Lesson planning

4 January 2023

How to provide effective feedback on assessments and mock exams

Melanie McGhee

School Support Officer

As you return back to school, planning high-quality feedback from exams and assessments will be at the forefront of your mind.

Giving feedback is a necessary and sometimes heavy workload, particularly for GCSE mocks. End of term and end of year assessments require a great deal of thought and organisation. Tailoring resources and planning to reteach topics can incur extra workload in your already busy schedule, particularly when you’re resourcing and planning for new topics.

In this blog, we explore how you can revolutionise your feedback planning, without adding to your workload.

Reteach and repeat

In Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success, he suggests that an estimated 1,000 hours are required in order to achieve mastery in any skill. While practice may not always make you perfect, there is no denying that it will increase your chances of success.

Pupils require continued repetition and reteaching in order to close knowledge gaps. Teacher feedback is an important component of this repetition in order to improve pupil learning.

Although you may not have capacity for 1,000 hours of it, scheduling in time to reteach required topics after mock exam results and summative assessment can be an invaluable way of making sure pupils are increasingly confident and proficient in their academic endeavours.

Save time preparing to reteach topics by making modifications rather than creating new resources from scratch. There are a number of organisations and teaching communities that provide readily available resources to build from.

If you're using Oak as your starting point you can easily download slides, worksheets and quizzes that you can adapt to suit the needs of your class or use to refresh existing lesson plans. Search by topic to find slides, worksheets and quizzes.

Address common misconceptions and needs

Although all pupils will have individual strengths and areas to improve, there will certainly be common areas of growth that you can address. Time with your classes is precious, so you need to use it wisely.

Explore common themes through whole-class summative feedback to ensure that opportunities to provide your expert analysis are maximised.

Consider the misconception teaching that will make the biggest impact for the most pupils. Quickly capture misconceptions while boosting pupils’ confidence through continued formative assessment, which can be as simple as a quiz.

There are many options you could choose to source your quizzes, including Oak. Use our 'project in class' feature and complete a quiz with the whole class. It will save you time and enable you to accurately diagnose pupils' knowledge gaps.

You’ll find intro and exit quizzes in many of our lessons, across KS2, KS3 and KS4. Search our lessons to find what you need.

Keep it simple for your pupils

In order to help pupils respond to feedback and build new skills, opt for depth over breadth in the next steps you provide. Small yet high-quality chunks of feedback will ensure that pupils are able to clearly understand their next steps and take tangible actions in order to progress.

Depth over breadth will make feedback accessible and high-quality. Not only will this approach scaffold for pupils who need support, but precise and targeted feedback can also stretch those who need challenge.

You are all making progress together

Knowing your class and their individual needs is key to supporting your pupils and providing the best possible feedback. Likewise, your pupils' access to excellent teaching and support is paramount. Progress is not always a linear journey, but each step forwards is vital to achieving the outcomes both you and your pupils deserve.

Tell us how you get on

Are you planning to adapt Oak to provide feedback this Spring Term? We’d love to hear your ideas and feedback on Twitter using the hashtag #FeedbackWithOak.