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Aims And Learning Objectives


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One of my staff is currently training and in her planning has to identify both the aims and the learning objectives of an activity. The rest of us are struggling to differentiate between the 2. Can anyone clarify.





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I completely sympathise with you! In my school we used to have both, and luckily in the year I started there, we cut it down to just one - as "yes", they do overlap.


Good luck on the hunt for some useful advice!

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When I was doing my NVQ3 (know it's slightly different!) we had to write the aims of the activity; what we intended to do throughout the activity, how we wanted it to go/be carried out, the direction we wanted the children to take, our role in the activity. We also had to write what we wanted the children to gain from the activity.


The learning intentions were taken from the CGFS based on LT/MT/ST plans, making sure they were relevant to the aims we had written for the activity, if that makes sense!

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Guest Really

Learning Objectives are statements that describe what a learner will be able to do as a result of learning. They are sometimes called learning outcomes. Learning Objectives are also statements that describe what a learner will be able to do as a result of teaching.


Aims are general statements concerning the overall goals, ends or intentions of teaching. Objectives are the individual stages that learners must achieve on the way in order to reach these goals.


Aims are general, objectives are specific.


Hope this helps a little. :o


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I understand Aims as the "What" and as Really say's are general, and the objectives as the "How"

which is more detailed.


Aims can have 'general' statements:


To become aware of................

To be introduced to...............

To consider............................

To enjoy.................

To compare................

To know............


These statements can include knowledge, skills or attitude ( or all three) and from this will determine the teaching style and how it is assessed.


Consider the activity of painting


The aim could be


To become aware ( attitude/interest) of primary colours (knowledge)


Objective could be.


To explore a palette of yed, yellow and blue paints using chosen tools for mark making


The teaching role in this would be to provide the resources, gain childs interest to the area and name the colours.

Assessment would be how interested the child was and whether child was beginning to learn the colour names.


at a higher level the Aim and objective would would change to include maybe more knowledge and skills ( as attitude / interest to learning about colours has been established)





To know that primary colours can be mixed to produce secondary colours.




To mix two (skill) primary colours (knowledge) and predict what colour will emerge.


The teaching role in this would be to provide the resources, to demonstrate only to mix 2 different primary colours, and to ask predictive questions.

Assessment would be how successful the childs predictions were and how well (skill) they were able to mix the colours independently after following the teachers demonstration.


Final evaluation of the activity can include the childs achievement, knowledge etc but also the teaching skill and whether the teaching style ( informed by the objective) was the best one for 1/ the child and 2/ for achieving the aim.


Hope this helps and doesn't confuse.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Whitetree... I remeber getting very confused about this (with everyone else) whilst studying. I think it begins to look really confusing when you peel away the simple terminology and look beneath the surface. (I imagine this is how children feel when learning a new concept!)

Still get confused ....... but really liked Peggy's explanation. It makes so much sense to me that I've printed it of for times of self doubt and confusion in my planning! (Thankyou Peggy)

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