Introducing Student Set Targets

Dear parents of secondary DBIS students,

I would like to start by reiterating how pleased the whole of my team is that our students will be able to return to school soon. I would also like to thank those parents who were able to either attend our Year 7-9 and Year 10-13 Parent Focus Group meetings this week, and also to those who were unable to attend but offered valuable feedback on our online learning provision. It is very clear to the whole of the secondary phase team that the ongoing feedback and support from our parents have helped us to continually improve our online learning provision.

We are very focused this academic year on supporting DBIS secondary students to take more ownership of their learning and as part of this process we have introduced student set targets. These are well regarded as a positive way to enable students to increase ownership of their learning, through the process of students setting academic targets, with the support and guidance of their teachers and tutors, and then in turn reviewing and reflecting on the progress that they have made against their set targets. There is also a wide body of academic research that clearly shows that this supported target setting process, with reflection and opportunities to create increasingly effective approaches to learning, has a significant impact on student outcomes. Student set targets are intended to follow the SMART targets acronym, which means they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Secondary students were introduced to set their own academic targets through their respective Year assemblies on Monday and have followed up with dedicated time in both tutor time and in their various subject lessons throughout the week. This time was focused on supporting them to have a clearer idea about the reasons for the introduction of student set targets this year as well as what they should look to focus on when creating their targets. Teachers will have shared examples of targets for their subject areas for Year 7-9 students to help them have some more ideas about what would be a suitable target for them. For the older students, the targets will have a greater focus on what they will need to do to achieve the grades that they want in their respective subjects. They will now be able to use the next two weeks to create and write their individual subject targets in their student diary. This will often be through the teacher asking students to have a brief separate one-to-one Google Meet during the lesson, where their teacher can discuss their proposed targets and offer them guidance about this and how they can look to achieve it. They will continue to be in their online lessons and be working in a similar way as they have been since the start of the academic year. 

I warmly encourage you to look at the information in your child’s diary about the target setting process, including the part explaining the next stages where students will reflect, receive teacher feedback and write their planned follow up actions. Students will write these later entries into their diary further in the academic year. The guidance about the process throughout the year is on page 9 of their student diary and the first page that they fill in for their targets is on page 10. I have also provided links to these pages below for your reference:

Link to the guidance on Student Target Setting in DBIS student diaries

Link to a page where students write their personally set Student Targets in the DBIS student diaries

For your reference I have included the intended timeline for the student target setting process throughout the academic year below:

  • Student set targets introduced to students on Monday 7 September by their respective Heads of Year and then built upon by their tutors and subject teachers during the same week.
  • Students then decide on their targets with the support of their teachers and tutor over the following two weeks. Once they are finalised students will write their subject targets into their student diary.
  • Students will have their first opportunity, with the support of their teachers and tutors, to reflect on their targets, receive teacher feedback and then update their planned actions in November or December.
  • Students will for a second time reflect on their targets, and receive teacher feedback before updating their planned actions again in February and March.


We appreciate that this is likely to be a new process for many of our students and you may not be familiar with this yourself. If you would like any support or guidance with this process, please contact your child’s tutor or their Head of Year. I have included the email addresses of all of the Heads of Year below.


Head of Year 7 Morag Armstrong [email protected]
Head of Year 8 Tracey Smal [email protected]
Head of Year 9 Samantha Hine [email protected]
Head of Year 10 Nicholas Moore [email protected]
Head of Year 11 Tom Lemon [email protected]
Head of Sixth Form

(Years 12 & 13)

Emma Cerrone [email protected]


Kind regards,


Simon Oakley

Head of Secondary