You are now reading...
@TeacherToolkit, Resources, Teaching and Learning, The 5 Minute Series

The 5 Minute Marking Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner #5MinPlan

Marking is an occupational hazard for all teachers.  Whilst ‘The 5 Minute Marking Plan’ cannot do your marking for you (sadly) it will help you focus on the job in hand and help ensure you maximise your students’ learning and your own. Written by @LeadingLearner – Stephen Tierney.

Download on TES Resources:

Click to download the template

This planner adds to a growing number of 5 Minute Plans, including:

  1. ‘The 5 Minute Lesson Plan’ and
  2. ‘The 5 Minute Assembly Plan’ and
  3. ‘The 5 Minute Interview Plan’ which are also available on the TES website.

The thinking that underpins the plan:

…seeks to highlight those elements of marking that have greatest impact on learning, namely:

  • Sharing the key marking points (you may refer to these as success criteria).  A student is much more likely to be successful if s/he knows where they are going.  This is all part of teacher clarity.
  • Giving clear feedback to students about their work, comments only marking, but crucially making sure they respond to your marking by correcting their work or re-doing it, using your comments to guide them to a higher standard.

The time spent on marking students’ work must also help you identify common errors, so you can:

  • Require students to correct and improve their work.
  • Re-teach elements of the lesson, scheme of work, programme of study or syllabus to help close key gaps in students’ knowledge, understanding or skills.
  • Inform future teaching programmes.

‘The 5 Minute Marking Plan’

…found on the TES website, includes the plan; plus an explanation of how to use it and a great PowerPoint containing the full plan and exemplars.

Click to download the template

Click to download the template

Context: What each section means?

The big picture?  

What is the purpose of marking for this piece of work / project?  Try to be clear right from the beginning how the time you spend marking will improve teaching & learning.

Summative marking:

Grading system: Are you going to use GCSE or A-level grades?  Is it levels or have you started to think about a post-levelling world?  Is it a numerical mark out of 10 or 20?  Does the school, department or phase have an agreed system for teachers to use?

Formative Marking:

Comment System: Do you have an agreed way of giving comments on students work – www (what went well), ebi (even better if), ioti (in order to improve), three stars and a wish?  Have you given thought to numbering / lettering the key marking points, shared with students, so teachers can give comments via numbers / letters instead of  writing out comments in full?  Will you annotate the piece of work by putting the numbers / letters against the corresponding questions / text?

Key marking points to share with students?  

This is absolute critical.  First of all teachers and then learners need to be clear what marks can be gained for.  It’s all about teacher clarity.  Sharing the key marking students with learners before they start the work will really help improve their work.  Don’t forget to include a bit of “spoof assessment” to help learners understand what the key marking points are.  You can give learners two answers of different quality and get them to assess them using the key marking points – can they grade / level the work and give reasons why.  Another approach is to give them the different pieces of work and get learners to rank them and identify the main reasons why one was better than the other – can they give you the key marking points?

Common Errors:

Identifying common errors across a number of learners’ work is an important part of diagnostic assessment and links to other parts of the #5MinPlan – Re-teach; Student response to feedback and What should be changed in activity / SoW (scheme of work).


…is there an important part of the module, topic, lesson that learners just haven’t got.  Don’t worry it happens to all teachers.  The important thing is to spot the “gap” in learning and then go back and address it again.  Plan the re-teach: What, When, How & Why?

Student Response to Feedback Required?

Once you’ve spent time putting comments on learners’ work they must go back and either correct errors or redo areas of their work that needs improvement.  A good strategy is to give students time to correct / redo the work during the lesson when the work is handed back – this is a key part of them improving and learning.  Think about it, every student has a personalised action plan of ebi / ioti / a wish (or two) to work on.

What should be Changed in Activity / SoW:

Is there a gap between the learning you wanted and what actually happened when you looked at the work submitted by the learners?  Think about the activity or scheme of work – are some tweaks needed or a major rethink?  What do colleagues think who have also taught the activity / SoW?  This is a powerful way to improve the teaching programme whilst things are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Peer/Self Assessment Opportunities:

Learners need to develop these skills and it’s worth investing time in particularly as part of a whole school / department / phase approach.  Make sure the learners have the key marking points available to them.  Try to get to the point where before you mark a very important learner’s piece of work it has gone “self, peer, self” in terms of assessment & improvement before you look at it.

