Practitioner Enquiry

Rachel Clarke – Personal Tutor & Psychology Teacher

‘What do students really need help with and are we addressing their specific concerns?’





  • Homework is completed away from the classroom, which means that it is not easy for students to ask about what they find particularly difficult unless they make a specific appointment to discuss with their teacher.
  • It is very hard for a teacher to know how a student felt when completed work at home.
  • Feedback provided is often generic and focused on what the teacher feels to be important to succeed.
  • It is increasingly difficult to get students to engage with any written feedback provided, even when peer marking or withholding grades techniques are used.  Similar problems occur with future pieces of work even if directly addressed through written feedback.
  • When work is completed there is often little dialogue between teachers and students about specific concerns.

Key Actions


  • Develop general feedback sheets that provided detailed information on homework pieces that were set and ask students to write specific questions that they would like help with.
  • Encourage written dialogue between students and staff regarding work completed.
  • Encouraging class discussions for students to reflect on the homework they had completed and develop a class feedback sheet.
  • Use simple colour coding to clearly illustrate where students had succeeded and encourage them to engage with this during their own work.
  • Encourage student to reflect more on the work they had produced.




Key Findings


  • Students have commented very favourably towards the techniques used.  Even when not required student still write questions they want answered.
  • Marking has become more enjoyable, from a teaching perspective, as feedback is more varied and interesting.
  • Students are clearer about what is required from them when completing extended writing.
  • Problems are still evident in the less motivated students, who do not fully engage with the materials presented.

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