Workload – repost

DFE Workload reports…

I am glad that we have already embedded a lot of these proposals so we are in a really good position compared to other schools. However, we are keen to keep improving so any suggestions to me please. Tim Workload

I have put the three reports below (Data, Planning and Marking) with the recommendations below each hyperlink. Leadership will be working through these over the coming weeks and will discuss with staff our response and any actions needed. As always any thoughts on this please let me know. Tim



For EVERYBODY involved in data management:

  • Collect data that are purposeful, valid, and reliable. Use the principles in this report to decide what to collect and how to collect it.
  • Be prepared to stop collecting data if the burden of collection outweighs their use.
  • Do not reward ‘gold plating’. Excessive data collection and processing takes teachers, school leaders, and officials away from more productive tasks.
  • Use data in the format available. Do not ask for or duplicate collection of data collected elsewhere – ‘collect once, use many times.’
  • Take measures to understand the cumulative impact on workload of new initiatives and guidance before rolling them out and make proportionate and pragmatic demands.

For the DfE:

  • Ensure that officials, Regional Schools Commissioners, and system leaders supported by Government (e.g. NLEs) commit to the principles in this report.
  • Implement the common data standards developed by the Information Standards Board and modern data transport options under Data Exchange as quickly as possible.
  • Bring forward the release of both validated and unvalidated data to as early as possible in the cycle so it is available when decisions are taken to prevent unnecessary duplication by schools.
  • Reduce the number of different log-ins schools need to use simply to access and share information with DfE.
  • Consider including data management skills in national qualifications for school leaders.
  • Support the MIS market to develop and diversify, to respond better to school needs.


  • Continue to communicate the clarification paragraphs in the inspection framework through updates and other relevant channels.
  • Continue to monitor inspection reports to ensure no particular methods of marking are praised as exemplars and ensure training of inspectors emphasises the commitment in the framework.
  • Monitor the impact of the revised inspection Framework on the practice of schools.

LAs, MATs and School Leaders:

  • Use software which adheres to common definitions and standards.
  • Conduct a regular audit of in-school data management procedures to ensure they remain robust, valid and effective, and manageable for staff.
  • Do not routinely collect formative assessment data.
  • Summative data should be collected only as frequently as essential to ensure appropriate action can be taken in between collections. Unless there are issues of performance to address and monitor, summative data should not normally be collected more than three times a year per pupil.
  • Review assessment which leads to data generation and consider a range of approaches (including standardised tasks/test items).
  • Make data accessible to all stakeholders in an appropriate form.
  • Do not collect data outside of agreed data collection points. Take a strategic view of the assessment demands throughout the school year and implement an assessment and data management calendar.

Governing Boards:

  • Do not request data in any other format than that which the school regularly and routinely presents.
  • Keep data requirements under review and challenge selves and leaders to collect the least amount of data possible.

ITT providers:

Ensure strategic use of data to inform teaching and learning, and understanding of assessment is part of any initial training.


  • Record data accurately and ensure it is correct first time.
  • If you do not understand why data is being collected, ask. Suggest alternative sources of data or processes if you think better ones exist.


Recommendations For Government and its agencies:• DfE and its agencies should commit to sufficient lead-in times for changes for which the sector will have to undertake significant planning to implement. This includes releasing relevant materials in good time.

DfE should review the DfE protocol to ensure it is fit for purpose, and takes full regard of the workload implications of any change.

DfE should commit to using its influence to disseminate the principles and messages of this report through system leaders.

Ofsted should continue to communicate the clarification paragraphs in the inspection framework through updates and other relevant channels.

Ofsted should continue to monitor inspection reports to ensure no particular methods of planning are praised as exemplars and ensure training of inspectors emphasises the commitment in the framework.

For school leaders:• SLT should ensure there is ongoing work to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching to inform planning, underpinned by effective continuous professional development.

SLT should not automatically require the same planning format across the school.