What should/should not be marked:

This can be a hard one for teachers.  We want to mark everything but quality and quantity can create problems.  Go back to “The Big Picture”.  Why are you marking, what will add most value to the teaching & learning?

Remember, there is no need to complete every box they are there as a guide for you to use.

With special thanks to the staff at Grieg City Academy who tested an early draft of the plan, and to Sam, Cathy, Jenna and Clair who produced a set of Key Stage 4 exemplars (PDF Resource) in just over five minutes, which is great going for the first attempt at using the plan, at very short notice.


With a bit of practice, the plan becomes more familiar and easier to use – we may need to rename it ‘The “sub” 5 Minute Marking Plan’ before too soon!

The last few weeks has been my first major “collaboration in the ether” with @TeacherToolkit and this has been central to producing the marking plan.  I hope it won’t be the last, as genuine collaboration is not just great fun, but can also benefit both parties.  If you ever want to show the power of collaboration here is the first draft that @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner managed to produce.

What an evolution!

The original plan:

Here is a link to St. Mary’s Catholic College Marking Policy posted here shortly. It will contain a bit of “pull, push and nudge” to try to ensure quality marking & feedback is given to all students.



Some post-feedback:

Mrs Murton ‏aka @DodoMurt:   "@NatashaRoberts5 presenting the #5minmarkingplan at @MeltonValeP16 staff inset."

Mrs Murton ‏aka @DodoMurt:
“@NatashaRoberts5 presenting the #5minmarkingplan at @MeltonValeP16 staff inset.”


About @TeacherToolkit

Award winning Deputy Headteacher who writes the Most Influential Blog on Education in the UK; nominated for The Sunday Times #Debretts500 Most Influential People in the UK 2015. Author of 100 Ideas: Outstanding Lessons and writer for The Guardian Education. Founder of @SLTchat and co-author of the #5MinPlan. Championed #TMLondon @MyEdHunt and @SLTeachMeet; plus one of first UK teachers to venture into the unknown, with pay-per-download teacher resources.


Comments are closed.

Classrooms Reached:

  • 2,918,435

Deputy Headteacher who writes the Most Influential Blog on Education in the UK; nominated for The Sunday Times #Debretts500 Most Influential People in the UK 2015.

NEW BOOK: Pre-Order Te@cher Toolkit

NEW BOOK: Pre-Order Te@cher Toolkit

Publication Date: 24th September 2015

Who am I?

... Who is behind @TeacherToolkit? ...

Join 104,471 other followers

500 Most Influential People in Britain

500 Most Influential People in Britain

Every Article; Right Here!

Every single blog listed

... Much more than you can read!

Read @TeacherToolkit Newsletters

Featuring over 50 UK blogs each month!

100 Ideas for Teachers

Buy 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers

Tried & Tested Classroom Ideas!

The 5 Minute Lesson Plan

Try The 5-Minute Digital Lesson Plan?

Follow #101Teachers

101 Teachers to Follow

101 Great Teachers to Follow ...

Tweeting Teachers Tips

Tips for Tweeting Teachers

for Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced.

Tips for Edu – Bloggers

Top 10 Tips for Edu-Bloggers

for Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced.

Watch @TeacherToolkit

Over 850,000 views on TES

Download my resources today...


Observational purpose?

What is the point of lesson observations?

Stepping away from formal one-off lesson observations. Your thoughts?

What is the future role of observations in England?

What is the future role of observations?

Are you a Great Teacher?

What makes a great teacher?

The Vitruvian Man: Do you recognise the dissection of a great teacher?

#Vamoose: I’m off!

Why "you should" upload your own teacher resources onto your own blog?

Why "you should" upload your own teacher resources onto your own blog?

Listen on @Spreaker?

A blog for the misunderstood ...

Follow on Facebook

Copyright Licence

Creative Commons License
@TeacherToolkit Ltd.
by Ross Morrison McGill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on all work published at

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104,471 other followers

%d bloggers like this: