Skip to content

Intervention – be SMART

Post Aim

This post suggests a SMARTer way to approach intervention activities in your lessons.


Intervention – a key word in any school especially a school which finds its self requiring improvement.

But, as an exercise I took part in this week proves doing intervention and doing it well are two very different things!


Intervention in a school setting is about getting two things right;
  1. Spotting a need for intervention as soon as possible
  2. Taking the right action which has swiftest impact
Beyond these there are the key places intervention takes place;
  1. In class during a lesson
  2. Beyond class (lunch, break, before-after school)


SMART intervention

Last night I reviewed some of the interventions which have been used in my current school, despite advice given to staff the interventions recorded on our system ranged from…

“X comes to my room at lunch to catch up”


“Teaching assistant”.

Problems jump off the page when you read those;
  1. What was the aim of the intervention?
  2. Was it successful?

If you don’t know the aim of an intervention you’ve no idea how to measure its success – given that many staff see intervention as something additional to planning you need to make sure what staff are doing is focused enough so that they know when they’re finished and just how successful any intervention has been.

Take a look at the sketch note I put together on this – how to improve the process of setting an intervention for X;


It’s not rocket science, in fact it’s one of those moments where when some one says ‘do it this way’ your response is ‘Oh wow, why were we not doing it like that?”.

smart-goalsSo, think SMART!

It’s less work, its more focused, you’ll know if what you’re doing is working and you’ll have a clear ‘finish’ date, after all ‘intervention’ should be a short term thing!

Targets set should follow the mantra in the diagram above if they’re going to be useful to the learner and the teacher.


In or out of class?

Ok so you know how to set SMARTer target – when/where do you use interventions?

Here’s some suggestions…

3 simple and immediate in-class interventions:

  1. Moving a student seats to complete task 1 by the end of the lesson – focused and measurable!
  2. Personalised target to complete drawing with colour by the end of the lesson – focused and measurable!
  3. Red/Green sticky notes applied to PC screens of learners based on need to remain in class and finish work on task 1 to leave for break – focused and measurable!
Out of class intervention:
  1. Must attend after school classes this week to complete task one design log by Friday the 23rd – Specific and measurable!
  2. Evaluate work using criteria sheet in morning catch up club, hand in work Friday 23rd – specific and measurable!
  3. Attend Homework club on Monday and Tuesday, read chapter one and write short review using review structure sheet as a guide, bring completed to Wednesdays lesson – Specific and measurable!
  • Set a location
  • Set an expectation for outcome
  • Provide support material/advice/reference
  • Set a clear deadline

As the Meerkat says “Simples!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow by Email