Don’t waste time on low impact paper pushing

If you led teaching and learning what would you not want your teachers to do? Much of the information below follows the format of what I have already shared here; A Common Sense Approach to Marking Workload; plus the Learning Policy document that we have been working on …


  • Do not use your own marking code/framework separate to the school.
  • Do not forget to have a secure ‘assessment’ overview of every child in your class.
  • Do not mark every page.
  • Do not tick and flick.
  • Do not waste time date stamping marking.
  • Do not record in writing when you have provided verbal feedback.
  • Do not expect every piece of work to be re-drafted.
  • Do not get bogged down in the minutiae of coloured pens.
  • Do not expect reams and reams of student response to feedback followed by teacher response to the student’s feedback!


  • Do not waste time writing individual lesson plans.
  • Do not focus on activities.
  • Do not be concerned about 3, 4 or 7-part lesson sequences.
  • Do not forget ‘what and how’ subject knowledge and skills can be imparted through the planning process.
  • Do not fail to consider ‘why’ you are asking the students to attempt this piece of work.
  • Do not focus on differentiation by lesson, but focus on over time.
  • Do not let students sit randomly around the classroom.
  • Do not plan for lessons to start sluggishly; this does not mean a starter activity!


  • Do not waste time asking students to copy the lesson objectives. Lessons must get off to a flying start!
  • Do not focus on playing it safe. Go with the learning!
  • Do not ignore poor literacy and quality of language; including your own.
  • Do not allow students to take it easy. Students must work harder than the teacher (over time).
  • Do not ignore the fact that you need to check the learning. What has stuck? This does not mean frequent micro-plenaries or plenaries every lesson; but over time, checking what has been learnt; what needs to be re-taught/consolidated.
  • Do not ignore poor behaviour. Follow the behaviour policy at all costs.

Taken from teacher toolkit


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