May 25

If you are a parent reading this blog you may not have heard of the concepts of Learning Goals and Success Criteria.   Together they are essential components of teaching, assessment and evaluation.  The Growing Success document from the Ministry of Education defines each as:

Learning Goals (p. 148, Growing Success):  “Brief statements that describe for a student what he or she should know and be able to do by the end of a period of instruction (e.g., lesson, series of lessons or subtask). The goals represent subsets or clusters of knowledge and skills that the student must master to successfully achieve the overall curriculum expectations”.

Success Criteria  (p.155,Growing Success): “Standards of specific descriptions of successful attainment of learning goals developed by teachers on the basis of criteria in the achievement chart, and discussed and agreed upon in collaboration with students, that are used to determine to what degree a learning goal has been achieved. Criteria describe what success “looks like”, and allow the teacher and students to gather information about the quality of student learning”.


Why are learning goals important?  Essentially they set the bar for the lesson.  It describes what they are going to learn, how deeply they will learn it and how to demonstrate what they have learned.   Marzano stated “The starting place for all effective instruction is designing and communicating clear learning goals”.


Why are success criteria important?  Essentially they summarize key steps the students need to accomplish the fulfill the learning goal.   They improve understanding, empower pupils, encourage independent learning and enable teachers and peers to provide accurate and timely feedback.

So as you walk around the school, speak to teachers  or listen to the students you will probably hear lots of talk around learning goals and success criteria.

Below are an example of a Learning Goal and Success Criteria







Leave a Reply