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SMART targets for TS exemplar (primary)

Central to the trainee's progress and success is their achievement of developmental SMART targets. It is important the targets specifically address improving the quality of the trainee's teaching and pupils' learning over time. To support the creation of your SMART targets, see examples below.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Classroom is a stimulating environment where all children contribute
  • Tasks are relevant and engaging
  • Use of knowledge of pupils to challenge and support
  • Effective collaboration takes place
  • Stretching and challenging all pupils learning
  • Providing a positive role model for pupils
  • Establishing a safe stimulating and well managed environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect

SMART target examples

TS1: Improve the progress of higher attaining pupils by providing more challenging tasks for them.
Focus observations on how higher attaining learners are stretched. Identify clearly in my lesson plans how the needs of more able learners will be met, assess and review their learning in my evaluations.

TS1: Establish a stimulating environment in history – a WW1 story.
Plan to use range of imaginative learning styles, such as hooks, and resources to stimulate and motivate learners. Observe mentors teaching using creativity as a focus and create a list of creative strategies I can implement in my lessons.

TS1: Demonstrate and reward consistently the positive attitudes, values and behaviours, which are expected of pupils.
Read the school’s behaviour policy and use the school’s reward scheme for encouraging good behaviours. Observe mentor teaching and note how they use rewards as a tool for behaviour.

TS1: To promote pupils’ resilience, confidence and independence when tackling challenging activities.
Model clearly in my lesson the use of ‘challenge cards’ where children can select their own appropriate task and trying a ‘three before me’ system. Cards aim to promote independence. Review success of activity in my lesson evaluation.


What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Awareness of actual and expected outcomes
  • Seeks to use assessment to move children on
  • Questions are planned and used appropriately
  • Scaffolding of learning
  • Children taking responsibility for their learning
  • Taking responsibility for pupils' progress
  • Using pupils’ capabilities and prior knowledge to plan lessons
  • Encouraging pupils to reflect on the progress they have made
  • Demonstrating an understanding that pupils learn in different ways
  • Encourage pupils to take risks in their learning

SMART target examples

TS2: Use effective plenaries to review learning and progress made.
Observe how the class teacher reviews learning, celebrate achievement, identify misconception and move children on during plenaries. Plan for a 10-minute plenary at the end of all lessons taught this week. Consider more engaging ways to build on the pupil’s prior knowledge and review what they know e.g. interactive games.

TS2: Ensure more regular opportunities are provided for learners to review their understanding and achievements, so that they are fully aware of their progress.
Ensure planning identifies review points (mini plenaries) which revisit and review progress. Ask my mentor to focus on the effectiveness of these in observations of my teaching this week.

TS2: Understand the importance of using children's prior knowledge and understanding to plan future lessons.
Look at the NC to determine expectations of teaching fractions in the children’s previous and current year group. Look in the children’s books to see how fractions was taught previous this term and discuss with mentor any potential misconceptions which arose. Identify children’s prior knowledge of fractions at the start of the lesson.

TS2: Take account of how children learn and adopt effective scaffolding to ensure the best outcomes.
Observe the class teacher support pupil progress through use of effective scaffolding. In my lesson plans, detail how tasks and activities will be scaffolded to support pupil progress. Reflect on any misconceptions / misunderstandings that may have arisen. 

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Secure grasp of concepts, ideas. principles, processes
  • High quality resources engage and maintain positive learning
  • Children critically engage with subject matter
  • Using secure and up to date knowledge of the subject to engage pupils’ interest, enjoyment and motivation
  • Anticipating and addressing pupils’ misunderstandings/misconceptions
  • Using and promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard spoken English

SMART target examples

TS3: Ensure I am confident to use all the phonic sounds and pronounce them correctly.
Be confident with terminology prior to delivering any phonics lesson and answer questions confidently on the subject area. Practice phonetic sounds and ask the mentor to test me so that I know I am using them correctly.  Phonics Lead to observe and give me a full debrief next week.

TS3: Use mini plenaries to address misconceptions and guide learning.
When researching lesson, anticipate content which the children may find confusing and plan for effective questioning during mini-plenaries to check understanding. Review success and misconceptions that have arisen with mentor in next weekly meeting. Note how any misconceptions will be addressed in lesson.

TS3: Demonstrate a secure grasp of concepts/teaching points taught.
Research the L.O. of the lesson to be sure of the steps required to explain a concept or skill clearly. Discuss any questions about the L.O. with your mentor before you teach a lesson. Ensure teaching points are noted clearly on your lesson plans for next week.

