Claire Duffy

Primary Teacher

All Saints Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when I introduce SMART targets to my pupils?


The idea behind this Practitioner Enquiry was, in what ways could I raise the children in my class’ self-esteem and subsequent attainment. Taking stance from Carol Dweck’s (2007) notion of growth mindset and latterly the work of McLean focusing on ‘The Motivated School’ (2009), I decided to incorporate the principles of Growth Mindset whilst target setting, keeping in line with the Curriculum for Excellence Framework. The hope being that by raising the children’s self-esteem, through the use of SMART targets, they would feel confident in themselves and their ability to develop as lifelong learners. I developed my interest in children’ self-esteem mostly over the last two years, due to teaching in two schools at opposite end of the attainment spectrum, but still finding that being children’s self-esteem was a significant challenge.


The aim of the enquiry was to evaluate whether asking the children to identify a maths individual SMART target at the beginning of each lesson, could have any impact on their self-esteem in maths and indication of improved attainment, over time.

Download Practitioner Enquiry