Visible Learning/Thinking Matters

Visible Learning

Visible learning is a school improvement initiative which is based on research and is focussed on what works best to help our pupils to learn.  An Daras Trust became an accredited Visible Learning Partner in 2019 after implementation of this improvement programme across its schools since 2016.

Coads Green Primary School began our Learning Journey in September 2019

 The Visible Learning improvement programme is based upon the principles from John Hattie’s ongoing analysis about the effect of various influences on learning. Each influence on learning has a carefully calculated “effect size” which uses mathematical data which is used to inform training and provision within the Trust schools.

Pupils at Coads Green are developing the ability to display these essential learning characteristics of a visible learner:

  • They can be their own teacher
  • They can talk about what they are learning and why
  • They can talk about how they are learning- the strategies they are using to learn
  • They can talk about their next learning steps
  • They can use self-regulation strategies
  • They seek, are resilient, and aspire to challenge
  • They can set mastery goals
  • They see errors as opportunities and are comfortable saying that they don’t know and/ or need help
  • They positively support each other’s learning
  • They know what to do when they don’t know what to do
  • They actively seek feedback and provide feedback to the teacher
  • They have metacognitive skills, skills to help them understand how they learn and can talk about these

 We are working towards our pupils being assessment capable

Assessment Capable Learners can ask and find the answer to:

Where am I going?

How am I going there? 

Where to next? 

Pupils see learning as hard work, have a ‘can do’ approach and a desire to succeed.

This links successfully with our school vision of “Achieve, Believe, Succeed” and the Andaras Trust vision of 'Igniting Curiosity, Growing Capabilities'.


Coads Green Primary School Visible Learning Coach – Mrs Sarah Dempsey


Core Values (learning characteristics) at Coads Green

Lenny our learning lemur helps us to know and understand our core values. They are:

Curious – Curiosity prepares our brains for learning. If our teacher is able to make us curious about something, we are naturally motivated to learn. This means we’ll be better prepared to learn things that we might think are boring or difficult.

Independence – Independent learning is the ability to work on our own, with confidence and little or no adult support. This includes how we manage our own learning as well as how to respond to difficulties or challenges.

Resilient – Resilience is an important skill to learn because it gives us the things we need to deal well with the stresses, changes, uncertainties and troubles that we sometimes experience. If we are resilient, we can do well in any situation.

Collaborative – Collaborative learning is when we work in groups together to solve problems, complete tasks or create something. Collaborative learning is good when conversations with others takes place.

Reflective – Learning involves us thinking about what we have read, done or learned and relating the learning to our own lives to make meaning out of the information we have.

What is a Thinking School? 

Thinking Schools are infant schools, primaries, secondaries and all through schools. They are state funded, charitable trusts and privately owned. Some are part of school groups, some are resolutely independent. They are growing in number around the world. Whatever their context they have one thing in common - they take an explicit, evidence-informed, whole school approach to developing pupils’ cognitive capability and intelligent learning behaviours. 
The late Professor Bob Burden, arguably the first educator to coin the phrase 'a Thinking School' back in 2006, had a definition which still underpins Exeter University’s accreditation requirements today: 

‘A Thinking School is an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place. This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities. Successful outcomes will be reflected in student’s across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.’  

Burden (2006)