We look to the stars…

Telephone: 0117 903 0077


Headteacher: Tim Browse

Gem Powers

The Gem Project? Metacognition? What’s it all about?

You have probably heard your children coming home and talking about gem powers! This is a brief introduction to the powers, why as a school we decided to implement the project and how you can use it at home!

‘The way we talk to children becomes their inner voice’

Why the Gem Project?

The Gem Project is a metacognition approach to teaching and learning. It builds children’s self-confidence as learners and, in turn, their self-esteem towards life. It was invented by Tom Robson (scientist and educationalist – who visited the school to help us launch the project. Children’s ability to reflect on themselves as learners (metacognition) is now recognised as critical to children becoming resilient and successful learners. This project allows the children to do just that!

When Dr Robson visited us, he worked with both classes and the staff, his sessions were really exciting and thought provoking. His basic approach is for children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be questioning and be resilient. They can’t sit back and expect someone else to do it for them. One girl asked him how long he’d been a scientist. He replied, “Since the age of three because I’ve always asked questions and tried to find out how things work. I’ve got more things wrong than right, but I always try again. I’ve done that since I was very small.” 

Important note: Their self-confidence as learners has a greater impact on performance than natural ability (Carol Dweck).

This is a shift in language and communication… Changing the way we talk to, and interact with young people.

Ruby – Being aware of others and how what you do or say might make them feel – thinking positively about other people. Also, helping and supporting others.

Ruby power at home: Supporting siblings in a game, getting dressed or reading. Random acts of kindness – helping prepare dinner. Understanding how others might feel because of their reaction to a situation (shouting, getting angry etc.).

Emerald – Bouncing back from mistakes and disappointment and controlling anger if it starts to get out. Also, being able to cope with not getting your own way or being disappointed.

Emerald power at home: When they are told they can’t do something or can’t have something or being told to tidy their room, they able to control the ‘it’s not fair’ attitude.

Sapphire – Keeping focused and staying in control of the monster distractions, only focusing on what is important.

Sapphire power at home: Focusing and finishing one task at a time, for example, homework or tidying up.

Diamond – Being able to notice a problem and thinking of ways to solve it.

Diamond power at home: Picking something up rather than stepping over it, cutting up their own dinner (even if it is a struggle) or tidying their bedroom without being asked.

TopazWorking together, using all the Gem Powers to work as a team

Topaz power at home: Taking it in turns to share, working together to solve a problem or help others

‘Children with a healthy mind have the best defence against life’s challenges’

© 2012-2023 Air Balloon Hill Primary School, Hillside Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 7PB
Telephone: 0117 903 0077 Email: