Joanne McCusker

Primary Teacher

Abronhill Primary

  • Cooperative Learning

What Happens When We Explicitly Set Social Learning Intentions in a Classroom?


Curriculum for Excellence (2008) aims to educate children to allow them to become Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Responsible Citizens. Children must develop their social skills for life along with their knowledge and understanding in order to fulfil these four capacities. From birth there are key skills children must develop these are being a good listener, a want to communicate and being friendly (Aistear, 2009). It is a teacher’s responsibility to ensure every child develops these skills. The Scottish government made health and wellbeing an educational priority. Children’s social learning is covered by health and wellbeing therefore it is crucial that all teacher’s facilitate these opportunities (Scottish Government). Within the Scottish curriculum there are numerous outcomes based upon children’s development in listening and talking as well as outcomes within health and wellbeing developing children’s knowledge on respecting others.

There is research to suggest that learners tend to learn more effectively when they are clear on the purpose of the learning or skill being developed (Thinking Pathways). Therefore, using learning intentions to promote development of these social skills will ensure effective progress for children thus being the aim for this enquiry.


The aim of this enquiry was to explore the effects of using social learning intentions within the classroom. In particular, the focus on social learning intentions minimising low level disruptions such as shouting out, wandering, arguing and not listening to instructions. As well as develop children’s awareness of their social skills when interacting.

Download Practitioner Enquiry