Essential C21st Teaching Skills


Diagnosis, feedback and improvement - move on from marking
About this course

In 335BC, Aristotle outlined his 'Three Unities of Tragedy':  'time', 'place' and 'action'

In 2018, teachers are buckling under the pressure of the 'Three Unities'... of Marking:

  • Time – countless hours spent ploughing through student workbooks, which could be spent diagnosing issues, planning impactful feedback and improving the student's work.
  • Place – piles of student work appearing in the car, in the home, on the dining-room table – everywhere the teacher should be allowed to escape.
  • Action – exhausted teachers writing lengthy comments (often in coloured pens) which we know will have little or no impact or influence on the students' learning and achievement.

The repercussions of these three unities are tragic for teacher well-being, for schools' recruitment and retention, and for the achievement of the students we are trying to support. But there is another way. 

Diagnosis, Feedback and Improvement should be quick, effective and impactful, focusing on key issues that really matter to move learning forward.  And it should unburden the teacher from the tyranny of marking.

Examining the growing evidence-base of what actually works in education, and learning from High Performance in education, industry and sports, this course enables teachers and schools to focus precisely on what has the maximum impact on results and the minimum impact on teacher workload. Moreover, it should mean teachers never again have to cart piles of student work into their car, or into their home.

Course Outcomes:
  • Examine examples of diagnosis, feedback and improvement in high-performance environments from education, industry and sports which can transform teacher effectiveness, workload and wellbeing
  • Explore the evidence-base for diagnostic teacher assessment, both across classes and for individual students, and examine models which make diagnosis and feedback impactful in the short, medium and long-term
  • Take away models and exemplars of best practice in diagnostic assessment, feedback in lessons and targeted improvement which will transform the effectiveness of teachers, departments and schools
Course Outline:
Session One: Move on From Marking

The problem with marking – a national issue and a personal tragedy

It's not all bad, is it? Why teachers like marking

'Eliminating Unnecessary Workload Around Marking' - what the DfE say

Going Cold-Turkey – how to remove dependency on the written comment, for teacher, student, parent and SLT

Session Two: Diagnosis, Feedback and Improvement – The importance of Precision

What can schools learn from High Performance in education, industry and sport?

What do students need to know? Cutting to the heart of the matter

360° Assessment for Learning – all-through best practice and 'marginal gains'

How to achieve precision in diagnostic peer and self-reflection

Session Three: Evidence-based Excellence in the Classroom, the Department, the School

One-size doesn't fit all: examine models of best practice in Diagnosis, Feedback and Improvement

Diagnosis, Feedback and Improvement on mock-exams – How to ensure no-one makes that mistake again

The perfect feedback lesson: what it looks like, and how students engage through the process

Practical, hands-on activities and ideas to embed Diagnosis, Feedback and Improvement in your classroom and your school

Wendy Imperato

029 2071 1787
Mary Chapman

+44 (0)29 2071 1787

“Excellent course: very motivating and insightful. I have many ideas on how to refine my practice to improve outcomes for pupils, and clear guidance on ideas I had heard of but couldn't see how they would work in practice before today.”

Head of Department , Bedford Girls' School

“Very insightful and cutting-edge theory. Lots of takeaways that I will look forward to implementing when I get back to school.”

Deputy Headteacher , Honley High School

Excellent course. Dave is very knowledgeable and has given information that I can immediately implement in my classroom. Best course yet!

Teacher , Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School

Excellent training with practical and useful guidance for my future practice. Many thanks!

Teacher , Hereford Sixth Form College

Really useful, practical ideas based on thoroughly sifted evidence.

Deputy Head , Benenden School