Raising Aspirations

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
Read more about Hanna Beech

Want to encourage your pupils to aim high?

Although many young people have huge aspirations, there is often a still a deep disconnect between socially deprived pupils and aiming high.

Here’s one way to raise aspirations for those who don’t seem to be motivated to to progress and reach their potential.

The Ten Year Plan

  1. Hold a meeting with the child in mind.
  2. Discuss what aspiration means and why it can help us to keep focussed day to day.
  3. Ask the child if they have any aspirations.
  4. Talk about what they don’t want life to be like for themselves as an adult.
  5. Talk about what the child does want for themselves.
  6. Add ten to their age. Ask them to imagine where they want to be in ten years and what they might be doing.
  7. Ask them how they might journey towards their ten year aspiration: “Is there anything you can do from tomorrow to work towards your goal?”
  8. Help the child make an action plan with three simple steps to take this week in order to make tiny steps towards their aspiration.
  9. Check in over the week or term to see how progress towards aspirations is unfolding.

Why this strategy works

Investing in time with a child to really highlight how what they do now can impact their future can be really eye opening. Everyone has an aspiration; help pupils discover theirs.


Don’t attempt these discussion unless the child is in an open frame of mind.

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