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Banish the Copying of Learning Objectives

A simple way to abolish the pointless writing out of learning objectives within learning time.

All you need to do is on a Word document or equivalent, the teacher types out the learning objective next to a number. This starts with 1 and increases by 1 for each objective throughout the year. The children just write LO 1 or LO 35 as instructed by the teacher in their books instead of writing out the learning objective. When there is a book scrutiny, just print off the document which will show each learning objective numbered 1 to whatever and whoever is scrutinising the books can match up the LO 35 to the objective listed in chronological order on the document. The teacher only types the LO out the once and the pupils save 47 hours of learning time each year.

If there’s a better way, leave a comment and share!

Written whilst standing on a packed train, will pad out later!

November 22, 2013


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  1. Kevin McLaughlin
    November 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Easy – children don’t write them out. Solved. LO’s are only necessary for SMT checklists. Nothing more nothing less. They are not a legal requirement and Oftsed don’t need to see children pointlessly transcribing them into books.

    But then you know what I’m like šŸ˜‰

  2. Shaun Hopper
    November 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Great idea ! But you’ll have objective number 1-100 (maybe) for Maths, Writing, objective number 1-30 for re, history, geography, etc. still, I like the idea. Something I will share. I don’t particularly like sharing the objective, if the kids don’t know by the end of the lesson what you wanted them to achieved, you haven’t achieved it!

  3. James
    November 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I have a slip that I type, along with the s.c.and the date. This is trimmed amd just stuck in the book. Simple

  4. Debbie Swain
    November 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Teacher prints out lesson LO, pupil reads, pupil self assesses at start of lesson, learning happens, pupil self assess at the end and hopefully pupil has made progress and can show it! I do this for literacy and maths objectives.

  5. John Halliburton
    November 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    All you need are the A4 sheets of 7×3 address labels, you can print off a sheet of 21 labels with all of the LO on each one. When marking you can highlight the ones achieved.

    • Mags
      November 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      It is not the LO that is the issue. My children quite enjoy deciding what they think the LO is during the lesson and then good handwriting and presentation practice to write it out and underline it. It is the SC that is my Achilles heel! More and more teachers seem to be using sticky labels to print and stick in to books for every lesson every day…surely not!

  6. Sian Friend
    November 23, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I do a very similar thing to James but in some of our classes the children don’t write/stick their learning objective in at all… However, the LO is shared and referred to throughout the lesson. Our marking comments also refer to the learning objective so this is covered and in work scrutiny we have copies of the planning which detail the levelled learning objectives for each group. So as long as the children write the date, we can easily match these up.

    Children do need to have a good understanding of their learning in order to know where they are at the beginning and how they progress throughout different points of the lesson. My children have started graded their learning from 1-10 against the learning objective at different points in the lesson. Great for showing rapid and sustained progress.

  7. mrbanksy
    November 23, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Good idea but what about each lesson 1 page A4 with same obj x30. Students pass around and cut and stick in their books as they arrive.will focus them on lesson.

  8. Rob Butler
    November 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I don’t ask the students to write them down. We use learning outcomes to three levels and students may move between these so giving them in advance could be very restrictive (as well as time consuming as you need them all up front)

  9. Miss O
    December 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    We stick in a label for Literacy with space for the children to self-assess (using smiley faces for how they feel and H / M / I to indicate whether they completed the work with a High level of help, Medium level of help or Independently) and write the LO in for our afternoon sessions. I find that this time settles everyone in whilst I do the register so that children are calm, ready to go and thinking about our aims by the time I am ready to start. Best of both worlds!

  10. Mandy
    January 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Great ideas. We have narrowed down the OLIs to 8 for writing, 7 for reading and 7 for maths so often it’s the same one for a block of learning.

  11. Wendy
    February 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    We write a title because the at is what happens in the real world, in all genres of writing
    . We often think of it together after intro to learning and make it as short and consise as pos e.g Area or Using Adjectives.

    There may be a question or success criteria check list for children and me to use to reflect on learning at the end of the piece and children use this to edit in diff colour pen.

    For me – and I will prob be in minority here – I could not bare to talk and write ” learning objectives” every lesson of every day. It becomes wallpaper and limits instead of enhances learning.

  12. Jan
    September 24, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    Brought this up in the staff room myself the other day after hearing how Ofsted had told a ‘good’ school that it was wasn’t a good use of the pupils’ time . Staff all nodded and agreed. Deputy scoffed and suggested they just write faster. Apparently that’s the end of that discussion.

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