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Building Learning Power

At Littleport Community Primary School we place learning at the heart of all that we do.  We continually focus on developing the whole child and the broader aspects of lifelong learning are central to that - our aim is to be a 'Learning Powered School'.

Children today are growing up in a world which is rapidly changing, and we aim to give them the basic and wider skills necessary to be able to succeed now and in the future. It is estimated that many of the jobs that will be available to today's children as adults don't even exist yet. Children therefore need to be adaptable, resilient, independent and collaborative in their approach, and able to solve problems to continually learn, develop, improve and succeed.


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)


We know that Building Learning Power works, so what is it? 


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:

· Resilience

· Reflectiveness

· Resourcefulness

· Reciprocity

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.


Resilience is:

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...

· Absorption

· Managing Distractions

· Noticing

· Perseverance


   Reflectiveness is:

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 ...

· Planning

· Revising

· Distilling

· Meta—Learning


Resourcefulness is:

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...

· Questioning

· Making Links

· Imagining

· Reasoning

· Capitalising


  Reciprocity is:

people—using a sense of independent  judgement together with skills in communication and empathy.

Your reciprocity is made up of ...

· Interdependence

· Collaboration

· Imitation

· Empathy and Listening


You can find out more at:


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


Building Learning Power At Work
We hold sharing assemblies to celebrate the way the children have used their Building Learning Power skills across the curriculum.  In these pictures, children are sharing how they used their planning muscle to decide how to approach a piece of work.  Another important skill that is linked with planning is revising.  In many areas of learning, we have to adapt and revise our plans as we work, so that we produce the best work possible and learn from our mistakes.  This is important in all curriculum areas, from planning and revising a story in English, to planning and revising a model in Design Technology or a presentation in Computing.

Year 3 used their learning power to build model Stone Age shelters. They had to collaborate, persevere and revise their ideas if it didn't work at first!

Every week a child in each class is chosen as Learner of the Week in recognition of the way they have used their BLP skills.

Year 3 used their noticing, reasoning and revising skills to put Lego instructions in order. They also discussed how many different BLP skills they used to follow some tricky sets of instructions.