Target setting for secondary students

Sian Evans
14th December 2016
target setting, goal setting, SMART target setting, secondary school targets,KS3, KS4, KS5,Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13

Hand-picked resources to encourage students to evaluate their progress and set meaningful targets

Although target setting is a crucial part of getting students to reflect on their work and develop their potential, it can be a lot harder to convince them that it's worthwhile. Making sure that their targets are clear, concise and most importantly, achievable will help to focus attention and boost your pupils' confidence in any subject.

From whole-class lesson plans to teacher-led target setting, we’ve selected some of the top resources that will get your students to think about their progress beyond the generic answer of “I need to do better”.

Whole-class activities

Introduce your students to Smart target setting with this detailed presentation, filled with examples of how to convert simple targets into Smart ones. For a more creative approach, use this simple slideshow as a starting point to spark insightful mind map work as your class think about goals both in and outside of school.

For older learners, plan future goals by breaking them down into short- and long-term targets using this activity pack*. With planning templates and self-evaluation exercises, this resource is particularly useful for helping KS4 pupils think about their learning ahead of exams.

Resources for students

Encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own progression with this target-setting logbook, in which learners self-assess their attitude to work and from its results, create themselves monthly targets and action plans. 

Highlight the importance of targets to your new GCSE students with this aptly-named “moment of truth” worksheet. Challenge them to address their concerns and act upon them with this target-setting exercise, complete with a teacher worksheet. Alternatively, integrate SMART goal setting into the realities of answering exam questions using this adaptable learning mat.

Teacher-led target setting

Along with encouraging students to set their own targets, ensure that your feedback offers straight-forward, achievable targets for continuous progression. Coded target banks, as used in this MFL resource, can quickly provide pupils with targets for common mistakes, while these levelled marking stickers can be used for personal targets and to track progress visually.

Take this one step further by using these maths target tasks, which test learners' specific problem areas by getting them to address and learn from them straightaway. They are accompanied by strength cards to provide praise when target tasks are completed.  

Quick links

*This resource is being sold by the author

Don't forget to let us know if you've recently created a target-setting resource that's worth shouting about!


This post was originally published on 13 May 2015, and was refreshed on 14 December 2016.

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