Looking at learning: what helps us and what hinders our learning?

This week at Riverbank we were making learnometers.

‘A learnometer is a thing to show how we learn and what makes it difficult.’

– Wes and Daniels

On one side of the board we wrote what helped us to learn and on the other side we wrote down things which got in the way of learning.

Some of the ideas we came up with include:

‘Don’t distract people while they’re working or laugh at them.’

– Megan

‘I learned lots of different ways of listening.’

– Pyper

I learnt ‘how to fix a (drawing) mistake I made.’

– Dimi

Hopefully these are something we can refer back to if we need a reminder of tools we have to help us learn and to decrease distractions.

The beginnings of our Praise Poems

As we are nearing the end of the project we, as facilitators, wanted to give something back to the children for all their input and hard work over the last few months. So we are using the concept of ‘Praise Poems’ which are used in many different cultures to express each learners positive characteristics and learning attributes.

Phase 1 of creating our Praise Poems meant we had to do a bit of investigating to find out what our strengths were and what we were like as a learner.


This was a lot of fun as we had to think of different ways to describe ourselves. Kate felt she was ‘as positive as Miss Mitchell’ and Kyleena discovered she was ‘very good at the Treasure maps we did and felt she was particularly good at keeping going and getting on well with others’.


Cameron found out that he is really good at giving advice and people often come to him for help, and Broghan likened herself to snowflakes as they danced around making pretty patterns and colours!

For Phase 2 we will create poems out of the information gathered as a group and create individual Praise Poems for each child which will then be gifted to them at the end of the project.

Exploring our learning environment

This week at Children’s Parliament we have been looking at how our environment effects our learning. We focused on four main areas which were: what makes a healthy school, what makes a happy school, what makes a safe school, and how we can do our best.

Together, in small groups we made mind maps of all the different factors we could could think of and the discussed it as part of a wider group. Here are some of our findings:

One thing we thought of for healthy was the importance of exercise. We had an opportunity to participate in the mile run challenge today and some of us even managed to score some house points! We also thought that having a healthy breakfast and snack could help by giving us energy and get our brains working.

Some things which made us happy included: Fridays, using the computers, play time, spending time with friends and helping each other.

Thinking of things which kept us safe was a bit harder but we decided that the school was secure with the self locking doors, the receptionists who didn’t allow strangers in and having PSAs in the playgroup during break. We also thought about the importance of safety outside of school such as looking both ways before crossing the road.

Finally, we looked at how we could do our best in school. Things such as working hard, listening to the teacher and helping each other were all key points. Other important ideas included: respecting others, not being violent towards anyone and following the rules.

Why don’t you have a think and see if you can come up with some more as we would love to have your input!

What helps us get a good education?

Today at P5b in Riverbank we were exploring what factors can help our learning. The four key themes were: healthy, happy, safe, and doing our best. In small groups we collected ideas for each theme and then discussed what we’d come up with in a larger group setting.


Jennifer felt fruit and vegetables were important to keep us healthy and school helped us by giving us healthy lunches. Exercise, such as P.E helped to keep us fit and healthy as did fresh air.


Story time, playing the piano and Rainbow time all featured highly in things which made us happy in school. Rhiannan particularly enjoyed: ‘making new friends and learning new stuff.’


Deniss felt that the walls around the school keep us safe to stop strangers coming in and fire alarms were good to help us if there was a fire.


Finally, when we were looking at doing our best we thought that listening to our teachers helped us to learn and sometimes it could be helpful to look at thing on the walls or ask someone else for help.

Learning treasures at Riverbank

For the last week at Riverbank we have been hunting for learning treasures. Each treasure describes a different aspect of learning and we had to figure out if we felt it was like us as a learner or if it was not like us as a learner. We plotted these on treasure maps so we could see clearly what we felt about each treasure.


Rhiannan  found that she was very good at ‘keeping going and getting on well with others.’

Whereas Samantha enjoys ‘imagining and listening to others and understanding how the feel.’


We also challenged ourselves to think of one learning treasure we would like to use more in our learning and Franco felt that he would like to be able to ‘manage distractions better.’


Healthy Happy Safe

We at Children’s Parliament believe that every child has a right to an education in a setting where they are healthy, happy and safe and have an opportunity to do their best. In small groups we had a look at each of these factors individually and then discussed our answers as a class.


Some of the ideas we came up with to make our school a healthier place included: no litter, clean and safe spaces to play outdoors, healthy school meals and fruit from the tuck shop. We also felt that exercise was very important and realised that there were many different ways to do this.


Things which made us happy included: friends, sumdog, people giving respect, teachers and PSAs, our families, break time and when ‘Miss Murray gives P6  a good comment’.


Things which made us feel safe included: Teachers and PSAs, lollipop man/woman, our families, the new fence and the safe doors, learning about first aid and Miss Gray making sure no strangers come in.


Finally, we looked at how we could do our best in school. Some of the ideas we came up with included: to keep going and not give up, not allow ourselves to get distracted, having a nice environment to work in and using some of the things we’ve have learnt in Children’s Parliament.

Treasure hunting at Bramble Brae!

Today at Bramble Brae we went on a treasure hunt. We were exploring some of the different learning treasures available to us and looking and which ones we felt we possessed and which ones we would like to become more like.


Kate felt she was very good at ‘listening and understanding how other people feel and she wanted to work on asking questions.’

Quite a few of us noticed that we identified with characters other than the one we picked and we could also see who we would like to become more like.


Alex wanted to become ‘more resilient like Robert and not to give up.’ Nicole and Cameron felt that they were good at ‘keeping going like Robert.’

The treasure maps were great for helping us recognise our strengths and look at how we come become more like our learning characters.


Learnometers at Riverbank

Today we created our learnometers at Riverbank. These are a simple tool to help us look at what helps us learn and what makes learning difficult.


We had a lot of discussion about how we can get distracted easily, and we identified a few different distractions such as having something to play with or other people.

‘I get easily distracted by my brother’



We also talked about the importance of listening to teachers, family and each other when we are trying to learn.


Learning: helps and hindrances

This week we we creating learnometers which allowed us to think about what helps us with our learning and what can get in the way. To do this we made a ‘learnometer’ which is an adjustable scale allowing us to think about these helps and hindrances and where we are on the scale.


Scott found specific tools helped him to learn: ‘When I am doing maths, rounding helps me do my work fast.’

One thing we felt was really unhelpful was bullying.

‘Bullying makes your work difficult in class if their nagging at you and it’s stuck in your head and you can’t concentrate.’




Learning characters on Tour!

The Learning characters made it to their forth and final stop today at Tullos Primary School. Once again we went on an adventure to find out which learning character we are most like and who we would like to become more like.


Some of us struggled to pick just one character as we felt we shared a lot of similar characteristics with multiple characters.

‘I’m like Ruby and Rebecca because I think about everything and I talk to the teacher a lot.’



Rhianna decided she would like to be more like Ryan.

‘I’d like to get better at learning with people.’

Others of us thought really hard about what we did or could do to help with our learning.

‘I go home [at lunch] and come back and calm down at my house and rest and make my brain all better. [Then] I feel nice and fresh,’


As you can see the class had already made snitches with the 4 different learning characteristics on them and this helped us when we were discussing who we were like.