Most teachers would agree that the least enjoyable part of the job is the endless marking but probably accept that it’s necessary for student achievement. After all, any well-informed educator, will understand that high quality feedback can enhance outcomes and that regular, timely assessment is key. But this awareness can lead to excessive marking. Not to mention entire weekends lost to marking and a hanging sense of guilt when they are not marking!
Senior staff at Three Bridges Primary School in west London suspected there might be a better way. Originally from Canada, the school’s Deputy Head, Jeremy Hannay, says he was surprised to learn how much time UK teachers devote to marking. Hannay and his colleagues consequently decided a new approach was needed. This meant moving away from extensive written assessment and placing greater emphasis on oral feedback, peer-to-peer methods and techniques to promote student reflection. The approach seems popular with staff and some even Tweet about their school using the hashtag #happiestschoolonearth.