Skip to content ↓


Importance of feedback

Feedback is an important part of the assessment process. It has a significant effect on pupil learning and has been described as “the most powerful single moderator that enhances achievement” (Hattie, 1999). 

To benefit pupil learning, feedback needs to be: 

Constructive: As well as highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of a given piece of work, it should set out ways in which the student can improve the work. For the pupil, it: 

  • encourages them to think critically about their work and to reflect on what they need to do to improve it 

  • helps them see their learning in new ways and gain increased satisfaction from it 

  • helps promote dialogue between staff and pupils. 

Timely: Give feedback while the assessed work is still fresh in a pupil’s mind, before the pupil moves on to subsequent tasks. 

Meaningful: It should target individual needs, be linked to specific assessment criteria, and be received by a pupil in time to benefit subsequent work. Effective feedback: 

  • guides pupils to adapt and adjust their learning strategies 

  • guides teachers to adapt and adjust teaching to accommodate pupils’ learning needs 

  • guides pupils to become independent and self-reflective learners, and better critics of their own work 

  • stimulates reflection, interaction and dialogue about learning improvement 

  • is constructive, so that pupils feel encouraged and motivated to improve 

  • has consequences, so that it engages pupils by requiring them to attend to the feedback as part of the assessment 

  • is efficient, so that staff can manage it effectively. 

Feedback is valuable when it is received, understood and acted on. How pupils analyse, discuss and act on feedback is as important as the quality of the feedback itself. Through the interaction pupils have with feedback, they come to understand how to develop their learning. 

Our feedback policy, that is followed by Balfour staff, is below and gives you a flavour of what to expect from your child’s teacher.