Building Learning Power: Introduction
Building Learning Power or BLP is based on the work of Professor Guy Claxton. It is an approach to learning that is taught across our school and it helps the children:
- Learn more
- Learn better
- Become better learners
- Become lifelong learners
- Respect (runs throughout the above).
What will the school do differently?
The curriculum and the timetable remains the same. Teachers will alert the children to the learning muscles that will be actively exercised in their lessons and they will be encouraged to develop their learning behaviours with each other and individually. The learning process involved during each lesson will be made explicit and the children will be encouraged to talk about their learning. When faced with challenge, the teachers will not step in too quickly but allow the children time to ‘exercise their learning muscles’. In addition, the teachers will model themselves as good learners, sometimes saying that they don’t know but show how to find out. We will praise the process of learning rather than just the academic outcome. This reinforces the idea that ability can be learnt and we are all learners at something. We want our children to know that making mistakes means you are learning something new.
What will the children do differently?
Children will begin to use the language of learning. You may hear them say things like “I was resourceful today...” or “I was resilient when I...” Take time to talk to your children about these achievements in the same way you would if they got a good mark in spelling or moved onto a new reading level. Similarly, the children may associate themselves with the learning behaviour characters, “ I was tortoise when I was doing my maths.” This does not mean they were slow but that they were resilient and did not give up. Children will be taught to see mistakes and challenge as normal part of the learning process and they will be expected to try hard to overcome these challenges for themselves. Over time, children will become better at facing challenge and uncertainty in a calm, confident and creative way. This is the start of a lifelong journey, so remember, each journey begins with small steps.
What can parents do?
First and foremost, appreciate the impact that developing these learning behaviours can have on your child’s potential. Parents have a powerful influence on a child’s self-concept as a learner.
- Using interesting and complex vocabulary.
- Encouragement to read for a range of purposes.
- Cultural activities (libraries, museums, performances or historical sites).
- Development of hobbies.
- Providing opportunity to question and try out new things.
- Having conversations about things outside the home.
- Discussions about progress at school.
The 5 Rs
Building Learning Power involves developing the behaviours a child or young person will need to face challenge calmly, confidently and creatively and as a result, give them the life skills that they need for their journey through school and into the real world. The way that we teach these behaviours to the children is through the 5Rs:
- Respect (runs throughout the above).
|Learning Muscle||Associated Behaviours||Associated Character|
This is the emotional aspect of learning, being able to persist when things get difficult, manage distractions, notice details and patterns and become absorbed in the task you are doing.
|Absorption, perseverance, noticing and managing distractions||
This is the cognitive aspect of learning. It is all about being ready, willing and able to learn in different ways using internal and external resources effectively. It is about calling on different ways of learning as appropriate.
|Questioning, imagining, making links, reasoning and capitalising.||
This is the strategic aspect of learning. It involves thinking, taking stock and drawing on previous experience as a learner and planning what do. It is about knowing how to get the best out of yourself.
|Planning, revising, distilling, Meta learning (thinking and talking about learning).||
This is the social aspect of learning. It is all about knowing when to learn alone or with other people. It is about developing independent judgement, skills of communication and empathy.
|Interdependence, imitation, collaboration, empathy and listening.||Ant|
This runs through everything we do. It is about respecting yourself, each other and the environment. It is about having good manners and following rules.