Pre-submission proof reading – student checks


Having heard on Twitter that some teachers are ‘refusing’ to mark student work until it has been proof read I started to think about my own practice.

Whilst I mark I would say that 70% of the actual pen on paper marking I do is spent on:

  • ‘Write the correct title’
  • Underline title (I have a stamper I got so sick of it)
  • Sp (spelling)
  • Cp (capital letter)
  • // (paragraphs) or ‘where are your paragraphs?!’

So I’ve decided I won’t be doing this much more. There are several ways of doing this but I’ve gone for a simple pre-submission check-list that I put on the board at the end of the lesson.


As you can see, I’ve decided for the students to have to confirm they’ve checked through the list by writing the final sentence at the end of their work.

With the first group that I did this with most students seemed active in editing their own work pretty quickly which is a great start.

I’ve also started doing a ‘keywords’ section in their essay planning. We’ve done this as a group so all students have the correct spellings of the important keywords in their books. This should mean that any spellings should be general spellings like connectives.

To put this in context I showed two of my groups this:

ks1 criteria

And asked them how old they thought the Government thinks you have to be to do this.

It’s criteria for end of key stage 1 (7 years old). There were gasps. My expectation will be that they always do this and after a while I may not have to put up the check-list on the board at the end of the lesson.

My success criteria for this new approach is the stamper becomes redundant and my time is mostly spent on asking developmental questions for them to complete their improvements on.

So for those of you that do DIRT or similar, maybe consider whether the work that is being submitted can be improved pre-submission. It may save you time and energy and enforces high expectations in written work. Well, at least key stage 1 expectations…

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