Visible Learning

​​​​ ​​​​​​​Visible learning is all about children taking ownership for their learning.

Visible Learning is the result of the research undertaken by John Hattie to understand what provides the most success in learning.  It is based on over 68,000 studies and 25 million students.  John Hattie defines Visible Learners as students who can:

  • Articulate what they are learning
  • Explain the next steps in their learning
  • Set learning goals
  • See errors as opportunities for further learning
  • Know what to do when they are stuck
  • Seek feedback

As a staff we have spent time actively discussing what the dispositions are that students need to be successful learners.  We decided on the following:  management, innovation, ownership, persistence and reflection.  To make them more interesting, we devised them as Super Powers. 


Students also need to know what they are learning, and what is needed in the task to make them successful. These are known as :

Learning Intentions  or WALT (We are learning to....)


Success Criteria   or WILF  (What I'm looking for....)

We believe that our students can embrace learning challenges by developing a Growth Mindset which sets them on the road to reach even higher levels of achievement.Growth Mindset (Custom).jpg

Positive learning dispositions


Growth Mindset


Successful Learners!



Learning Intentions & Success Criteria

Students need to know what they are going to learn and when they have succeeded.

Learning Intentions are statements that describe clearly what the teacher wants the students to know, understand, and be able to do as a result of learning and teaching activities. Clear learning intentions should help students focus not just on the task or activity taking place but on what they are learning.  Learning Intentions are effective when they are shared in language that students can understand and are revisited throughout the activity/lesson.

Success Criteria are linked to learning intentions. They relate to the evidence that determine if students have achieved the learning intended. The teacher and/or students develop the criteria and describe what success looks like. They help the teacher and students to make judgements about the quality of student learning. Success Criteria clearly show students what success looks like.

At St Bernard's, the Learning Intentions are derived from the Australian Curriculum subject areas. Success Criteria are co-constructed with the students. Both Learning Intentions and Success Criteria are displayed in the classroom for each lesson and are revisited throughout lessons.


Formative Assessment

“It's about using information to adapt the teaching and adapt the work of the students to put the learning back on track - to make sure that the learning is proceeding in the right direction and to support that learning." ~ Dylan Wiliam

Formative assessment refers to the variety of methods teachers use to gather and interpret information about student learning as learning is taking place. Formative assessment allows teachers to monitor student learning and to adapt their teaching to meet student learning needs. Information gained from formative assessment provides opportunities to redirect learning or adjust learning plans to better suit student needs to. Formative assessment is most effective when it is a regular part of teaching and learning programs.

At St Bernard's, teachers use a range of strategies to encourage active participation from all students and monitor student learning in all subject areas. The information gained is used as evidence of learning to adapt what happens in classrooms to meet student needs.​

Goal Setting

Student goal setting encourages student ownership of their learning. It helps students to reflect on their own learning, track their progress, identify their next steps and be successful. Setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART)—is practical and reasonable and keeps students on track.

At St Bernard's, teachers guide students in setting goals and monitor progress through conferencing with students. Currently, students set reading goals based on the St Bernard's Reading Powers.

Effective Feedback

Feedback is information provided by an agent (e.g., teacher, peer, book, parent, self/experience) regarding aspects of one's performance or understanding. Effective feedback informs the learner of ​

  • Where am I going?
  • How am I going?
  • Where to next?

Teachers provide feedback on:

  • Task – how well has the task been performed?
  • Process – what are the strategies needed to perform the task; are their alternative strategies that can be used?
  • Self-regulation – self monitoring, directing, monitoring the processes and task; what is the conditional knowledge and understanding needed to know what you are doing?
  • Self-personal evaluation and affect about the learner

At St Bernard's teachers provide timely, regular feedback to help students improve their learning. Feedback is provided in various forms. It can be written or spoken, visual or audio, formative or summative, a self-reflection or peer evaluation.

There are many resources to support parents and teachers to implement Visible Learning successfully. 

Here are just a few:

5 Parenting Strategies to Develop a Growth Mindset

The Learning Myth

Professor Carol Dweck 'Teaching a growth mindset'

Videos to watch with the children:

"Never Say Can't" - Jennifer Bricker

One Thousand Steps

Keep Moving Forward - Meet the Robinsons

© Brisbane Catholic Education, St Bernard's School (2023)​​

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