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School Development Service

Leadership and Management


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Writing Objectives

Writing objectives can be a daunting task. In fact many teachers find this the most difficult part of PRSD

Writing a performance objective

The scheme states

Before or at the start of the review cycle, the reviewer and reviewee shall meet to plan and prepare for the review and seek to agree three personal/shared objectives covering the areas of professional practice, pupil and curriculum development and the personal and professional development of the teacher and relate to the school development plan.  Objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound” PRSD scheme 4.4b

Before starting to write an objective it is important to consider the focus of objectives.  Objectives can be set at a variety of levels of challenge.  It is important that reviewers and reviews begin to structure the objectives so that they are considered to be challenging.  Many teachers are already setting challenging objectives for pupils on a daily basis and are continually creating classroom situations that provide high and demanding standards of pupils through challenging learning activities.  A similar principle can be incorporated here.

The focus of objectives

The emphasis on creating challenging objectives for teachers through the review process will inform the focus of PRSD objectives.  The objectives should begin to focus on regenerating or improving the day-to-day workings and effectiveness of the classroom and pupil achievement.

Effective objective setting is key to making PRSD a success in schools and the role of the reviewer in writing effective objectives is vitally important.

The scheme requires that objectives relate to the school development plan  and that they should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound).

The focus of the objectives can be considered at four levels and may contribute to identifying if an objective contributes to improving and regeneration

Reviewers and reviewees should be establishing objectives that are considered high level.  Objectives that are clearly improving or regenerating practice.

  • Improving is about taking an aspect of the teachers day-to-day work and moving it into the high level objective zone.
  • Regeneration is about taking one, two or all of the PRSD criteria and totally rethinking the process.  E.g. some schools are regenerating the marking of books by asking teachers to not use grades and to use comments only, which will help students learn better in the future.

Differentiating Objectives

Higher Order Objectives – Challenging and SMART and related to SDP
Middle Order Objectives – SMART and related to SDP
Lower Order Objectives – Vague and imprecise

Examples of Higher Order Objectives for teachers

Pupil and Curriculum Development Criterion


To ensure that all pupils (except those on the SEN register) improve their average score in AT1 literacy assessment tasks by the end of the year. 

  • Links to areas for development within the SDP
  • Objective is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound
  • Objective is in the improving zone and therefore challenging
  • Success criteria can be developed
  • Monitoring processes can be established


All subjects

To integrate ICT into the learning and teaching strategies for all classes throughout the next academic year with a particular emphasis on utilising the C2K and LNI developments happening concurrently in the school.

  • Links to areas for development within the SDP
  • Objective is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound
  • Objective is in the regenerating zone and therefore challenging
  • Success criteria can be developed
  • Monitoring processes can be established including classroom observation

Care needs to be taken so that maximum effect can be obtained from the process

Objectives need to be:

Appropriate to individual teachers

An objective set for one teacher may not suit another. It may be too difficult or too easy.It may not be linked to the responsibilities and duties of another member of staff.

It is important to note that inappropriate objectives quickly lead to disaffection of staff, either through boredom, or through stress. Reviewers need to be aware of this so that staff feel a sense of achievement through effort at the end of the process

The following Objectives Checklist you may find useful when writing objectives

These GTCNI competencies may help all staff in the writing of objectives.
View the recent Professional Standards set for teachers in England and Wales. You can also access the more recent professional standards at GTCNI

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