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Do teachers normally do this?

(8 Posts)
purpleroses Tue 01-Apr-14 20:47:54

DS is Y9. Was going through his English book today. He had a long piece of writing in it that someone had been though and corrected quite a few of the spellings and grammar in. He told me this was his friend, who'd corrected it before DS copied it out onto a separate piece of paper because it was an assessed piece of work.

But how is it a fair assessment if he's already had the work corrected? DS's friend - it would seem - is pretty good at spelling and had spotted most of the mistakes. These aren't external exams obviously, just internal school assessments. But how can you assess the level a child is at if you only mark their work after their friend has corrected it for them?

His assessed pieces of work in English never come home, so I never have any idea what feedback he's being given - and he doesn't seem to remember either. From what I gather the teacher is under pressure to get DS to a high level 6 (as he started secondary on a 4a/5c). DS is on a list of children who're not currently on target to get the target grades the school think they should get. The English teacher gave him a level 6c in last term's report, but all 3 of the pieces of work she'd assessed were graded at a level 5, so would appear she's trying everything possible to assess them higher than they actually are. This isn't going to do DS any favours is it? Do teachers normally assess work that's been copied out having already been marked by another child? It doesn't happen in any of his other subjects as far as I'm aware.

Hulababy Tue 01-Apr-14 20:54:12

Does the teacher not have access to his exercise book? Does she know that the work has been corrected by a peer?

If yes to both - then no problem, so long as she takes that into account.

adoptmama Tue 01-Apr-14 20:57:31

Having students assess each others work is both common and good practise. Peer assessment allows students to share ideas on what is good work and why. It helps them develop the skills to reflect critically on a piece of work and adds balance as they often assess their own work quite harshly.

Redrafting of work before a final grade is given is also normal and allowing your son to redraft after his work had been peer marked would not be unusual. I often give students in Years 10 & 11 past paper questions and have them mark each others work before then trying to produce a 'perfect' answer. It allows them to see other examples of good work, think about their own weaknesses and take immediate steps to improve and allows open, constructive criticism to be given and received.

I sincerely doubt the teacher is only marking work after it has been 'corrected' by his friend smile Nor does it suggest that the teacher is somehow inflating his grades to meet targets. English is assessed on more than just written pieces of work and teachers can assess students in many ways before deciding which level best reflects their current attainment. I assess children on group work, presentations to class, debates, written work, tests and speeches. All of these combined help me see where a child is and what their next steps are.

Roseformeplease Tue 01-Apr-14 20:57:42

We use peer assessment as ONe way of helping pupils to improve. If a piece is going to be redrafted, then it may well have been seen by a peer and/or the teacher to help with ideas for redrafting. However, I tend to encourage a more general comment about sentences / spelling rather than correcting every mistake which is less useful than being guided to spot your own.

purpleroses Tue 01-Apr-14 21:05:39

Hulababy - yes she certainly knew it had been corrected by a peer, as she told them to do that. She won't have access to his exercise book when marking it though as that usually stays in DS's bag.

There doesn't appear to have been any general discussion about how to redraft it, other than spelling and grammar corrections. It would appear DS simply copied it out writing more neatly and correcting the spellings.

From the experience of the grade on the report not matching any of DS's assessed work I very much do suspect the teacher is over-grading him to ensure he meets his targets. Just wasn't sure if this peer-marking thing was common practice or not.

Thetimes123 Tue 01-Apr-14 21:06:53

Oh yes, teachers will use any method/trick to get the student to their target grade - group tasks is a goodie. It's not right, it doesn't help, it isn't honest, but as in Stalin's Russia targets 'have' to be met.
I suggest a strong letter to Mr M Gove expressing your concern.

adoptmama Tue 01-Apr-14 21:18:22

I can often have children getting a grade on their report card which does not reflect all assessed pieces of written work because I also assess in other ways. It does not mean I have inflated - or indeed deflated - grades.

I have been known to give a higher grade on a report than I see consistently in written work because I know from a) other evidence and b) my professional judgement that the child has reached the criteria on the attainment descriptors to be awarded that grade and that a little positive encouragement, especially of an underachieving boy about to start GCSEs can be a good thing.

However you seem to be suggesting the teacher is deliberately giving a higher grade that your child has earned to 'hide' his failure and falsely demonstrate he has met his targets (which doesn't really add up as the head of department, head of year and head of school can all see the mark book) and would be serious professional misconduct. If you are concerned I suggest you speak to his teacher or the head of the school and show them your evidence.

lecce Wed 02-Apr-14 05:38:07

People have already given you valid reasons for both peer-marking and to explain why your ds's overall level may be higher than those given for the three pieces of work he has had assessed.

There doesn't appear to have been any general discussion about how to redraft it, other than spelling and grammar corrections. It would appear DS simply copied it out writing more neatly and correcting the spellings.

This often happens when pupils are not very good at peer-marking - they focus on the aspects that are simple to correct, like spellings and punctuation, rather than having an interesting chat about aspects that are more subjective. However, since you don't seem to want your ds to have the opportunity to redraft in a meaningful way after receiving peer support, and you don't want his level to be higher than it would have been had his friend not seen his work, this should please you. It is highly unlikely that the piece is being assessed only for spelling and punctuation, so if this is all that has improved, it may well not make a difference to the final level.

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