SLT should review demands made on teachers in relation to planning to ensure that minimum requirements to be effective are made. Where more intensive plans are needed for pedagogical reasons, a review date is set.

Senior and middle leaders should ensure, as a default expectation that a fully resourced, collaboratively produced, scheme of work is in place for all teachers for the start of each term.

Senior and middle leaders should make clear who will be planning new schemes of work and associated resources, what time they will have available to do so, and how this will be made available to all staff in a timely fashion.

SLT should ensure that the highest quality resources are available, valuing professionally produced resources as much as those created in-house.

SLT should consider aggregating PPA into units of time which allow for substantial planning.

SLT should work with middle and subject leaders to identify alternative ways to evidence ‘effective teaching and planning’, emphasising teacher development.

Subject and phase leaders should lead discussions on quality assurance with SLT/governors to help them understand where a subject- or phase-specific approach may be most appropriate – and why the volume of paper plans may be an inadequate proxy.




  • DfE should commit to using its influence to disseminate the principles and messages of this report through system leaders.


  • Ofsted should continue to communicate the clarification paragraphs in the inspection framework through updates and other relevant channels.
  • Ofsted should continue to monitor inspection reports to ensure no particular methods of marking are praised as exemplars and ensure training of inspectors emphasises the commitment in the framework.
  • Ofsted should monitor the impact of the revised inspection Framework on the practice of schools.

LAs/MATs/RSCs/Governing Boards and School Leaders:

  • Use the three principles set out in this report to review the school’s marking practice as part of an overall and proportionate assessment policy in partnership with their teachers and governors.
  • Evaluate the time implications of any whole school marking and assessment policy for all teachers to ensure that the school policy does not make unreasonable demands on any particular members of staff.
  • In partnership with their teachers and governing boards, monitor their marking practice as part of their regular monitoring cycle and evaluate its effectiveness on pupil progress.
  • Challenge emerging fads that indirectly impose excessive marking practices on schools.

ITT providers:

  • Draw on research and make trainees aware of emerging findings and evidence.
  • Ensure requirements made of trainee teachers conform to the principles of this report.
  • Include a repertoire of assessment methods in training.


  • Seek to develop a range of assessment techniques to support their pedagogy.
  • Actively review current practice to ensure marking adheres to the three principles in this report.


  • Research current marking methods deployed in schools.
  • Work with schools to evaluate current marking and assessment practices in

schools to promote good practice

A Review of the evidence on written marking

A marked decline? The EEF’s review of the evidence on written marking

A review by David Didau on the EFF report – some interesting view points but not a surprising conclusion…

Question: How important is it for teachers to provide written feedback on students’ work?

Answer: No one knows.

This is essentially the substance of the EEF’s long-awaited review on written marking.

The review begins with the following admission:

…the review found a striking disparity between the enormous amount of effort invested in marking books, and the very small number of robust studies that have been completed to date. While the evidence contains useful findings, it is simply not possible to provide definitive answers to all the questions teachers are rightly asking. [my emphasis]

But then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like:

Some findings do, however, emerge from the evidence that could aid school leaders and teachers aiming to create an effective, sustainable and time-efficient marking policy. These include that:

  • Careless mistakes should be marked differently to errors resulting from misunderstanding. The latter may be best addressed by providing hints or questions which lead pupils to underlying principles; the former by simply marking the mistake as incorrect, without giving the right answer
  • Awarding grades for every piece of work may reduce the impact of marking, particularly if pupils become preoccupied with grades at the expense of a consideration of teachers’ formative comments
  • The use of targets to make marking as specific and actionable as possible is likely to increase pupil progress
  • Pupils are unlikely to benefit from marking unless some time is set aside to enable pupils to consider and respond to marking
  • Some forms of marking, including acknowledgement marking, are unlikely to enhance pupil progress. A mantra might be that schools should mark less in terms of the number of pieces of work marked, but mark better.

