Marking work twice – Are you mad?!

I believe it is essential to give students the opportunity to actually address the teacher feedback and enable them to improve their work. Surely it is the only way to make marking count?


I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and having just read by @kennypieper thought I would add my current position on this.

I have started to mark work twice. In particular the assessment pieces in KS3 and exam questions/tests in KS4.


Well we have a policy at our school that once a piece of work has been completed students should use green pens to improve their work. The ideal is that you’ve feedback in your marking to them exactly what they need to do to improve the piece of work so it is simple for them to have a go at improving.

green pen

The key to this is that my initial feedback relates to the next level criteria up from what they achieved first time round and is something quick and easy they can do. I’ve found in some cases writing a question that they can answer, which…

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What is the point of education?



I want to start by putting this blog into a bit of context. I have a long standing commitment to TIDE~Global learning who are a teachers’ network promoting the idea that young people have an entitlement to global learning through engaging with global perspectives, human rights, sustainability and international development.  I am due to travel to the Gambia this October half term as part of an international, three year curriculum development project co-funded by the European Union. This weekend a group of UK and German educators gathered together for our preparatory weekend. After meeting each other for the first time on Friday night, I led a session on Saturday afternoon on ‘The Purpose of Education’.


One clear challenge in delivering this session was the language barrier; the UK group could not speak German and the German educators spoke varying levels of English. I deliberately created resources that did not rely too heavily on text. The opening activity was completed using multi-lingual pairings and small groups. Quotes were distributed and I simply asked for some thoughts and feedback. tide

Initial thoughts:

  • What does Chomsky mean by learning?
  • What is the end goal of education?
  • Who are the ones to teach about ‘the unimaginable’?

Picture cards were then handed out and placed into a diamond nine shape which created a great deal of debate.

Final thoughts:

  • Education is empowering
  • Education can open minds and instill a life-long curiosity
  • Education brings about happiness
  • Education is based on work-related skills
  • Education is for the good of everyone not just the individual


The session was delivered over 40 minutes and was supported by 4 handouts which included a set of laminated pictures. The pictures were deliberately created to be ambiguous to allow for wider discussion.

Click here to download the resources: ~TIDE Purpose of Education

Related links:

Please get in touch if you would like anything explained.


The Benefits of Regular Retrieval Practice

I have a Year 9 group who struggle to retain and recall previous knowledge. This post was just what I needed to reinvigorate some ways to support them.

Class Teaching

quizThe first 15 minute forum of the new year was led tonight by Andy Tharby.  Andy was discussing strategies that can be used to develop memory.

Why knowledge is important

1. The more automatic and effortless their knowledge is, the easier it is to stretch and challenge students.  A good analogy here is driving a car.  The more you practise driving a car, the more effortless it becomes – the less you think about. This allows you to do more whilst driving e.g. plan your lessons for the day ahead!

How does this apply to school?  Well, if students know their multiplication tables, they can solve more complex problems much quicker.  Similarly in English, if students have a good grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar, writing becomes much easier.  So knowledge is key as it’s the bedrock of everything we do.

2.  Critical thinking requires background knowledge.  If you are…

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