Resources · Teaching Strategies

Learning Intentions and Success Criteria

Learning intentions and success criteria have been a big focus for the staff at my school over the last few years and now that I have been incorporating them into my lessons, I can really see what all the fuss is about.

Learning intentions are brief statements that explicitly describe what students should know, understand and be able to do as a result of the learning and teaching (Catholic Education Office, Melbourne).

Success criteria describe, in specific terms and in language meaningful to students, what successful attainment of the learning intentions looks like (Catholic Education Office, Melbourne).

Learning intentions have great potential to benefit students and their learning significantly. They remove any ambiguity and help to keep the lesson focused.

When teaching and learning are “visible” – that is, when it is clear what teachers are teaching and what students are learning, student achievement increases – John Hattie.

Learning intentions encourage students to:

  • understand exactly what they are learning to do in that lesson and what is most important
  • articulate their learning
  • self assess their work
  • stay focused

Tips to help you incorporate learning intentions into your teaching:

  • State the learning intention early on in the lesson.
  • The learning intention needs to be visible. It may be on your interactive whiteboard or on a poster in the classroom (particularly long term goals).
  • The learning intention should be referred to throughout the lesson.
  • The teacher should ask the students questions about what they are learning/doing throughout the lesson.
  • Begin the learning intention with ‘we are learning to…’
  • At the end of the lesson, provide an opportunity for the students to reflect on their work in line with the learning intention. For example, students may record or orally state sentences using provided sentence starters and a provided key word from the learning intention such as ‘today I enjoyed using a 30 cm ruler to measure the length of objects in the classroom.’

Further Information


One thought on “Learning Intentions and Success Criteria

  1. Thank you for this information.I started my teaching practicals this year and i realised that it is important to ask lerners throughtot the lesson what are they learning. It makes it easier that when you assess them you realised that what you taught its understood.


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