This is what children at Littleport think about Building Learning Power
'When I make a mistake it's OK... it's the beginning of learning' (Year 1)
'It allows you to pick your own level of work' (Year 2)
'It's helped me in Maths. If I get a question wrong, I know I can persevere to get better' (Year 3)
'It gets me better at being confident in what I'm supposed to write' (Year 4)
'I've improved managing my distractions - now I can concentrate better' (Year 5)
'Out of school, I used to say I was rubbish at drawing. I couldn't imagine what to write. I got better by noticing and then by imagining' (Year 6)
Building Learning Power (BLP) is an approach to learning that we have been implementing at Littleport Community Primary School since January 2014. This approach was created by Professor Guy Claxton. It is based on the idea that we are all capable of becoming better learners. BLP applies this idea directly to the work of teachers in the classrooms, to provide a practical framework for fostering lifelong learning in all young people.
At Littleport Community Primary School, our school ethos is one of striving to be the best we can be, recognising that we all have different strengths and interests.
BLP allows us to nurture this ethos and build the children’s learning power through a variety of strategies and techniques. For example, children learn techniques of 'what to do if I am stuck' to make them more independent, how to approach a challenge and they know our core learning ethos is: 'you learn by making mistakes and challenging yourself'.
We focus on different learning muscles in assemblies, class and around school. We have a whole-school focus on one learning muscle for 3-4 weeks at a time, as well as referring to a range of them in lessons. We also present a 'Learner of the Week' award to one child in each class. linked to particular BLP skills, to highlight particularly successful learning behaviours in children.
There are four key learning muscles:
The new four R’s of learning. All of these can be developed by everyone regardless of ‘ability’, social background or age. Just as we can build our physical muscles by the right kind of exercise, we can exercise our learning muscles to develop their strength and stamina. Within each of the four R’s are a number of learning behaviours which can be individually trained, nurtured and exercised.
being ready, willing and able to lock into learning—knowing how to work through difficulties when the pressure mounts or the going gets tough.
Your resilience is made up of...
· Managing Distractions
being ready, willing and able to become more strategic about learning—taking a longer-term view by planning, taking stock, and drawing out your experiences as a learner to get the best out of yourself.
Your reflectiveness is made up of ...
being ready, willing and able to learn in different ways—using both internal and external resources effectively, calling on different ways of learning.
Your resourcefulness is made up of...
· Making Links
people—using a sense of independent judgement together with skills in communication and empathy.
Your reciprocity is made up of ...
· Empathy and Listening
You can find out more at: http://www.buildinglearningpower.co.uk/
What can you do to stimulate learning at home?
· Demonstrate sticking at things even if they are difficult
· Talk about how you feel when you are taking on challenges
· Praise your child when they persevere but also encourage them to take a break when they have had enough
· Help them to find interests and activities that are really absorbing
· Talk with them about what helps them to concentrate and manage distractions
· Encourage questions
· Demonstrate making links between different ideas
· Encourage your child’s imagination through exploration.
· Help them to find ways of using resources such as reference books, dictionaries and the internet.
· Encourage them to take responsibility for preparing for school
· Ask not what they did at school, but what they learned
· Help them to think about and plan activities
· Encourage flexibility and the ability to change a plan if necessary
· Work, play and learn alongside your children, enabling them to pick up good habits through imitation
· Make expectations of turn-taking and co-operation clear