At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we recognise the importance of feedback as part of the teaching & learning cycle, and aim to maximise the effectiveness of its use in practice. We are mindful also of the workload implications of written marking, and of the research surrounding effective feedback.
Our policy is underpinned by the evidence of best practice from the Education Endowment Foundation and other expert organisations. The Education Endowment Foundation research shows that effective feedback should:
- redirect or refocus either the teacher’s or the learner’s actions to achieve a goal
- be specific, accurate and clear
- encourage and support further effort
- be given sparingly so that it is meaningful
- provide specific guidance on how to improve and not just tell students when they are wrong
Our approach to feedback has at its core a number of principles:
- the sole focus of feedback should be to further children’s learning;
- written comments should only be used where they are accessible to students according to age and ability;
- feedback delivered closest to the point of action is most effective, and as such feedback delivered in lessons is more effective than comments provided at a later date;
- feedback is provided both to teachers and pupils as part of assessment processes in the classroom and takes many forms other than written comments;
- feedback is a part of the school’s wider assessment processes which aim to provide an appropriate level of challenge to pupils in lessons, allowing them to make good progress.
All pupils’ work should be reviewed by teachers at the earliest appropriate opportunity so that it might impact on future learning. When work is reviewed, it should be acknowledged in books.
Feedback in practice
It is vital that teachers evaluate the work that children undertake in lessons, and use information obtained from this to allow them to adjust their teaching. Feedback occurs at one of three common stages in the learning process:
1. Immediate feedback – at the point of teaching
2. Summary feedback – at the end of a lesson/task
3. Review feedback – away from the point of teaching (including written comments)
The stages are deliberately numbered in order of priority, noting that feedback closest to the point of teaching and learning is likely to be most effective in driving further improvement and learning, especially for younger pupils. As a school, we place considerable emphasis on the provision of immediate feedback.
A significant aim of feedback should be to ensure that children are able to identify how they can improve their work or further their learning. The different examples of this are shown in the diagram below.
Where possible this should be immediate in lessons (e.g. correct/incorrect answers, ability to use methods, task feedback). At other times delayed feedback (sometimes known as pupil conferencing) will take place in a scheduled discussion between teacher and pupil, focusing on conceptual matters (e.g. depth of understanding, ability to make connections, reasoning about new learning) as well as discussing progress, attainment and next steps. The aim should be for the pupils to lead these discussions overtime (e.g. discussing what they are successful with, what they found challenging and what they need further help with and how they can further apply their learning).