Targets

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Making target setting meaningful and manageable is something I’ve struggled with for years.

Not so much the actual setting of the targets but the recording, management and storage of them.

Over the years I’ve used bookmarks, stickers, target books, targets on walls, booklets and I’ve never really been 100% happy with any system.

I’ve toyed with the idea of going electronic but decided it would be IT for the sake of IT.

I thought I’d cracked it when we started writing them in the backs of homework diaries but someone lost their diary, then sometimes the diaries weren’t in school and it just didn’t promote the home school link I was aiming for.

Currently my pupils have a target sheet. It’s A4 and at the top it reminds them that they need to be setting SMART targets and clarifies what a SMART target is.

They are stored in A4 wallets along with their reading record, ICT record and LNF sheets. These are kept in the classroom and are easily accessible.

Once a week we spend 15 minutes updating them (GRIT – guided reflection and improvement time)

During this time all the pupils get their folders out and spend time looking at their target sheets, they get out their books and cross reference targets with marking – I encourage them to talk to one another and ask and answer questions

Have I achieved this target?
If not why not?What do I need to do to succeed here?
Is this target still relevant to me

I also get them to scribble down an update – if the target is to use paragraphs to organise written work a comment might say

I’ve remembered to do this in my Literacy book, but I haven’t done it in my RE book.

The sheets can be messy, I don’t mind that, I consider them a working document. Sometimes the comments influence my planning.

If three weeks has passed and they haven’t completed a target or made a comment they have to come and talk to me so we can work out what they need to do next.

The folders are always accessible, and I encourage them to update them outside and refer to them during the week.

But do you know, I’m still not happy with the system.

It works for some pupils and they refer to their targets and take responsibility for updating them and challenging themselves but I know that there are a handful who don’t benefit from the process at all so I need to do better and find something that works for them.

Writing this has made me realise that in all the times I’ve reinvented the wheel I have never once asked the pupils how they think we can make this process helpful and effective.

I guess that’s where I need to go next.

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