TS3: Identify and use subject specific vocabulary when teaching.
Include specific subject vocabulary on my lesson plan for next week’s teaching. Indicate through my assessments the children that are able to understand or use the vocabulary.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Sequenced activities ensure progression
  • Content is clear and accessible
  • Point, purpose, pace evident
  • Enthusiasm and passion evident
  • Use of variety of methods to stimulate learning; collaborative/independent/paired
  • Developing pupils’ knowledge and develop understanding
  • Using lesson time effectively
  • Responding positively to pupils’ intellectual curiosity
  • Adapting and improving the lesson to suit the learning

SMART target examples

TS4: Use lesson time effectively.
Allocate specific timings for the segments of your lesson on your lesson plans. Set a timer so children do not remain on the carpet for too long at the start of lessons.

TS4: Use partner talk to stimulate learning.
Observe your mentor using partner talk during lessons. Add opportunities for collaborative learning to your lesson plan. Evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy used to stimulate learning.

TS4: Model content clearly and correctly.
Observe your mentor modelling tasks/activities to pupils. Note the number of stages and review points. When planning lessons, consider the different steps required to model a task effectively and accurately. Review at the end of the lesson considering how well the children understood the tasks set.

TS4: Ensure lesson plans are detailed and reviewed by mentor in good time.
Ensure each section of the St Mary’s University lesson plan is detailed has been considered. Email plans to my mentor to review 48 hours before they are required to be taught.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Awareness of what children already know and how is this used
  • Varied strategies for differentiation; inclusion evident
  • Demonstrates flexibility to challenge/extend/overcome barriers to learning
  • Awareness of level of engagement and attainment
  • Seeks to actively engage all pupils
  • Being aware of pupils’ individual needs including those with SEN and those of high ability; those with disabilities; those with EAL and using teaching approaches to engage and support all pupils’ learning and progress

SMART target examples

TS5: Establish the specific needs of SEND pupils in my class.
Arrange to speak with the SENDCO and discuss any EHCP plans in place for any children in my class. From discussions, consider how their needs could be met in the lessons I teach.

TS5: Note the specific ways in which my SEND learners are supported.
Focus my observations on my SEND pupils and meet with the TAs/LSAs who support them to discuss their needs in order to gain better understanding of any barriers to learning.

TS5: Evaluate the current progress of my SEND learners in order to plan to meet their needs.
Look carefully at the work produced by my SEND learners; identify the difficulties they face and how they are given feedback. Use my evaluations to support lesson planning.

TS5: Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils – focus on EAL pupils.
Use talk partners to support EAL children follow conversations and pictorial aids to help with confirming understanding. The EAL pupils progress will be noted on my lesson assessments form and progress made/not made discussed with mentor.

TS5: Know when and how to differentiate appropriately.
Develop the differentiation of tasks especially for those children who finish their work early. Include tasks for faster graspers in you lesson plans for English this week.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Understanding how to use different types of assessment to support pupils’ learning
  •  Children asked to explain thinking behind their answers
  •  Responds to children’s answers in a way that is encouraging and challenging
  •  Constructive feedback/takes immediate action/target setting
  •  Children are encouraged to reflect on learning, to peer/self-assess
  • Assess progress and develop learning
  • Use marking effectively to promote learning

SMART target examples

TS6: To use a range of formative assessment strategies to support children’s learning and to inform planning and teaching.
Use talk task activities to listen and engage with children to gauge understanding and progress. Adapt my teaching during the lesson in response to the level of understanding.

TS6: Set appropriate questions to build upon pupils’ capabilities and prior knowledge.
Use open ended questions to encourage higher level thinking (e.g. why… how do you know… what would happen if….) Plan for differentiated questioning to provide challenge for all ability groups.

TS6: Refer to clear success criteria throughout the lesson.
Discuss success criteria with your mentor before you teach a lesson. Ensure SC is noted clearly on your lesson plans for next week. Use SC to access if children made progress.

TS6: Mark effectively and write comments modelled by mentor.
Read school’s marking policy to understand how to write entries in children’s books. Look at comments written by mentor and create a ‘bank’ of comments

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Good relationship with children
  • Use of non-verbal communication
  • Challenging incidents are well handled
  • Clear instructions given in terms of expectations of behaviour/safety
  • Transitions are managed effectively
  • Following and having clear rules and routines for good behaviour in the classrooms
  • Using praise, sanctions and rewards consistently and fairly
  • Maintaining good relationships with pupils’, exercising appropriate authority, and acting decisively and fairly when necessary

SMART target examples

TS7: Establish better routines at the end of lessons so that classroom management is positive throughout and the end of lesson review of learning isn’t rushed.
Make notes when observing other staff to identify strategies used to ensure an orderly and positive end to lessons. Check my lesson plans to give sufficient time for this.

TS7: Inspire and maintain pupils’ attention and interest through the use of your voice.
Vary the volume and pitch of your voice along with speed of delivery (try whispering instructions at times and then projecting your voice at other times). Use a clear voice and articulate well.

