Teaching in the UK is embroiled about the question of ‘reasonable’. What is reasonable to some is not reasonable to others. For example, to create a rubric and insert it into excel takes me a minute or two. It could take others longer; they would need to judge whether they should learn the skills needed to make this a quicker task. 

Marking forms part of this conversation because marking must be completed.

When a class is large, the marking must not lose focus. However, it must allow time to be efficiently (that is, be rapid). It must allow the students to focus (on formative comments). And it must inform planning in a way that is useful.

Although it is the first week of the holidays, and I have relaxed and ate well and met good friends, I also want to improve this process. Thoughts are:

1) In my planning, focus upon a ‘rubric chart’ that becomes updated over each term. These form the comment boxes in my spreadsheet, but can also function in themselves as a paper version.

2) The rubrics should be more closely matched to the criteria of the levels of the class.

3) A library of generic rubrics can be developed.

4) The same rubric criteria might be granted a different mark depending on the focus of the essay. For example, using advanced punctuation for effect in a piece of exam writing might be the focus (and a 1) in one essay. Ensuring that paragraphs are linked might be the focus (and the 1) in another essay, but advanced punctuation for effect would still be required to attain at least a 2.

5) Planning can be redirected for students depending on prior work.

1 2 3 4
Example of a rubric with some extra words where necessary Example of a rubric with some extra words where necessary Example of a rubric with some extra words where necessary Example of a rubric with some extra words where necessary


6) As shown above, size 14 text on 100% zoom with 10cm width creates a suitable comment box size. The point of the comment boxes is to aid my understanding of where a student has not performed so well.

7) My planning should copy the homeworks onto one page in order of year, with due dates created appropriately. Targets should be completed like this, too. Therefore, each Sunday I create a week of lesson plans ahead a word document, with a homework document and a ‘rubric/target’ document. The rubric/target document should be an ongoing document created, with a ‘purpose’? sentence above each one, perhaps. These targets can be inserted into my markbook.

8) Conditional formatting should not be overused, but is a useful way of indicating students’ relative performance in the class.

9) The markbook should be linked to the seating plan of the class.

10) The rubrics should be informed by the following documents:

Key Objectives Bank Years 7
Key Objectives Bank Years 8
Key Objectives Bank Years 9

Learning Objective types from the NC (the vaguest and least useful of the rubric sources, although perhaps also the most strategic. Emphasises ‘range of strategies’). Set by Year group rather than ability, so is less useful. Someone was paid thousands to create this, somehow.

This is perhaps best for giving a purpose for each rubric?

The APP charts (very useful with working example and appropriate language)
KS4 criteria (again, useful enough. However, language is vague).



It is essential that the language of the criteria is made definable.
Sophisticated is, for me, evaluative analysis that is authoritative.
Perceptive is personal opinion in evaluative analysis.
Developed means finding contrasting ideas and/or layers of meaning.
Thoughtful consideration means clarity of links.
Some familarity/awareness means that the ideas that a expressed clumsily or vaguely
Some relevant comments means unfocussed and/or lacking in detail.