The only one of these statement that can reasonably be concluded from the flimsy research base the review’s authors unearthed is the one finding that awarding grades seems to undermine the effects of written feedback. All the rest is speculation at best and unexamined, biased assumption at worst.

Let’s consider each claim in turn.

1. “Careless mistakes should be marked differently to errors resulting from misunderstanding.”

This, in and of itself, is probably correct. I find the distinction between ‘errors’ (misconceptions) and ‘mistakes’ (typos & slip-ups) pleasing. Clearly, giving detailed written feedback on something students already know is a waste of time. The problem is how to distinguish between something a students doesn’t know and something a student doesn’t do. I’ve seen reams of work in which capital letters are missing but have encountered almost no students in mainstream secondary schools who do not conceptually understand the use and purpose of a capital letter. The fact they don’t use them isn’t down to ignorance, but habit. They have practised writing without capital letters and have, consequently, become superb at it: they do it effortlessly. The advice offered in the review is that teachers should “simply mark the mistake as incorrect, without giving the right answer.” There’s just no evidence for this. The only way to undo to undo this habit is to make it more onerous for students to continue making the same mistake than not. I’ve found it useful to refuse to mark work which students haven’t proofread: failure to spot mistakes which I know they know need to result in some sort of consequence.

2. “Awarding grades for every piece of work may reduce the impact of marking” 

Lots of people are aware of Ruth Butler’s small-scale studies demonstrating the nugatory effects of grading, but these wouldn’t count for much on their own. Much more interesting is the research conducted in Sweden by Klapp et al.

During 12 years (1969 to 1982) Swedish municipalities decided themselves whether or not to grade their students and this natural setting makes it possible to investigate how grading affected students’ subsequent achievement. This natural setting caused some students in the 6th Grade in Sweden to obtain grades while others did not. This circumstance, in combination with the fact that a longitudinal cohort study included a large sample of students both with and without grades offers an opportunity to use a quasi-experimental longitudinal design in order to investigate how grades affect students’ later achievement.

The results are still somewhat equivocal,  but it seems pretty clear that although grades might be useful (or even essential) for some purposes, they do seem to undermine many children’s academic performance.

My advice would be that if you really need to grade a piece of work, don’t then undermine your efforts by also writing feedback. Conversely, if you’ve spent time writing feedback, it’s probably not a good idea to also grade the piece of work.

3. “The use of targets to make marking as specific and actionable as possible is likely to increase pupil progress”

As the report says, “Very few studies appear to focus specifically on the impact of writing targets on work.” Unfortunately, instead of simply acknowledging this deficit and moving on, the review’s author decide to extrapolate from research on other forms of feedback to draw their conclusions. In a review on the evidence of written marking this is odd to say the least. It’s definitely the case that findings from other areas of research suggest that further research is desirable, but how can we reasonably conclude anything more beyond suggesting that setting specific targets might be a good idea. Or it might not. This is just guesswork.

4. “Pupils are unlikely to benefit from marking unless some time is set aside to enable pupils to consider and respond to marking”

This is, I think, the most controversial of the review’s assertions. The only evidence which currently exists are students surveys of whether students like responding to feedback. Apparently they do, at least in Higher Education settings. Well, so what? Students like Calypso ice pops, watching The Next Step and Snap Chatting each other inappropriate pictures. What students like is hardly qualification for making education policy. And what HE students like tells us precious little about what school students need. Again, the conclusion drawn by the review ought to have been that it might be a good idea to encourage students to respond to feedback, but equally, it might not.