TS7: Ensure smooth transitions so that children can access their learning efficiently.
Use clear instructions and stagger movement (e.g. 1 group at a time) so that children are clear where they are going and who they will be working with. Ensure resources are ready, accessible and fully prepared before the start of the lesson.

TS7: Establish a clear routine at the start of each lesson.
Observe how the class teacher manages the start of lessons and note down each step so I can replicate it. Itemise step by step instructions so that children are clear what good listening/ sensible transitioning will look like.

TS7: To minimise low level disruption during PE lessons.
Model behaviour that matches the tasks you are asking of children (whisper voices/ partner voices/ collaborative group roles/ listening ears etc). When stopping the class, ensure children are not talking over me and asking them to put down any equipment.

TS7: Clearly refer to classroom rules, in line with school policy.
Display rules at the start of each lesson this week. Remind pupils regularly of my expectations. 

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Awareness of needs of the class and maintaining good relationships
  • Lesson plans shared with colleagues expertise of others utilised
  • Acts upon previous advice and feedback
  • Deploying support staff effectively
  • Responding to advice and feedback from colleagues from previous observations

SMART target examples

TS8: Deploy support staff effectively.
Share planning with support staff to encourage them to support and facilitate children’s learning. Spend time post lesson to review TA feedback/assessments of the children they were working with.

TS8: Shadow an extra-curricular club to contribute to the wider life and ethos of the school.
Support my mentor’s gardening club on Thursdays until the end of school experience. Build a good rapport with children in other classes to understand other’s learning needs.

TS8: Communicate effectively with parents about learners’ needs and well-being.
Dismiss the children at the end of the day confidently answering any questions that may arise from parents. Ask one child each day to invite their parent/carer into the classroom to discuss work which was produced during the day.

TS8: Act on previous advice and feedback.
Responding to advice and feedback from colleagues from previous observations and make notes on lesson plans for next week – recognising my areas for improvement to encourage pupil progress.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • Treating pupils with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s professional position.
  • Having regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions.
  • Showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others.
  • Not undermining fundamental British values, including: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • Ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit pupils’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law.

SMART target examples

P2(I): Maintain high standards of behaviour in line with the school’s social media policy.
I will read and abide by the school’s social media policy which aims to keep everyone safe. Therefore, being aware not to discuss anything to do with school, pupils or other staff members, or posting photos of school events online. Using the tightest privacy settings possible.

P2(I): Abide by the staff dress code in line with the school policy.
I will read and abide by the staff dress code policy.  I understand whilst it is important for staff to exercise choice in the clothing they wear to work, there is a need for clothing to be appropriate for working with children. I am aware members of staff are role models and model the behaviours we wish children to promote, thus members of staff need to lead by example when it comes to dress and appearance.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • The trainee’s conduct demonstrates a highly professional approach to teaching, understanding and demonstrating that their own conduct is appropriate at all times.
  • The trainee reads, understands and applies school policies at all times, e.g. health and safety, risk assessments before trips, homework, etc.
  • The trainee is punctual for school, lessons, meetings, etc.
  • The trainee always informs the school/colleagues of reasons for any non-attendance involving his/her teaching obligations or other professional meetings and responsibilities in line with school policy.
  • The trainee’s language and dress are highly professional and in line with school policy.

SMART target examples

P2 (II) I will maintain high standards of punctuality on school experience.
I will arrive at school at 8.00am and stay to (at least) 5.30pm as required. Being onsite until (at least) 5.30pm will confirm my attendance with parents’ consultation meetings, staff meetings, out of school activities and professional dialogue with my mentor as required.

P2 (II) I will maintain high standards of attendance on school experience.
I can only be absent in cases of genuine illness, family crises, unavoidable appointments or interviews and will provide medical/other certification. If I am absent, I will inform my CBM, Link Tutor and update my Abyasa account using the ‘Student Absence’ tab.

What is your mentor looking for? Standard-related ideas to get started:

  • The trainee is able to articulate, and abide by, the roles and responsibilities of the teacher in relation to statutory frameworks.
  • The trainee is aware of his/her responsibilities in relation to, for example, equality legislation, duties and safeguarding.
  • The trainee is able to judge when they may need advice and help in matters of Child Protection or confidentiality.

SMART target examples

P2 (III) I can articulate the Prevent strategy.
Read over University notes and research DfE guidance in order to explain the Prevent strategy and its implications to my mentor at my next weekly meeting.

P2 (III) I can articulate the school’s Safeguarding policy.
At my next weekly meeting, explain the Safeguarding policy and who is the Safeguarding Lead. Articulate what I would do should a child discloses information to me/ I was concerned about pupils’ well-being in the classroom.