Rathfern Primary

Learning Attributes


We have developed our own innovative approach to promoting ‘Thinking as a learner’ (metacognition). We have identified ten ‘learning attributes©’.

Children learn about these ten learning attributes which enables them to develop the language of learning and to understand how to become an increasingly effective learner.

Self -Regulation Persephone the Penguin

This enables children to be calm and alert enough to take in new information and take part in the activities or interactions around them.

Effort Beatrice the Bee

Learners who focus on learning effort rather than performance or who have intrinsic motivation to learn tend to set goals for themselves. When faced with a learning challenge they focus on putting in more effort to find a solution.

Curiosity Copper the Cat

Curiosity prepares the brain for learning. We are more likely to remember what we've learned when the subject matter intrigues us. Curiosity helps us learn information we don't consider all that interesting or important.

Focus Chester The Cheetah

Learning to focus on learning supports pupils to become engrossed in what they are doing; and unaware of time passing. Learning to focus helps learners to manage distractions and  settle back quickly after an interruption.

Perseverance Sally The Spider

This is about keeping going in the face of difficulties, managing negative self -talk by applying more effort. Learners  keep going and can manage distractions.

Collaboration Ellie The Elephant

Collaboration is understanding we can  learn from others, notice the approach and detail of how others do things. Collaboration  is about learning to manage our feelings when working with others, understand the ground rules, and  working effectively as part of a pair or team.

Independence Lenny the Lion

Independence helps  learners to understand their role in the learning process in terms of planning, self-monitoring, controlling the pace and direction of the work and on-going evaluation.

Challenge Lazarus the Lemur

Challenge means learner pushing themselves and are willing to try something new and difficult. Challenge means stepping out of your comfort zone trying challenging learning rather than staying with safe, comfortable learning.

Self-Efficacy Selwe The Camel

Self-efficacy means learners believe in their ability to succeed in achieving a goal-having the confidence to know they can do whatever they set their mind to by managing how they think, feel and behave.


Developed at Rathfern Primary School, this unique approach is proven to support children to develop the skills and confidence they need to become effective learners.

* The ‘Learning Attributes’ approach to metacognition, together with the Learning Attribute animal illustrations, are copyright protected by Rathfern Primary School, Lewisham.


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