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What is a Learning Objective / WALT?

What is a Learning Objective / WALT?
Heard your child talk about their LO, or their WALT? Teachers use learning objectives to help children understand what is expected of them in the classroom. Find out what a learning objective (or WALT) is and how learning objectives are used in primary school.

What is a Learning Objective / WALT?

Every lesson taught in school should have a learning objective.

A learning objective is, quite simply, what the teacher wants the children to have learnt or achieved by the end of the lesson.

The learning objectives is sometimes referred to as the 'WALT' standing for 'We are learning to….' (more child-friendly!).

How are learning objectives used in the primary classroom?

A teacher will usually have the learning objective written on the board at the beginning of the lesson. The learning objective needs to be shared with the children, so that they know what is expected of them during the lesson.

Teachers usually write learning objectives on their lesson plans, making clear what they are trying to achieve with the children in each lesson.

Here is an example of a literacy lesson plan:

Learning objective: To write questions about an animal

Main teaching:

  • Re-cap on what the children learnt last week when looking at information texts. Show the children examples of all the features we looked at last week.
  • Show the children a picture of an animal on the IWB, does this picture show me much information? What questions could we ask to find out more information?
  • Encourage children to ask questions about the animal.  Write these around the picture.

Independent work:

  • Lower ability group: Support from TA in thinking of a question, which TA scribes for children to copy.
  • Middle ability group: Write their own two questions on animal.
  • Higher ability group: Support from teacher. Encouraged to think of questions starting with who, what, why, how and when.

Each group to stand up and tell the rest of the class what animal they have and some of the questions they would like to find out.

When children do their independent learning, they are often asked to write the learning objective at the top of their page. Alternatively, they may be given a sheet with the learning objective written on it, which is stuck in their books.

Teachers usually set aside five or ten minutes at the end of the lesson for a 'plenary'.

This when the learning is 'rounded up' and may consist of children sharing what they have done and discussing what they have learnt. The teacher will refer back to the learning objective at this stage, so children are kept aware of the purpose of the lesson. They also ask the children various questions to assess whether they think the learning objective has, on the whole, been achieved.

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