Thornham St James’ CE (Controlled) Primary School

Marking and Feedback Policy



March 2018


At Thornham St James’ we see the greatest impact when we agree, adopt and maintain a consistent approach which is age and ability appropriate. We believe that pupils’ self-esteem and resilience will develop through positive yet challenging feedback. As a result, this will accelerate progress. For this reason, all marking and feedback is underpinned by this policy which all pupils and staff follow on a day to day basis.


Effective Marking:

  • Gives children feedback about strengths and weaknesses in their work.
  • Rewards and encourages effort and progress.
  • Identifies individual children and groups who may need specific help.
  • Provides a record of progress
  • Helps other adults/ parents understand strengths and weaknesses
  • Informs future planning



  • Marking should be related to clear learning objectives (LOs- often referred to as WALTs in class = We Are Learning To…) which are understood by the child.
  • Marking should be legible and clear in meaning.
  • Children’s achievements need to be celebrated in order to motivate and encourage.
  • Comments need to identify the next steps in the child’s learning.
  • Time needs to be given for children to read marking comments and respond to it.
  • Work needs to be marked promptly so the child is aware that the outcomes of every task is considered important.
  • Teachers should follow the agreed approach in each subject and use strategies pertinent to their particular year group.
  • Verbal feedback is key and immediate


Quality feedback includes:

  • Verbal feedback
  • Teacher assessment
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment

Self and peer assessment may be interchangeable across the course of a week dependent on the sessions taught.


Verbal Feedback

Verbal feedback and dialogue should be embedded within every session. It should be specific to the success criteria and should identify both positives and next steps so that the child has a clear understanding of how to move their learning forward. Every pupil should receive verbal feedback on a regular basis. When this is given, a ‘vf’ may be recorded next to the piece of work produced. Pupils will be expected to respond to this feedback by being able to discuss how they are improving their written work.


English Feedback and Assessment

Every pupil should have the Learning objectives for their Year group in their books.

All English work should identify key corrections for the pupil to then go back and edit according to this. This shouls occur during Direct Improvement Time. These developments should be linked to the Key Performance Indicators for the specific year group with a focus on the following aspects:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Sentence structure
  • Exciting vocabulary
  • Paragraphs
  • Individual response to the task

Where it is required, teachers should comment on the presentation of work to ensure that pupils understand the importance of presenting their work to a high standard.

Teacher Feedback, Marking and Assessment

One piece of writing per pupil should be marked in depth per week by the class teacher. This is where the teacher emphasise what the child has done well and what their next steps for learning are (Up to ‘three stars and a wish’ can be used to annotate work quickly and efficiently).

All English, Science, Humanities and RE/ PSHE work should be marked using the system below.


Maths Feedback, Marking and Assessment

Every pupil should have the Learning objectives for their Year group in their books.

All calculations should be marked correct, using a tick, or incorrect using a dot or ‘c’, indicating a correction is required.

Learning objectives are written on the teacher’s whiteboard and copied into books as appropriate to the child’s ability to do so quickly and accurately. Where a pupil has demonstrated competence with the Learning Objective ‘a’ (achieved) is written next to the LO by the teacher; if further work is needed, then ‘fw’ is written; ‘s’ if support was required.

Given the amount of maths covered on a daily basis, especially as the pupils progress into Upper KS2, self-assessment may be completed by the pupils, using a purple pen (of progress), as many pupils benefit from marking their own work. However, this should be assessed and confirmed by the teacher, using a tick and, when needed, a marking comment.

Pupils should be given the time to correct any mistakes within the session. It is important for teachers to distinguish between a pupil’s simple slip and an error that indicates a lack of understanding. Where a pupil makes a simple slip, it should be enough for the pupil to make the correction, using the improvement time given and to rework the question with their purple pen.

Where a lack of understanding and clear misconceptions, the teacher should initially identify where the misconceptions exist and address these as immediately as possibly. Within the marking further clarification should be shown, so that the child can reference it, practice it and move their understanding on. It may also be that the teacher re-models the calculation to the wider group to ensure mastery is developing.

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), marking is an individual process whereby pupils are given immediate feedback (as much as is possible) and which they respond to as part of the lesson. This will be evidenced by the teacher in writing by the teacher or TA in their maths books.



In Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to self-assess in a meaningful way, against the success criteria. By the end of Key Stage 2, the pupils should be able to self-assess regularly. All self-assessment should be moderated by the teacher, using a ‘light touch’ mark to either agree of alter the self-assessment.

As they self-assess, pupils should note the success criteria which they feel they have achieved. It would be useful if they identified evidence of where they have demonstrated this by underlining neatly in green pencil, though this might not always be practical.

Pupils may also then identify their own next step and write this underneath their work. The ‘up to 3 stars and a wish’ model should be well embedded and understood by the time children reach the end of KS2.


Peer Assessment

In Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to peer-assess in a meaningful way, against the success criteria. By the end of Key Stage 2, the pupils will peer-assess regularly in English and Maths. Again, this should be moderated by the teacher, using a ‘light-touch’ mark to either agree of alter the peer-assessment. This should follow the same procedure as self-assessment. The pupil should initial their peer-assessment to identify who has assessed the work.


Improvement Time

Improvement Time should be allocated for pupils to reflect on their feedback and respond to it regularly. At the beginning of the day, during registration, or before the lesson begins are ideal times and can form part of the input of the lesson.


Agreed Marking Symbols:

Marking Codes: Whole school procedure

C or .                   indicates an incorrect answer or the need for a correction.

S                            indicates that a child has needed support to complete a piece of work.

I                            indicates that a child has completed a piece of work independently.

FW                       indicates that further work is needed on a specific learning objective.

A                           indicates that the learning objective has been clearly achieved.

VF                        indicates that verbal feedback has been given on a piece of work.



Suggestions (useful marking codes, to be used as appropriate)                           

A point for the child to consider/ think about.

Sp or underline          Spelling mistake – word that should be known.

P                                          Punctuation omitted.

//                                        New paragraph needed.

EBI                                     Even better if.

                                             Choose a better word/ reconsider answer.

^                                          Word omitted.

SM                                      Self-marked

SC                                        Self-corrected

…….                                    More needed to answer the question.



Agreed by:

Alison Tomlinson

March 2018