5. “Some forms of marking, including acknowledgement marking, are unlikely to enhance pupil progress”

Well, maybe. It might be the case that tick’n’flick has little impact on students’ progress, but there’s a possibility that it could provide much-needed motivation. Also, teachers receiving feedback from students may actually be more important students receiving feedback from teachers.  This marks a powerful change of perspective. John Hattie says in Visible Learning, “It was only when I discovered that feedback was most powerful when it is from the students to the teachers that I started to understand it better.” When we read students’ work we take feedback from them. We find out something about what they’re thinking. We shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that this is evidence of learning, but we should see it as useful information which gives us some indication about whether our teaching is having the effects we intend. Having taken feedback from our students, we are then in a better position to fine-tune our instruction, give whole class feedback on common errors and misconceptions, and talk to individuals about their work at quiet points in a lesson.

The only really useful findings the report has to offer is that “The quality of existing evidence focused specifically on written marking is low.” Without proper research we’re operating in the dark with guesswork and intuition. It could be that all the reviews recommendations are spot on. It could be the equivalent of encouraging teachers to use bloodletting to balance humours in their patients. We just don’t know enough to make reliable recommendations or draw meaningful conclusions. The authors are right to point this out as both surprising and concerning and the call for further study is welcome. The pages of speculation and guesswork are not.

Richard Farrow sums the situation up here:

This report is a living, breathing, example of why you should NEVER only read the executive summary. But that aside, the report has no evidence about anything useful (to do with written marking) and should never have been published. In fact, it could have been one paragraph saying the following: “we can’t find anything to look at so we are saying to the research community that they MUST research this. In the meantime we will not be publishing a report on this, just in case school leaders take it out of context.”

IF this report is quoted at you in your workplace to make you do something you feel is daft, say the following: “there is no evidence to back up any conclusions you draw from the report. We are still waiting for decent studies on this area of research.”

The post A marked decline? The EEF’s review of the evidence on written marking appeared first on David Didau: The Learning Spy.



I have collated some information on revision that has been taken from a number of places but  if you have anything to add please let me know.

Yr11 Assembly delivered Feb 2016

An excellent Revision Powerpoint on revision to be used with students and parents from Chris Hildrew. It brings together what works with clear examples.

Revision picture

The gain some clarity please read the full document which can be downloaded from here


Three commonly used revision techniques that appear to have very little impact on learning were:

  • Highlighting texts
  • Re-reading
  • Summarising text

The reason these are so ineffective, is that they require very little cognitive work…and it’s cognitive work i.e. thinking about things, that makes us remember things.  It’s easy to see why are they are popular with students though.  They are very low demand, make the students feel as if they are ‘doing revision’ and for highlighting and summarising, there is a product for their efforts.  They can come bounding downstairs from their bedroom and show mum/dad highlighted sheets of text of revision that they have ‘done’.  Gratifying? yes. effective? No.

So having established what doesn’t work, we then explored 5 techniques that appear to work well and make a difference to learning.

1. Practice Testing

This technique is pretty straightforward – students keep testing themselves (or each other) on what they have got to learn. This technique has been shown to have the highest impact in terms of supporting student learning. Some ways in which students can do this easily:

  • Create some flashcards, with questions on one side and answers on the other – and keep testing yourself.
  • Work through past exam papers – many can be acquired through exam board websites.
  • Simply quiz each other (or yourself) on key bits of information.
  • Create ‘fill the gap’ exercises for you and a friend to complete.
  • Create multiple choice quizzes for friends to complete.

2. Distributed Practice

Rather than cramming all of their revision for each subject into one block, it’s better to space it out – from now, through to the exams. Why is this better? Bizarrely, because it gives them some forgetting time. This means that when they come back to it a few weeks later, they will have to think harder, which actually helps them to remember it. Furthermore, the more frequently you come back to a topic, the better you remember it.


The graph above demonstrates this, by returning to a topic and reviewing it, you remember it for longer.

3. Elaborate Interrogation

One of the best things that students can do (either to themselves or with a friend) to support their revision is to ask why an idea or concept is true – and then answer that why question. For example;

  • In science, increasing the temperature can increase the rate of a chemical reaction….why?
  • In geography, the leisure industry in British seaside towns like Barry Island in South Wales has deteriorated in the last 4 decades….why?
  • In history, in 1929 the American stock exchange collapsed. This supported Hitler’s rise to power….why?

