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
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.  We want the children at our school to be lifelong learners.  
 
We want the children to see learning as a process.  For them to see that ability is not a gift or fixed, but something that can be improved with hard work and practice.  We want them to know that they are all good at something and that they can get better at the things that they find a challenge.  We believe that we need to give our children the skills they need to face whatever career path they take in a future that we may not recognise.  
 
The approach that we take is realistic and accessible to all and it is an approach that can be cultivated at home and school.  
 
The way that we teach these behaviours to the children is through the 5Rs:
  • Resilience 
  • Resourcefulness
  • Reflectiveness
  • Reciprocity
  • Respect (runs throughout the above).  
We call these behaviours our learning muscles and explain to the children that they need to be exercised in order to get learning fit.  Each muscle is broken down into a set of associated behaviours that we teach explicitly through our normal timetable and curriculum.  One new muscle will be introduced each half term, starting from January 2012.  Each time we launch a new learning behaviour, or muscle, we will inform parents in the Newsletter.  Accompanying guidance will be available via the school office or on our website.    

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. 

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.  

 

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.  

Activities that help in exercising the learning muscles:  
  • 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.  
Everyday behaviours and skills to develop:

Read more: What can parents do?

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:

  • Resilience 
  • Resourcefulness
  • Reflectiveness
  • Reciprocity
  • Respect (runs throughout the above).  
We call these behaviours our learning muscles and explain to the children that they need to be exercised in order to get learning fit.  Each muscle is broken down into a set of associated behaviours that we teach explicitly through our normal timetable and curriculum. 
 
The table below summarises the 5 Rs.  Follow the links in the Associated Behaviours column to find out more about each of the behaviours
 
Learning Muscle Associated Behaviours Associated Character
Resilience 
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

Tortoise Image of a tortoise

Resourcefulness
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.

Bee Image of a bee

Reflectiveness
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).  

OwlImage of an owl

Reciprocity 
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.   AntImage of an ant
Respect 
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.  
 

 

Healthy School The Hitchin Partnership Wisepay Website Image, with link, to Ofsted ParentView DfE Performance Tables

 

 

Diary

September 2017
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Coming Events

Thursday 22nd June
Year 6 residential to Isle of Wight
Friday 23rd June
Year 6 residential to Isle of Wight
Friday 7th July
Reports to Parents
Wednesday 12th July
Sports Afternoon
Thursday 13th July
Secondary Transfer Day
Monday 17th July 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Open Session for Parents re Reports
Wednesday 19th July
Reserve Sports Afternoon
Friday 21st July
End of term
Friday 21st July 9:00am -
Leavers' Assembly
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