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Setting Goals

Using the Fagus Developmental Resources to measure progress

The Developmental Guides, Developmental Checklists and Developmental Profiles can be used to establish a child’s developmental progress within a particular emotional/social domain and determine whether the child is behaving in a way which is characteristic of their age.

The Developmental Profiles can be used to track the child's emotional and social progress over time by repeating some or all of the checklists.   It is recommended that the profiles and checklists are updated at least on an annual basis (e.g. before the pupil's annual review).  Save the data from your original profile and compare it to the updated profile.

You can use the Developmental Checklists to review progress when you have set a child's target and goals which relate to a specific behaviours.    You can save your answers from the 'Review Results' for individual checklists and compare it to the updated data.

If you are concentrating on a specific social and emotional domain, they you can use the Developmental Guides on their own or with the check tool.  By flicking through the Guides teaching staff can identify which behaviours a child is failing to demonstrate and what they would like to improve. Using this information they can set a goal for the child, based on what would be expected to happen next in typical development.

The goal setting process involves the following stages:

  1. Determine the emotional/social area(s) that the pupil struggles with.
  2. Prioritise the most important area(s) for development.
  3. Establish the pupil’s current level of development using the relevant developmental guide.
  4. Set a general objective.
  5. Set a SMART goal -
  6. Review - You can review whether the child has achieved the goal by reviewing whether the goal has been achieved.

Example of Fagus Materials and how they can be used to monitor progress:

Example One - Developmental delay in the Coping Domain

Background: Pupil A, aged 11, does not deal with new or challenging situations appropriately and will often ‘fly’ from the situation (i.e. fight or flight response). For example, when he finds a piece of work too difficult he runs out of the classroom, rather than asking for help.

Area of need: Coping/self-awareness/self-control. Staff decide that Coping is the priority area.

Pupil’s current level of development: Staff find that Pupil A's coping behaviours are at an earlier stage of development than his chronological age.

Objective: For Pupil A to take appropriate steps to help them cope when dealing with challenging situations more effectively, using more age-appropriate coping strategies for a child in Middle Childhood.

SMART goal: Pupil A to recognise and utilise his support network to reduce negative behaviours 50% of the time.

Plan: Whole class intervention:  For a session for the whole class on 'coping' with potentially negative situations.

Key worker would work with Pupil A to map out his circle of support (a 'care map') with him at the centre, surrounded by the people that are closest to him and then those less close further out.  When the task was complete Pupil A and his key worker would work together to identify people he could go to at school when he was finding things difficult.

Have a laminated card to communicate that he needs to leave the class and have time with an adult.

The care map considered negative influences on his behaviour and inappropriate people to go to in times of need.

The care map also considers alternative endings to situations that have already happened and possible future situations, to help him see that there are different choices.  Key worker to have an open discussion about emotional experiences when handling challenging situations at the end of the day, help the pupil rationalise why they occurred and teach them strategies for managing this (e.g. scrips, managing emotional reaction etc.).

Review of Goals:  Goal reviewed at the end of the academic term.  The Developmental Checklist and Profile is repeated to see which age-range they are now functioning in, and whether there has been any progress.  PROGRESS HAS BEEN CAPTURED when a sufficient number of answer to the following checklist questions have changed from no to yes.  The profile domain may also have changed colour, moving from red/amber to green representing more age-appropriate functioning in the domain of Coping:

Seeks social support outside of family, as well as from family members

Uses cognitive distraction as a coping strategy (e.g. thinking about something different)

Uses self-reassuring statements (e.g. “you can do this”)

Reframes negative situations (e.g. focusing on the positive aspects of a stressful situation)

Uses problem focused coping (e.g. thinking about ways to solve the issue making them upset

Actively attempts to reduce and/or cope with the problem rather than avoiding it

Has a range of coping strategies to use in different situations

Seeks new information to find ways to solve a problem (e.g. asking others, reading about it)

Uses past experience when selecting coping strategy (e.g. thinking about what worked last time they were upset about a similar issue)

Considers interpersonal factors when selecting a coping method (e.g. the effect of their own coping actions on others)

Shows resilience when conflicts arise with peers and thinks of ways to resolve these conflicts

Example Two - Developmental Delay in the Self-concept Domain

Staff feel that Pupil B, aged 9, does not have a secure self-concept. He cannot identify any of his own positive personality attributes when asked to, instead he revers to visible characteristics, preferences and possessions.

Area of need: self-concept

Pupil’s current level of development: Using the self-concept guide, staff discover that in Middle Childhood children should be beginning to define themselves in terms of psychological attributes and enduring personality traits such as outgoing, funny, smart rather than physical attributes.   Pupil B only uses concrete and observable traits to define himself, which is characteristic of early childhood.

Objective: For Pupil B to recognise positive personality qualities in themselves and develop their self-concept.

SMART goal: Pupil B identifies 5 different personality traits which he possesses when asked by staff. To be achieved by the end of term.

Plan: Weekly sessions with a key worker to complete 'All About Me' project across at least one term.

Key worker to print list of personality attributes for a pupil to refer to.

First discuss personality traits of others and ensure that pupil understands the meaning of personality traits.

Key worker to liaise with teachers to gather examples of positive behaviours from different lessons.

Teacher to brief staff about goal - staff to refer to pupil's positive behaviour and link to personality traits throughout the week.  (e.g Thank you for holding the door open - you are such a kind and thoughtful person).

Present project to class teacher at fortnightly intervals to give pupil a sense of pride.

Review of goals: Goal reviewed at the end of the academic term.  The Developmental Checklist and Profile is repeated to see which age-range they are now functioning in, and whether there has been any progress.  PROGRESS HAS BEEN CAPTURED when a sufficient number of answer to the following checklist questions have changed from no to yes.  The profile domain may also have changed colour, moving from red/amber to green representing more age-appropriate functioning in the domain of self-concept:

Describes self using enduring personality traits (e.g. outgoing, funny, smart);

Self-concept becomes differentiated across different domains (e.g. academic, social, emotional, physical).

Defines self as part of a familial and social unit (e.g. “I’m an only child”, “I’m in year x at xxx Primary School”)

Describes self using interpersonal attributes (e.g. popular, helpful)

Recognises that the aspects by which they define themselves may vary according to context (e.g. “I am shy around new people”)

Confidently expresses their views and opinions (from 5 years)

Distinguishes between their real and ideal self (i.e. who they would like to be)

Uses their ideal self (i.e. who they would like to be) to set expectations for themselves

Please note that due to the nature of attachment and the attachment guide, this guide is not suitable for setting goals for pupils. Instead it provides a theoretical overview and explains why attachment underpins so much of our emotional and social development.

The Fagus process is compatible with any goal setting system. One useful method for setting goals is Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) (Kiresuk and Sherman, 1968).

Fagus is an ideal use of Pupil Premium Plus Funding

Are you ready to get started?

Need an overview of the Fagus framework

Request a complimentary copy of a sample Developmental Guide 

Take a test drive of our online checklist tool

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