So, rather than just trying to learn facts or ideas by reading them over and over, students should get into the habit of asking themselves why these things are true.

4. Self Explanation

Rather than looking at different topics from a subject in isolation, students should try to think about how this new information is related to what they know already. This is where mind- maps might come in useful – but the process of producing the mind map, is probably more useful than the finished product (not convinced about the focus put on colours, shape of branches etc.). So, they should think about a key central idea (the middle of the mind map) and then how new material, builds on the existing knowledge in the middle.

Alongside this, when they are solving a problem e.g. in maths, they should explain to someone the steps they took to solve the problem.

5. Interleaved Practice

When students are revising a subject, the temptation is to do it in ‘blocks’ of topics. Like below:


The problem with this is, is that it doesn’t support the importance of repetition – which is so important to learning. So rather than revising in ‘topic blocks’ it’s better to chunk these topics up in their revision programme and interleave them:


In Summary:


This quote from Daniel Willingham pretty much sums up the process of learning – we remember things when we have to think about them.  So when supporting students with revision we should be doing more of the following:

  • Testing.
  • Spacing it out.
  • Keep asking ‘why’?
  • Building on what they know.
  • Getting them to explain their steps in problem solving.

These revision strategies will be shared with Y11 students during an assembly.  The hope is that if students and staff are discussing and using the same techniques, that have been shown to work, we’ll have a common language to use in terms of revision.  Furthermore, by telling students that these techniques have a track record of success, we will hopefully reduce some of their anxieties around revision and exams.


Revision assembly

Revision Toolbox by Pete Sanderson @LessonToolbox – please share with your students.

Revision toolbox






Resources and guidance will appear shortly along with Best Practice from the country / world… but in the meantime please use these members of staff as the first point of contact:

Literacy: Ms McArdle

The literacy marking guide can be found below:


As part of the school’s Cognitive Acceleration work please find below a selection of resources we have been using with staff and students:

Introduction to Cog Acc

Literacy – Pupil’s Examples

Literacy CPD session

Here is an example of the Design and Technology Literacy Mat – all subjects will soon have bespoke versions of this:

Technology literacy mat

Please can I draw your attention to a very useful website aimed at helping teachers adapt lessons for students with Dyslexia.

The website is, and you will find a range of free advice and practical resources to help with lessons. is a great site for sharing students work:

A great resource for teachers

They are teachers, too. They know how important it is to inspire pupils. Over the years they have created a unique bank of children’s writing with over 20,000 published young authors. Sorted by age group, genre and topic, it is available to teachers all over the world for free.

Publishing your pupils’ work provides them with the opportunity to interact with a worldwide community, gaining awareness of other cultures. Bring the magic of a global audience into the classroom!



Our current approach includes the use of ‘Yellow Box’ marking for feedback which incorporates KIRT (Kesgrave Improvement and Reflection Time). More details can be found in the Marking and Feedback policy on the Z drive.

Yellow Box


I will list examples and case studies on feedback here – more can be found on the T&L resources folder in the Z drive:

Guidance on the Feedback Fortnight in January can be found here:

Guidance for feedback fortnight Jan 2015 Subject feedback and marking sheet Teacher feedback and marking sheet

If you would like to try out some new approaches please see below:

Dylan Williams has produced a handy guide for student engagement and formative feedback:

Formative assessment strategies

A useful document posted by @headguruteacher in June – reduce workload and increase impact!


