Marking complements and assists teaching and learning. It serves as a tool for assessing individual and school performance. Marking should be diagnostic and inform children of the next steps needed in their learning in order to improve their work. Marking will also provide focused feedback on the learning objective/ success criteria for that lesson whenever appropriate. Research shows that children who sustain effort over time will achieve outstanding results. When children succeed at a task, praise should be directed at their efforts and strategies and detail what the next steps should be. Equally, if children fail at a task, feedback should be given about effort and strategies and what the next steps should be. The school policy will provide standardisation and consistency of practices throughout the school. The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all staff.

The nature of marking:

Marking should be constructive and make a difference. All work should be acknowledged.   Marking can be done by the teacher:
  • To indicate achievement and effort in relation to the learning objective/success criteria
  • To show children how they can improve their work
  • To enhance the child’s self-esteem
  • To aid teacher assessment
  Marking can be done by the children:
  • To encourage independent learning through self-checking
  • To be more critical in their approach to their work
  • To aid teacher assessment
  • Using checklists to help children know how they can improve their work
  • Using peer marking


The implementation of a positive marking policy will assist in the assessment of each child’s work and the delivery of the National Curriculum.  

Practises and Procedures

Marking done by the teacher


This means discussion of work and direct contact with the child. It is particularly appropriate with younger, less able or less confident children. Such an exchange may be accompanied by a written mark or comment.


This means notes or comments with the use of symbols. Marking should serve as a permanent record for the child, teacher and parent and outside agencies when required. These should include specific improvement suggestions focusing on;
  • The effort made and the strategies used
  • The qualities of the child’s work
  • Specific ways in which the work can be improved eg use of a scaffolding comment
  • Improvements that the child has made compared to his/her earlier related work
Marking prompts are used by teachers. These are available for Literacy, Numeracy and CLJ. The exemplar prompts are extremely successful with all children, but especially with average or below average children. This prompt gives a choice of answer, word or phrase. Scaffolding prompts are most suitable for children who need more structure than a simple reminder. Reminder prompts are most suitable for the more able child; it reminds the child of what could be improved. Symbols and scores (see attached Appendix 1) – These may take the form of ticks, merits, printed stamps or stickers. Sometimes a stamp may be used to indicate if the work was independent or assisted. Where appropriate, a record of the scores achieved is kept by the teacher, e.g. weekly spelling/times tables tests. This can help to monitor the child’s progress and overall performance.

Recognition of Achievement

Children are encouraged to celebrate one another’s achievements within class groups and within special assemblies. Achievement is also recognised by sending the child to the head teacher or other teachers for praise.


Not every mistake will be corrected. To correct everything is seen as counter productive to child motivation. The point of teacher written correction (as opposed to written comment) is to point out to children their mistakes so that they can correct them and learn from that correction. Corrections should link to the learning objective/success criteria. However, other non-related errors that a child consistently makes should also be corrected as appropriate. For re-draft and display purposes children’s work may be copied out, spell checked and amended to produce a ‘final’ copy, but there would normally be an earlier draft available. There should be examples of children’s independent work so that a true picture of performance is evident to teaching staff, children and parents. The marking of written work will vary with the development of the child. At an early stage most marking will be verbal. As children develop they are encouraged to become more independent and use check lists/wordbooks. Marking will then take the form of correcting and commenting on finished pieces. Independent writers will draft and self-check their work for the teacher to mark.

Giving children the time to make improvements

Marking is only productive and children can only learn from it when they are given time to respond to the teacher’s comments and make further necessary improvements to their work. Time is given during the week for children to review their work in light of the comments made, either with the teacher or with a partner. All children have the opportunity to improve their work, based on the teacher’s comments, as part of a group when the teacher is working with them.

Marking done by the pupil


This means contact with an adult or another child. Through discussion and exchange or comments the child is able to amend, correct or enhance work. Children are encouraged to read their work aloud, either to themselves or to talk partners in order to make improvements.


This varies with the development of the ability of the child. Young and less able children would not be expected necessarily to re-write their work. Independent writers will draft and self-check their work for the teacher to mark. Checklists and marking ladders may be used to support the child in identifying areas where improvements can be made. Any relevant mistakes not identified by the child will be highlighted by the teacher so that further corrections/improvements may be made.


Marking forms an integral part of the assessment of all subjects within the National Curriculum – see Assessment Policy.  

Appendix 1

  Colours used for marking: Black/blue – teacher’s marking Red – verbal feedback VF Green – responding to marking by children Purple – Peer marking/self marking   Symbols used in school: VF – verbal feedback Smiley faces A – Written by an adult next to the lesson focus = focus achieved A+- Work that exceeds the focus P -Written by an adult next to the lesson focus = focus partially achieved N -Written by an adult next to the lesson focus = focus not achieved Merits are awarded for progress and effort   WWW – What went well…… EBI – Even better if ……… RTM – Respond to marking   Stamps  Independent Teacher TA assisted Smiley Faces   Stickers Merit House point = 5 merits   EYFS – Child Initiated Independent