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To expect books to be marked at least once in ten weeks

(129 Posts)
Cabbagesandcustard Wed 23-Nov-16 20:22:25

DD started secondary school at the beginning of Sept. In some subjects (geography, science) her teacher has not taken in / marked her book once since then. Is this normal / acceptable? Or should I be on the phone to the school having a moan?
School is rather a closed shop: they don't seem to encourage parent-teacher contact apart from at parents consultation evening and it can be hard to know who to contact. Year Head? Head of Dept?

risinghighinapril Wed 23-Nov-16 20:23:46

I'd say normal based on my own experiences of secondary school

Heirhelp Wed 23-Nov-16 20:27:35

Some schools have a policy to only mark assessment. Quality marking is more important than tick and flick. Assessments often take 10 to 15 min each to mark. Then they will mark the improvements.Multiply this by 30 kids and then many classes.

FoundNeverland Wed 23-Nov-16 20:27:53

DH is a secondary Science school teacher. The school expects the books to be marked every 2 weeks. He has 250 books which he needs to mark. He aims for at least once every half term.

So yes, the books ought to have been marked. Might be worth having a quiet word. I'd go for Head of Year.

How is the school apart from this?

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 23-Nov-16 20:28:09

YANBU. As a former English teacher it boils my piss that sins get away without giving any written feedback.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 23-Nov-16 20:28:45

Some, not sins

MooPointCowsOpinion Wed 23-Nov-16 20:30:10

Over 10 weeks your child will probably have had only 1 lesson a week in most subjects, so while I expect every 3 weeks for main subjects and every 6 weeks for others, I'd not be too concerned. Other assessment could be taking place, and marking books is a low priority compared to planning good lessons and supporting students verbally.

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 20:31:08

It depends entirely on the marking policy at the school.

Aliveinwanderland Wed 23-Nov-16 20:32:54

As others have said it depends on the marking policy. My school makes one piece of assessment per week. This is usually an extended homework or project rather than notes in the exercise book.

AmeliaLeopard Wed 23-Nov-16 20:35:22

My school has a policy of only marking homework and assessments. It means books only get marked about once each half term for younger students, but it also means the marking is more in depth and I can spend more time planning really good lessons. Even ofsted guidance says that it isn't the quantity of feedback which matters so much as the quality.

wintersbranches Wed 23-Nov-16 20:36:15

Once every half term is ridiculous.


Welshrainbow Wed 23-Nov-16 20:47:53

My school requires books to be marked every two weeks (one piece of work to be deep marked) with written feedback the pupils respond to. Books of students with SEN have to be marked every week minimum.
However I have also worked in schools that never mark the books but mark an assessed pice of work every other week instead that goes into a folder. You need to find out what their marking policy is in the school.

lellio Wed 23-Nov-16 20:55:12

Our policy is 6 times a year for most subjects, 10 for English, maths, science. Marking every two weeks lends itself to tick/flick or the same comments for everyone.

SorryNotSorry Wed 23-Nov-16 20:56:43

I mark every book for every lesson I am primary so it's only 30 children but still about 120 books a day.
Secondary marking confuses me, how will they do these assessments if they do not have academic guidance in the lead up to it.

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 20:59:42

So already from the thread it's clear that there is great variety in terms of what different schools consider adequate (hands up - am a teacher, so I knew this). Some schools consider book marking to be a total waste of time compared to thorough lesson planning, assessment in the classroom and verbal feedback. In others written feedback is king. The marking policy will usually be available on the school website but do check it is up to date.

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 21:02:14

SorryNotSorry: Primary marking policies are nuts confused

Ofsted care more about meaningful feedback than they do about red pen. So you can use AFL strategies, verbal feedback to students, peer feedback, whole class feedback, self-assessment and so on. What matters is whether the student understands what they need to do to make progress.

cardibach Wed 23-Nov-16 21:03:36

I'm confused by primary marking. If you mark 120 books a day at even 2 minutes each that's 4 hours. there won't be time for any good planning left in the day. And two minutes marking per book can't give any 'academic guidance' anyway.
I mark books about once a fortnight - a bit more often on occasion if there is a reason from r it, a bit less often for non-exam classes in the run up to external exams. I'm an English teacher. I write detailed advice and extending questions on at least one piece of work each time I mark and pupils are expected (and given time) to respond to my questions and suggestions.

Cabbagesandcustard Wed 23-Nov-16 21:04:54

Thanks everyone - a varied picture then it seems?...The school has an outstanding Ofsted so I can only assume they run a "tight ship" - but is generally very poor with communicating anything with parents (I have older DC there) so hard to know what any marking policy is.... however they do set a lot of homework and it galls me that it's so rarely marked when I've seen the effort that's gone into it. Also, there are things in her book that I can see are plain wrong - makes life difficult when she's been told to revise for a test (as tonight) and her own notes are all she has to revise from (no text books).

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 21:06:22

Have you checked the website? If not, I would simply email the Head's PA and ask for a copy of the policy.

AmeliaLeopard Wed 23-Nov-16 21:13:42

It is rubbish if homework is being set and not marked - not fair on the child (most of whom want feedback) and indicates setting work for the sake of it.

I cannot understand how on the hell primary teachers manage. 120 books in one night?! Possible at a push but the quality of feedback would be rubbish if it were me. I prefer to mark one class set each night (20-30 depending on class size) and spending 3-5 minutes on each child. Planning lessons which incorporate effective AfL and dealing with issues there and then is a much better strategy for me.

IcanMooCanYou Wed 23-Nov-16 21:14:29

cardibach- I'm a primary teacher and can tell you we're all confused by it too (plus stressed, anxious, pushed to our limits). 30x maths, 30x English, 30x spelling daily plus 30x science, 30x topic, 30x reading response at least once per week. Plus 30x maths and 30x homework per week. Is not always in depth, but often has to be 'response time' marking- where chn have to go back and edit/ correct from your comments which then must be checked and acknowledged/ marked again. Completely crazy.

IcanMooCanYou Wed 23-Nov-16 21:17:06

Sorry - should have said 'plus 30 times maths and english homework per week'

Thegiantofillinois Wed 23-Nov-16 21:17:15

Every 2 weeks with a positive comment and a target to improve. Usually about a paragraph per student. Then kids have to go an nd act' the advice, then we have to a written dialogue about it.

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 21:18:51

As an English teacher in secondary. a class set of books can take me 5-6 hours, with adequate breaks to make sure I am actually still reading the content! An extended piece of writing (story, essay, article) certainly needs 10 minutes to read it properly, correct errors and give proper feedback. It isn't realistic to do a set of books a night, even, not with an average of 4 lessons to plan for the following day, calls to return to parents, emails to return to colleagues, round robins to fill in on pupils, photocopying to do, meetings to go to etc. I agree that no marking in several weeks isn't ideal but there are good reasons why schools are streamlining marking policies - staff are leaving the profession in droves and they are finding it impossible to recruit decent replacements.

Trifleorbust Wed 23-Nov-16 21:19:59

IcanMooCanYou: That sounds crackers. Have you raised with your Head that it is unreasonable?

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