Evolutionarily speaking, the main reason for having a brain isn’t to ponder calculus but simply to coordinate movement. The body needs a way to bring together the information from the senses to react to it – by doing something, acting. Even what are thought of as high-level skills are based on this same underlying process. Take attention. In the classroom context one thinks of being able to pay attention as a high-level cognitive skill, but in the brain, it is just about orienting – with sight, sound, or smell –- to objects in the world and getting ready to make the right movement in response. It is a skill with its roots deep in human evolutionary ancestry. The thing about evolution is it doesn’t reinvent, it adapts: co-opting part of the brain which developed to do something else and tweaking it to meet the new demand. A good example is the visual attention system, selected to be able to recognise objects and scenes in the outside world, but adapted to allow humans to read. The trouble is, it doesn’t work perfectly for this new purpose. Early visual experience means invariances develop, the idea of ignoring the orientation of objects when identifying them: a cup is still a cup, even if it’s upside-down. Then reading with this beautifully developed visual system and… well, step forward the letters b, p, q and d and there is a serious problem. It suddenly really matters which way round these go and whether they are upside-down. No wonder it can take years for children to learn that these special ‘reading’ objects play by different rules. This chapter introduces the concept that learning in the classroom essentially rests on using our sensory and motor systems in ways designed by culture rather than by evolution. The implications of this – from holding a pencil, to hearing rhythms in phonemes, to paying attention – are profound.