Are you in the club?


So it is the end of the school day, the children have gone home and after picking up forgotten jumpers and abandoned pencils you prepare to mark your books.

All across the country teachers close  their doors and lay out their marking kit:

Stampers, highlighters, the rainbow selection of pens and the piles of books.

A marathon begins, take a few breathes and one by one the pile of books are marked. Time slows down, you sigh, you are tired, shut in a room which feels haunted by the earlier bustle of the day or

Maybe you are the teacher who shields your books from the wind and the rain as you load your car with marking to do at home... I guess we all do that from time to time.

It sounds like a lonely existence to me, it felt lonely but then maybe there's another way...

Let me introduce marking club...I know it doesn't sound very exciting! But bear with me....

1) invite some colleagues into your class

2) set up your marking kit as usual

3) decide on rota for cake/biscuits and coffee runs.

4) play list 

5) mark for 30 mins, rest for 10, mark for 30, rest for 10

6) rest = get up and be activity - my favourites are table tennis and catch.

The result?

I mark more! I know! Every 30 minutes I lose 10 minutes so I was surprised but, within those 30 minutes I'm focused and work more efficiently. What's more, when I  look up I see colleagues, my friends beating their pile too.

This doesn't have to be a whole school event, if it was it would probably be a different story to share...however, with the right mix of people it could sprinkle a little magic and before you know may even look forward to it!

My favourite part of marking club is feeling part of a team, we are all in this together! 

Author Profile

Jade Thomas

Jade Thomas

teacher...currently chasing adventure but a massive fan of staffrm!

52 stories


Pete Good Pete Good @goodpete 2 years ago
Love this idea. I'm going to suggest it to my team tomorrow. Thanks!
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
You are welcome, I intend to use this idea more at school. Myself and a colleague have definitely found it makes marking more pleasurable. Looking after each other's well being too. Let me know how it goes!
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 years ago
I simply love this Jade. Superb.

The first rule of marking club?
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
you do not talk about marking club!

