Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend

feedforward marking feedback pen colour

Promoting Peer Assessment


As you’re probably aware by now, I do a lot of peer and self assessment, feedback and directed improvement and reflection time (DIRT) in my lessons.

For some time now I’ve had students use different colour pens to make their peer/self assessment stand out. In the past I’ve used what I’ve had available, usually a combination of red or green pens.

Often my students have had time to perfect their work, in order to do this they use a pink pen to highlight their improvements such as SPaG corrections.

This year my main focus is incorporating this across my Key Stage 3 classes, since I’m at a new school as of September, it requires embedding.

This is how I’m doing it

a) Firstly I’ve focused on incorporating peer assessment in lessons. In order to do this I give students a set amount of time on a task, when they reach the end of this time they swap books and peer assess. Firstly they look at SPaG and will identify any errors in purple pen using the following coding system.


I ask students to also give a kind, specific and helpful comment at this point to identify how the student could improve their work. To start with I give suggestions on the board, but hopefully I can remove this scaffold in due course.

b) Next step is perfecting what has already been done. Students will take a pink pen and make any corrections to the work that has already been completed.

c) Students then take steps in the remainder of their work to meet the target set by their peer. They will write the majority of it in their usual colour pen, however when they do the thing their peer suggested, they write this in pink pen to make it stand out when I mark their books. This speeds up my marking process significantly.

d) When I mark the books I take note of key points such as SPaG errors, misconceptions, praise and any other next steps I feel are appropriate on a feedforward book look record sheet. I give any misconceptions and next steps a code and write this in student books. I then scan the sheet and display it on the board. Students then write down the comments that are relevant to them and act on them during a Feedforward session (aka DIRtime).

So far this year they’ve simply done this in their usual colour pen, however I’m introducing that this is done in green pen after the half term again so it stands out to me when I mark their books.

In order to support students I’ve created this poster to identify relevant colours and what they represent and what double ticks and the steps represent in their books.

feedforward colours.png

I have to say that this method is one way my evening workload has reduced so far this year. The instant feedback and resulting action being taken immediately is far more effective than receiving my feedback several lessons later.

What do you think? Opinions welcomed.

Mrs Humanities


Author: MrsHumanities

Teacher. Blogger. Friend.

6 thoughts on “Promoting Peer Assessment

  1. Pingback: 3 Pillars of Effective Marking (& Feedback) | Mrs Humanities

  2. I really like this idea. I have very mixed ability classes and I am wondering How you get round the weaker pupils peer assessing? Are they able to spot errors in work?


  3. My last school was like this. I firstly scaffold peer assessment, I get students looking for one piece of criteria e.g. spelling mistakes using a key word list. Only spelling to be concerned with are those on the key word list. Then I start to increase the level of what they are looking for e.g. find explanations – looking for ‘because’. Is there enough explanation?

    Eventually once they are trained in the basic, I’ll start providing 2 or 3 criteria students can choose between to be assessed on. Finally they start looking for all 3. This takes 2-3 terms, but once mastered they can take it through the school with them.

    To start with I provide examples of next steps statements to choose from then by the end of the year they are competent enough to create their own.

    It takes time but once mastered, it’s really worthwhile.


  4. Thank you for the detailed response, that sounds very doable. Think I could introduce this to a junior class after half term. 😀


  5. Pingback: Mrs Humanities shares… 10 useful blog posts about feedback | Mrs Humanities

  6. Pingback: Self & Peer Assessment – @jhezjc

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