Mind your language – guest post by Roland Lovatt

Roland Lovatt | North Somerset Times

Roland Lovatt (and friends) | Image from North Somerset Times

This guest post has been written for us by Roland Lovatt who is head of Yeo Moor Primary School in Clevedon, North Somerset…

Without language there would be no ideas, no thinking and no learning.  Language is to learning what air is to breathing…

Is your language for learning oxygen rich or is it oxygen starved?  Does it support a growth mind-set and manifest optimism and ambition?  Importantly does it get learners motoring or subtly steal from them their energy and their confidence.

Here is an example.  Compare these two statements:

‘We are going to have a little go at something, it is tricky so we will just do our best….. after all you can only do your best.’

‘This is a short activity and it contains some really important learning.  It is going to involve some  new thinking and you guys have got good learning muscles – they are getting stronger day by day.  This is an opportunity to improve on your previous best.’

Minding your language is something everyone can do and the return on the investment will be very healthy indeed.

Try removing these words from your classroom;






Try using these words and phrases;

best thinking at the moment

important learning, capable learners

really good challenge

excellent problem to solve

improve on your previous best

(you will have others!)


Have a good start to the year!


Roland Lovatt


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