Oops :-)
Thanks Mark
Abigail Mann Abigail Mann @abster 2 years ago
I really like this idea. Thank you for sharing! I'll take it to my colleagues tomorrow
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thank you Abigail.
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thank you Martin :-)
Linda  Hopkins Linda Hopkins @lindah 2 years ago
Great idea! Helps motivation!
Will give this a try :)
Stephen Lockyer Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer 2 years ago
Great idea. Anything to make marking at the end of the day more appealling. Easy on the highlighters though. And the legible handwriting.
(Ended up using hashtags in my marking today, which the children found hilarious and motivating. So why do I feel guilty?!)
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thanks Stephen! You used hashtags? Intrigued....
Rebecca Wylie Rebecca Wylie @rebecca 2 years ago
I love this. Will be suggesting if at my school. Great idea!
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
thank you Rebecca
Lesley Munro Lesley Munro @lesleymunro 2 years ago
Going to be trying this with my team. Thank you
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Myself and a colleague of mine meet up to mark regularly...when after school staff meetings allow! This week I'll invite more colleagues too :-) be great to hear back from you all - maybe some photos of your club when you get started!
Pete Good Pete Good @goodpete 2 years ago
I've bought the biscuits and we're starting marking club on Wednesday!
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
That's fantastic Pete! Let me know how it goes :-)
Val Quaye Val Quaye @missq 2 years ago
Such a fantastic idea, I will definitely be sharing it in my school.
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 years ago
I'm going to have to share this! Brilliant idea!
Ian Smith Ian Smith @mrsmith 2 years ago
Excellent idea!
Jonathan Bailey Jonathan Bailey @captainfantastic 2 years ago
Love this idea; thanks for sharing.
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thank you Jonathon and Ian :-)
Richard Woffenden Richard Woffenden @woffenden 2 years ago
We had our first marking club after school yesterday using you suggestions. It was great - thanks so much for sharing your idea.
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
That's fantastic news Richard! Nests marking alone doesn't it!
Paul Sturtivant Paul Sturtivant @paulsturtivant 2 years ago
I want a table tennis table in my classroom!!
Joseph coelho Joseph coelho @poetryjoe 2 years ago
This is a lovely suggestion. Going to have to try this technique as a means if getting kids to write poems! to then be markef in a similar way :)
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thanks Joseph! Would be interesting to see if technique works with children too :-)
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 years ago
A great idea. Some of the teachers at my school do this (1FE) and the atmosphere whenever you go into the classroom is great. I think marking clubs are great for morale and also a provide an opportunity for teachers to have a chat about their day in general.
Eve Reynolds Eve Reynolds @missr 2 years ago
So going to introduce this to my new school this term! Epic idea! :) thanks!
Rachel Barratt Rachel Barratt @rachelb 2 years ago
Me and a few friends do this but deem it a "marking party" - we once wore party hats - complete with marking kits, copious amounts of tea and YouTube; we work our way through books accompanied by cheesy tunes from our youth! Makes the marking much more bearable and efficient!
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
That sounds great Rachel! Cheesy tunes dug out ready for this weeks club :-)
Hannah Johnston Hannah Johnston @littlemisshistory 2 years ago
Love this idea! My friend held a marking party for the non-specialists in her department. She sent invitations and made party bags with all the resources they would need.
Kate Gater Kate Gater @kateg 2 years ago
Love this idea @missthomas Really brought a smile to my face on a Sunday evening! :-)
Jack Brown Jack Brown @tlmaths 2 years ago
I wish we had table tennis in our staffroom. Sounds like a fantastic idea!
Lisa Jimmison Lisa Jimmison @lisajimmison 2 years ago
This this is a fantastic idea - definitely going to try it
Shorny Malcolmson Shorny Malcolmson @shornym 2 years ago
Brilliant idea! Love the notion of 'all in it together.' And as you say, the regular breaks must make a real difference!
Emma Owen Davies Emma Owen Davies @emdavies 2 years ago
Love this idea, even though am a bit behind on the uptake! Am going to try and give a go in school definitely
Lucia Silva-Clark Lucia Silva-Clark @missclarkre 2 years ago
I did it with a colleague over holidays and sometimes after school - it is very nice - good idea to expand and bring more people.
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thanks Emma - let me know how it goes and if you add anything different. Lucia ...marking in holidays - we are thinking of extending it to report writing club over the hols.
Mark Boylan Mark Boylan @mgmboylan 2 years ago
Thanks for sharing the idea. Now want to set one up at school
Kerenza Jelbert Kerenza Jelbert @krenz77 2 years ago
Hee hee, love this idea! Not sure anyone at my school will go for it, but I'll try
Jade Thomas Jade Thomas @missthomas 2 years ago
Thank you! I suggest starting with one or two teachers and hope it spreads - others may get involved when they realise they are missing out on fun :-)
Richard Jones Richard Jones @iteachpri 2 years ago
I'm definitely going to start this with my new Key Stage Team! What a fab idea!! Thanks for sharing!
Sean Macnamara Sean Macnamara @1mrmac 2 years ago
Jade, thank you for sharing this. I'm going going to give this a try tomorrow with reports.
Su Chapman Su Chapman @chappers44 2 years ago
Aha! We start a new academic year this week. Going to suggest it to colleagues. P.S do you all mark in silence for 30 mins then talk?
Mary Evans Mary Evans @misse 2 years ago
Great idea :)
Sian Friend Sian Friend @missfriend 2 years ago
Love this! We quite often do this at school...and it really helps! Our breaks often result in youtubing 90's mega mixes and prancing around the classroom- the way forward if you ask me.
Samantha Hill Samantha Hill @missschill 2 years ago
Love it! We even bought a bell to ding when we've done a certain amount...very satisfying!
Jenna Lucas Jenna Lucas @jenna 2 years ago
I am definitely introducing a September marking club! Love this idea! Thanks Jade.
Gaz Needle Gaz Needle @gazneedle 2 years ago
Marking club sounds much better than the usual solitary confinement!
Kyra Tweddle Kyra Tweddle @w11wun 2 years ago
we tried "assessment club" at work. we fixed a time and day. we all agreed to it. first session, I turned up. (and so did another teacher, but it was his classroom, so that didn't count) that was it's only outing. the teacher who had been its driving force was always caught up in something else.
and yet the next term, undaunted he started "calf club" - 5 mins of whole staff calf raises at the end of the day. it had about 10 times as many meetings. go figure.

love the idea of breaking to do something fun, sociable and distracting.
Candace McColgan Candace McColgan @cmccolgan 2 years ago
Great idea. I will def try in Sept with my KS 2 colleague . Thanks for the idea
Danielle Ord Danielle Ord @danielleord 2 years ago
We love marking parties!!!,
Kate Erricker Kate Erricker @kerricker 2 years ago
Great post! I'm starting my own marking club this week. Will remember the biscuits and playlist now. Thank you!
Hamish Arnold Hamish Arnold @hamisharnold 1 year ago
Love this idea. I'm going to start this with my colleague tomorrow.
Annie Black Annie Black @annieblack01 1 year ago
I've just shared this with some colleagues on Facebook. We meet everyday to mark together, usually with sweets, but I love the activity idea.
{{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} {{ modalTitle }} {{{ modalData }}} Join the conversation
Sign in or sign up to post comments, follow colleagues, recommend stories and build your own professional profile.
Staffrm is the professional network for educators passionate about their work.
Please Sign In {{ modalData }} Sign In