School bans teachers from using red pens to avoid being ‘negative’ to pupils

March 20, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A school has banned teachers from marking work with red ink – because it is a “a negative colour”.

Staff at the specialist sports and community college will be told to use green pens instead and pupils will be encouraged to respond to the comments in purple.

The new colour scheme is designed to boost a dialogue between teachers and students at the Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance, Cornwall.

Jennie Hick, vice principal, said: “Switching to the new marking system is certainly not about us going all soft and fuzzy.

“Students make more progress if it is a dialogue and the new system is designed to help that.

“A teacher will make two or three positive comments about a student’s homework and point out perhaps one thing that will take them to the next stage.

“A lot of us in the past have skimmed over the teacher’s comments and just looked for the final overall mark but by asking students to respond with purple pen forces them to read the teacher’s comments and helps them to create a real conversation.

“A lot of primary schools are already using a similar system amazingly well and I think it was felt that red ink was a very negative colour.”

But Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said he did not agree.

“In my own experience of 35 years in teaching is that children actually prefer teachers to use red ink because they can read comments more easily,” he said.

Category: News

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