally on the children’s work and then read it to them to explain what they have written.
  • For the children who can read well, feedback will be both oral and written. The teacher may comment and ask questions (as in KS2).
  • Children will be asked to talk verbally about others’ work but formal paired marking will not begin until KS2.
  • Sometimes comments will be written on the work to explain how it was done eg ‘Scribed by Teacher’ or ‘Used a word bank’
  • Children can use traffic light marking system or faces showing how they felt while they were doing their work.

NB. Foundation Stage

Most feedback in the Foundation Stage is given orally both by the teacher and by the children themselves. Staff will write their assessments on sticky notes and be put into their special books. Within their special books, work could include traffic light coloured coded areas to show where they have met the Early Learning Goals. Children can verbally use three stars and a wish to move each other on.

Secretarial features 

Spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc., should not be asked for in every piece of narrative writing, because child cannot effectively focus on too many things in one space of time. When work is finished, ask children to check for things they know are wrong in their work when they read it through. They should not be told to correct all spellings, or they are likely to write further misspellings or waste time looking words up. Key words must always be spelt correctly.

Only give children feedback about those things you have asked then to pay attention to. This will mean that some aspects of writing are unmarked, but over time will be marked.

Paired Marking

Before the end of lessons, children should sometimes be asked to mark narrative work in pairs.  The following points are important:

  • Paired marking should not be introduced until Key Stage 2; unless teachers feel younger children are ready for this.
  • Children need to be taught to do this, through modelling with the whole class, watching the paired marking in action.
  • Ground rules (e.g. listening, interruptions, confidentiality, etc.) should be decided, and then put up as a poster.
  • Children should, alternately, point out what they like first, holding the highlighter pen, and then suggest ways to improve the piece, but only against the learning intention and not spellings, etc. The 2 or 3:1 success to improvement ration should be followed, to avoid over-criticism. (2/3 stars and a wish).
  • Pairings need to be based on someone a child trusts – best decided by teacher.
  • Pairings could be ability based.
  • Encourage a dialogue between children rather than taking turns to be the “teacher”: they should discuss each other’s work together (e.g. “I think this bit really shows how that character feels, what do you think?”)

Marking codes

The teachers own version of the following Marking codes is to be in the front of all key stage 2 children’s books to explaining what will be written in the children’s books. Staff can choose who they feel is appropriate to put these marking codes in for KS1.

Marking Codes – marking will not always be written, most of the time feedback will be done verbally with you. Here are some of the codes I will write on your book to show how your work has been marked and how you worked. I also would like to know how you think you have gone, so please make sure you put a coloured dot next to your WALT.


VF – Verbal Feedback (we talked about the work)

MT – Marked together with teacher

TAG – Teacher Assistant Guided

TG – Teacher Guided

TC – Top Copy (to write work out best for display work or for best in a handwriting exercise)

TGW – Teacher Guided writing

TGR – Teacher Guided reading

TGM – Teacher Guided maths

IW – Independent work

PW – Paired work

GW – Group work

C. – Punctuation needs looking at


Traffic light marking system – coloured highlights explain the understanding.

Green – understood

Yellow – need a little more work and

Red – need lots more help

Marking is to be positive and able to move the learning of the children onwards. All children should understand their next steps and be aware what will make them better learners.


Marking Ladders 

Marking ladders are the success criteria (the steps to success) which are shared with the class. Over a period of a week, you may concentrate on the different elements of a piece of work, then at the end of the week create a piece of work based upon all success criteria. The work is then marked by both the child (as a checking tool and as positive assessment) and then by the teacher to confirm the criteria the child has covered in their work.  This is an excellent way of giving feedback.It may also be possible to use marking ladders for peer assessment.

Year 4



My introduction sets the scene with the five Ws;
Where? Why? Who? What? When?
I have recounted events in chronological order
My closing statement brings the writing to a conclusion
It has a neat last line to grab attention
It is in the past tense
I have used the third person
I have linked paragraphs using time connectives
What could I do to improve my newspaper report next time?

There are more examples of marking ladders available here Marking Ladders


Policy Reviewed by the staff –  September 2013

Policy Reviewed by the governors – October 2013

Policy to be reviewed next – October 2016