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What is Success Criteria?

When we teach our students, it’s very important to give them a purpose and an understanding about their learning. We all need to know why we are doing something and with this knowledge we can become independent and develop our skills.

To that end then, we also need to know how to be successful. What is it exactly that allows us to achieve success?

Along with giving our students objectives in a lesson on what we hope them to achieve by the end of it, it is also a good idea to show them in detail what elements will lead them to success.

We call this success criteria. The actual elements needed to gain total success in a piece of work.

So for example, in an English lesson, we might ask our students to write a paragraph summarising a story. In order to be successful with this we can give our students elements that need to be included for a full and successful paragraph. E.g.

Success Criteria Does the paragraph contain:Tick/Cross
Events 
Characters 
Setting 
Resolution 
We could then ask students to peer assess their work to check for the success criteria elements.

This approach can be adopted for all subjects which then allows students to instantly self-assess their work; where they have been correct and where they need to improve.

Success criteria is a very important aspect of learning and having a growth mindset. It is quite demotivating when we cannot see a purpose or reason for doing tasks and this is no less true for our students.

Students can develop a growth mindset when learning in this style as they can see for themselves what it actually takes to be successful and as they progress through their learning then of course the success criteria will become more challenging and demanding.

We are equipping our students for life in this way.

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