Smart Goals

Goal setting is an important strategy to aim towards success – both for teachers to set goals for their class and for students to set individual positive goals which are achievable. Goals need to be specific, identifiable, reasonable, relevant and the outcome observed. In other words, they are:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant, Rigorous, Realistic, and Results Focused
T = Timely and Trackable

= SMART Goals

They take a bit of practice to get it right.

Specify a date, what will be achieved and what the benefit will be:

By (date) …

I will (what you wish to achieve) …

so that (why this is of benefit to self or your organisation

Here is an example of a SMART goal a teacher sets for a student:

Topic: Increasing sight vocabulary


Michael will increase the number of ‘tricky words’ that he reads from flash cards to 30 by week 6 term 4 with 100% accuracy on every occasion. (Leading to being able to read these words in texts)

For such a goal to be achievable, it would be necessary to apply intervention for example:


  • Daily practice and revision of target words on flash cards.
  • Present some of the target words in a text daily. (All words covered by end of each week)
  • Play a game with the target words like bingo/memory/go fish daily.
  • Provide parents with a copy of the words to practice at home.

SMART Goals can also be written to assist students in following procedures and managing behaviour. For example,

Peter will comply by following verbal instructions given one to one by the teacher during form class.


  • Whole class is given visual prompt for following instructions.
  • Positive, explicit instructions are given to Peter and what is to be done
  • Allow time for Peter to process the information
  • Check understanding by repeating instruction

More information on writing SMARTer goals can be found here.

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