Strategies from the Feedback Fortnight 2014 are posted here:

1) Feedback Tips – Presentations

2) Feedback Tips – Post It

3) Feedback Tips – Practical Work

4) Feedback Tips – Plenary Pyramid

5) Feedback Tips – Post It 2

6) Feedback Tips – Peer Review

7) Feedback Tips – Feedback

8) Feedback Tips – PE Oriented

9) Feedback Tips – Feedback Sandwich

10) Feedback Tips – Question Wall

11) Feedback Tips – Scan and Plan

12) Feedback Tips – Discussion Work

13) Feedback Tips – Group Critique

14) Feedback Tips – Practical Work

15) Feedback Tips – Is it a smile

16) Feedback Tips – GCSE Reflection

17) Feedback Tips – KS3 Review

18) Feedback Tips – Peer to Peer

19) Feedback Tips – Coach’s Eye

20) Feedback Tips – Two bullets essay


Ethic of Excellence

Ethic of Excellence

The work of Ron Berger is transforming education across the globe. This page will collate best practice and streamline what we are working on at KHS.

NB, CB and  were fortunate enough to attend a Key Note by Ron Berger at he Whole Education conference this year.  I will put more detailed information here about his work over the coming weeks but these YouTube clips will frame the context (you can also read his book – details on the T&L Library page) – here is an example of Austin’s butterfly and YouTube clips are below:

Here is an example of work completed by David Fawcett and if you follow the link to the High Tech High slideshow you will see examples from Jamie Portman’s recent visit – it is impressive!

More Ron Berger clips:

Developing great teaching

Developing Great Teaching

Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development

front page summary[Download Summary Report]

In September 2014 the Teacher Development Trust, with kind support from TES Global, commissioned a review of the international research into what constitutes effective professional development for teachers. The review was conducted by an expert team of Professors Steve Higgins and Rob Coe of Durham University, Philippa Cordingley of CUREE and Professor Toby Greany of the UCL Institute of Education.

On June 9th 2015, TDT were proud to launch the review’s emerging findings: “Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development”.

This important review of reviews provides a rigorous update and overview of the lessons that can be taken from the international reviews into effective professional development.

The key finding of the review was that professional development opportunities that are carefully designed and have a strong focus on pupil outcomes have a significant impact on student achievement.

The review has also been able to add crucial nuance and detail to the components that constitute this “careful design”, including the duration, structure, content and activities associated with effective professional development. The review’s findings also give detail around the role of external facilitators, and some insight into the importance of leadership around professional development.

We strongly encourage practitioners, school leaders, providers of professional development, policy makers, and all those with a role in providing high quality support and development for teachers, to engage with the review’s findings.

In the coming months and years, the Teacher Development Trust will be proactively working with partners and all stakeholder groups to develop our shared understanding of the review, and embed its recommendations across all related areas of practice.

front page full report

Read a summary of the review’s emerging findings, with extrapolated implications for stakeholders, here.

Read the full report on the review’s emerging findings here.

Read the press release for the review and launch event here.

Click on the link to access the DEVELOPING_TEACHERS-FINAL report by the Sutton Trust 2015

Internal KHS CPD programme

Autumn CPD 2014

Spring CPD 2015


I will put information on the Whole Education conference I attended here along with links to the resources.

For those of you active on twitter (and for those who are not) take a look at their Storify here,  to see a round up of the sessions and discussions that took place over the two days.

Whole Education now have the majority of presentations from the sessions to view online here.

If you would like any further information please come and see me.

Click on the link to access the DEVELOPING_TEACHERS-FINAL report by the Sutton Trust 2015

What makes great teaching?

Principles of Instruction: Research-based strategies that every teacher should know

What-Makes-Great-Teaching-REPORT from the Sutton Trust. This is a good read and looks at the research to prove what works. They include:

1.Know your subject

2.Praise an do more harm than good

3.Instruction matters

4.Teacher belief counts

5.Think about teacher-student relationships

6.Manage behaviour

7.There’s no evidence that setting works

8.Don’t worry about learning styles

9.Learning should be hard at first

10.Build relationships with colleagues and parents


Here is a list of all UK Education Blogs (all can be accessed through the hyperlink). Go and explore what’s happening!