Formative Assessment (CFU)


At St. Cuthbert’s, teachers use three forms of assessment:


•              day-to-day in-school formative assessment, which is also referred to as ‘Checking for Understanding’ (CFU);

•              in-school Summative Assessment, and;

•              nationally standardised Summative Assessment.


This section dals with day-to-day in-school formative assessment, which is also referred to as ‘Checking for Understanding’ (CFU).


Formative Assessment/Checking for Understanding


Formative Assessment is synonymous with Checking for Understanding. All Formative Assessment tasks should be planned and carried out by the class teacher. It is important to note here that the term ‘assessment’ does not mean ‘standardised test’. An ‘assessment’ is a means by which a teacher checks for student understanding and could refer to in-class questioning, subject knowledge quizzes, extended essays or practice examination questions.


Checking for Understanding will take place constantly within a lesson and will be used to inform teachers’ planning. Students will receive regular feedback, however, there is no expectation that this is always written. The regularity and type of CFU tasks and the feedback given will be determined and quality assured by each subject’s Curriculum Leader, in line with the nature of assessment in that subject.



At St Cuthbert’s we use three types of teacher feedback:


•              Verbal Feedback;

•              Live Feedback, and;

•              In-Depth Feedback.


There is no expectation that ‘feedback’ is always written. ‘Marking’ or ‘written feedback’ is just one method of providing feedback to pupils. What is most important from any feedback is that both the student and the teacher recognise and act upon any misconceptions and improve their work.



Verbal Feedback is a communication by the teacher to the student which enables them to move forward with their task.  Verbal feedback might be signposted with a (V) to evidence this feedback and remind the teacher and pupil of this.


Live Feedback


Live Feedback is usually completed by the teacher in red pen during the lesson, however Verbal Feedback is also a form of ‘Live Feedback’.  It provides immediate feedback for the student about the task in hand, challenging misconceptions and allowing the student to improve their work ‘in the moment’.


In-depth Feedback


In-depth Feedback is usually completed by the teacher in green pen.  In-Depth Feedback identifies what a student has learned/demonstrated within the assessment ‘task’.  It should also be checked for SPaG.  This should be subject specific and communicate what the student needs to do improve the task/skill being assessed.   The frequency of In-Depth Feedback tasks will be set departmentally.


Some In-Depth Feedback might take place as Whole-Class Feedback. The teacher may have read every students’ response in the class and noted down general misconceptions and/or mistakes and then use time the following lesson to address these and support students in improving their answers. Just because a teacher has not made a comment on a students’ work does not mean it has not been read, checked for accuracy or fed-back on.


Addressing SPaG errors


Teachers should address errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) whenever they occur but this should be explicitly evident during In-Depth Feedback. When addressing SPaG errors, teachers should use the following codes:



•              Teachers should highlight any mistakes in the piece of work;

•              Teachers should also write the appropriate code in the margin, and;

•              Where appropriate, students should show corrections.


Teachers will use their professional judgement when addressing SPaG errors. For example, if the same error has been made on a number of occasions, this might only be highlighted once on any given page. Common mistakes should be dealt with through ‘Do Now’ and Whole Class Feedback activities.

Action Targets (ATs)


Effective In-Depth Feedback can include a written comment which explains to students what they need to do to improve their work or use Action Targets (ATs).  Action targets should allow teachers to give specific feedback for generic mistakes and simply writing ‘AT1’ on a student’s work and highlighting what section of their work this AT applies to would suffice. What is most important is that the student takes action as a result of this feedback and improves their work.  Action Targets can be used when appropriate to the teacher and the assessment task – they are not compulsory.


Self/peer marking


Self/Peer assessed marking and feedback can take place within a lesson and can be completed in any colour but red or green



If a student is instructed to amend/rework/re-do/extend an answer this should be completed by the pupil in purple pen.  This is not a requirement for all In-Depth Feedback as the response may be more evident over the next few weeks’ learning rather than an initial response.  However, student responses to teacher feedback (Live, Verbal or In-Depth) should be regularly evidenced in purple pen in exercise books.

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