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English lit GCSE level is this feedback reasonable?

(17 Posts)
greatbighillofhope Tue 30-Oct-18 21:33:51

I'm just looking through DD1's English Lit exercise book and thinking that the teacher just isn't giving her enough feedback. There is no grading or percentage mark on the work at all. 95% of the comments are just basic grammar or punctuation corrections, or just 'good try/well done'.
When she does make a (rare) more detailed comment its 'I think you would need slightly more in your quote to explain it better' or 'ask (fellow student) to show you their answer', 'Do you know what this means? Do you understand it?'
Is this level of feedback Ok? If not, what is appropriate?

OP’s posts: |
clary Tue 30-Oct-18 22:39:10

Is this year 11? Does dd think the feedback is helpful? Does she /is she able to act on it? If so then it is worth it i think.

What do you want to see? I'm guessing the teacher could give a predicted grade based on DD's work - but would this be fed back to you via a report? Or dd could ask the teacher?

Thisreallyisafarce Wed 31-Oct-18 05:40:07

School marking policy will outline what is expected. We are no longer required to put individual feedback on pieces of work, which sounds great, until you realise that it means we are assessing every five minutes and marking - albeit without detailed feedback - pretty much all of the time. hmm

I think quality over quantity is better, but my view is unfashionable!

keiratwiceknightly Wed 31-Oct-18 06:09:33

If you saw my y11s eng lit books, you might think I do no marking at all - an occasional "checked by the teacher" stamp and perhaps a spelling error checked. However, they do an assessment once a fortnight which is marked to exam spec, and on which they are given detailed feedback about how to improve. I know exactly what each ought to get for their GCSE. These stay in school in folders and won't go home until revision time. If the book really is all the writing the child does, there may be reason for concern. But it might be just one element of the work they do, and the marking may be concentrated on other areas, as is the case for my groups.

DumbledoresApprentice Wed 31-Oct-18 07:29:53

Depends on the school marking policy. That would be fine in my school. We only have to mark a couple of pieces of work each half term and we aren’t required to write extensive commentary. Written feedback has been fetishised in schools for far too long even though there’s no evidence that detailed written feedback improves outcomes. We don’t mark work for the sake of it and spend a lot of time on verbal feedback. I often spend a whole lesson after an important assessment or exam question going through all the common mistakes and looking at example pieces of work with the class. Our students do exceptionally well (our progress 8 score
is higher than +1 to give you an idea of just how well). I think it’s fine as long as your DD is making progress. Looking through books is actually a really poor way to judge the quality of feedback.

Oblomov18 Wed 31-Oct-18 07:47:10

I too agree that in Year 10 and 11, more specific comments should be given.

These are just too general. Something that is specific to what the student need to work on/improve/watch out for, would be better, surely, no matter what the guidelines/rules suggest.

DumbledoresApprentice Wed 31-Oct-18 18:05:53

The fact that the written marking is quite cursory doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t getting very detailed feedback verbally though. Written comments are not the most effective way to

DumbledoresApprentice Wed 31-Oct-18 18:08:52

Posted too soon
...give feedback in many cases. If the written feedback is cursory and that’s all the feedback they’re getting then it’s a problem. But limited red/green/purple/whatever pen in a book doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t getting enough feedback.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 31-Oct-18 18:14:21

The most useful feedback I give is in lessons, not in books. I mark books and give written feedback following our marking policy, but what I do in lessons makes way more difference. I also never grade individual pieces of work, only full exams. Does your daughter think she gets feedback?

TheFallenMadonna Wed 31-Oct-18 18:14:43

Disclaimer: not an English teacher...

MaisyPops Wed 31-Oct-18 18:25:41

It depends on how else feedback is given.

E.g. students do a piece and then the teacher speaks to each child
Teacher delivers whole class feedback on strengths and weaknesses
Teacher shows model work and students identify how theirs compare.
I do lots of whole class feedback, target teaching etc. It means I can give students much quicker and precise feedback than writing wordy comments (only for them to inevitably ask 'but what do I do' to an instruction that says "redo this section and use subject terms"l.
As long as students can say what they need to work on then I'm inclined to ignore book marking.

There's a big shift needed to move away from the idea that feedback = red pen.

Of course if your DC isn't getting feedback and doesn't know how to improve thrn that is an issue.

OlderThanAverageforMN Thu 01-Nov-18 11:55:41

DD has just explained she gets detailed feedback on every Eng Lit essay, additionally they get a group class discussion, and then her teacher gives out a bullet point A4 sheet of what they should have been discussed in relation to the specific question. So lucky.

In History, again detailed feedback on each essay, plus a selection of numbers relating to a google list of items which should have been included, additionally the teacher notates references to the marking scheme for each question, to what should have been included.

In Class Civ, small class, they get individual person to person feedback.

I suppose each teacher to their own, but I would be very disappointed if DD wasn't getting this detailed feedback.

RomanyRoots Thu 01-Nov-18 12:08:47

Mine has detailed feedback, but private school with 15 kids in her class.
My other dc who went to state were lucky to have small comments.

You can't expect teachers to work any harder to give 30 odd kids detailed feedback, hey have such little time for marking as it is.

Pieceofpurplesky Thu 01-Nov-18 12:13:53

Sounds like my books - however like a PP they also do a written assessed piece at least once a fortnight that has detailed feedback. They also have whole class feedback sheets and model answers. The books are just the tip of a marking iceberg. I teach 64 KS4 pupils English - I couldn't mark their books in detail every time (two classes)

TubeTop Thu 01-Nov-18 12:22:14

Here to echo others... This is just one book and maybe just a notebook or what we call a "jotter" that we don't mark in depth; there may well be an assessment book, a proper exercise book and mock exam papers in files in school with much more feedback.

Can your dd articulate the level she's working at and what she needs to do to improve? That's the main thing.

Cauliflowersqueeze Fri 02-Nov-18 20:03:32

The feedback is not important - it’s what they DO with the feedback that makes a difference to their learning.

Whole class marking is very effective when teachers plan their next lesson depending on weaknesses they have seen in class.

MaisyPops Fri 02-Nov-18 20:14:21

OlderThanAverageforMN
Whilst that's all good, I'd certainly not he disappointed if someone didn't get that much.
Too often parents and students seem to think amount of handouts and red pen is important.
Sometimes too much feedback actually removes the independent thinking for students which hinders their ability to improve. After all why think of original ideas if I can hope I get a crib sheet with it done for me?

The expectation of endless written marking and handouts is what contributes to unsustainable workloads (for very little impact on progress!) And colleagues who do an excessive amount are selling their other colleagues out because that's when you get 'so and so does... why don't You?'

In the last couple of years I've reduced the amount of written marking I've been doing. Class results have actually gone up. Timely feedback (verbal, peer, worked examples, whole class) has had a much bigger impact on performance than waiting a fortnight for an essay to me marked in lots of detail.
I'd be more impressed with a teacher who used a range of feedback strategies appropriately (including written marking) than a book covered in red pen.

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