This is the second in a series of blogs giving an overview of research-proven strategies that schools can adopt when budgeting their pupil premium – and how we can help. Previously, we discussed Metacognition.
Feedback is information given to the learner and/or the teacher about the learner’s performance relative to learning goals. It should aim towards (and be capable of producing) improvement in students’ learning. Feedback redirects or refocuses either the teacher’s or the learner’s actions to achieve a goal, by aligning effort and activity with an outcome.
It can be about the learning activity itself, about the process of activity, about the student’s management of their learning or self-regulation, or (the least effective) about them as individuals. This feedback can be verbal, written, or can be given through tests or via digital technology. It can come from a teacher or someone taking a teaching role, or from peers – even EYFS students are being introduced to language that normalises feedback on a peer-to-peer level.
It’s not a high-cost strategy, but it can be a little more time intensive if there aren’t existing frameworks in place to support professional development that will facilitate sustained development. There is also some overlap with marking strategies; certainly, feedback and marking serve a very similar purpose and can be delivered in similar ways. The EEF recommends that teachers weigh up the benefits and potential drawbacks for adopting a feedback strategy as part of their pupil premium expenditure, as results can be quite varied. The most common implementation is ‘mastery learning‘, an instructional strategy that focuses on the role of feedback in ensuring students have a strong grasp of one idea or concept before moving on to the next.
Image a) is from a page idea in our student planner library. It can be included to support the dialogue of feedback between teacher and student, saving both of them time. These can be changed to reflect your own school’s marking codes, or to include a completely unique set of feedback symbols – whichever works best for the strategy you use.
Our customised Exercise Books also represent another way that you can deliver an effective feedback strategy without the additional cost of materials to make it happen. The What Went Well/Even Better If model is an example of structured feedback; it acknowledges the student’s work while offering them the chance to improve upon points they have already made.