Gold stars for marking

Who went?

Val Mitchell, Year 6 teacher at Debden CofE Primary in Essex.

What course?

A support day for key stage 2 teachers of English, run by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA).

What did it do?

It was about raising children's achievement through better marking of their work. It should make you a more focused and efficient marker.

Why go?

I want my pupils to become better writers, and I want them to do well in their Sats.

Message, motto or mantra?

Good marking is about clear communication.

Handouts or hands-on?

The course leader was inspirational. She was also instructional, which I liked. We weren't left to sit in groups and discuss things among ourselves, we were given lots of ideas which we could put into practice.

Something I liked Because it was run by the exam board there was a strong focus on improving results. It showed how the Sats marking scheme can be used as a tool for learning.

Something I learned Sometimes you can give children too much feedback. It's best to hone in on one thing, and make sure it has been understood.

Has it made a difference?

Marking has become easier. I'm more focused in what I write and try to make sure that it's an interactive process, by giving children relevant follow-up exercises.

The verdict?

Excellent. I've been on similar support days for maths and science and would recommend those too.

Turn to page 50 for more marking advice

Coming soon?

AQA events are held on a regular basis throughout the year. Full details can be found by visiting pound;130.

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