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Building Learning Power

What is Building Learning Power?
An approach grounded in solid science and practical experience which is designed to help young people to:

Learn more
Learn better
Become better learners
Become lifelong learners

Learning about learning has more of an impact on pupils achievement
Learning Power involves building and developing particular habits of mind to enable young people to face difficulties calmly, confidently and creatively, and hence be better prepared as lifelong learners.

What do good learners do?

Show enthusiasm
Embrace the task
Have alternatives
Explore alternatives
Take risks
Have confidence
Have different strategies to tackle tasks
Articulate their thinking
Work with others
Are creative
Develop collaboration 

One way of mapping these qualities is in terms of the “5Rs”

Resilience – locking onto learning, perseverance, risk taking, managing distractions

Resourcefulness – knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do, questioning, imagining, making links

Reflectiveness – strategies to use, self-awareness, Learning to talk the language of learning, self-evaluation

Reciprocity/Relationships – learning alone and with others, empathy, listening

Risk Taking – having a go and not being afraid of getting things wrong

What are we doing to promote the 5Rs?

  Resourcefulness I’m stuck boards (in each class—what to do when stuck)
Independence (coming into class alone, sorting belongings)
Sorting own resources (deciding what is needed for a task)
Questioning games
Wonder walls (in each class to encourage questions)
  Resilience Carrying on with difficult task
Looking for more challenge themselves
Using resourcefulness
Managing distractions
  Reciprocity Working in groups/pairs
Working independently
Choice in way of working (independently/with teacher)
Discussing the successes/difficulties as a team
Circle time activities (listening/empathy/points of view)
  Reflective Discussing learning
Developing pupil’s self-assessment skills
Self-evaluation of work
Peer evaluation of work
Individual targets
  Risk Taking

Having a go
Not being afraid to get things wrong
Understanding that we learn from our mistakes
Challenging ourselves

  What can parents do? Draw attention to, and model, positive learning habits
  Resilience Demonstrate/model 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 help them to concentrate and manage distractions
  Resourcefulness Encourage questions
Demonstrate making links between different ideas
Don’t allow your child’s imagination to shrivel up!
Help them to find ways of using resources such as reference books, dictionaries, the Internet
  Reflectiveness 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 of necessary
  Reciprocity/Relationships Demonstrate/model being a good learner
Work, play and learn alongside your children, enabling them to pick up good habits through imitation
Make expectations of turn-taking and cooperation clear
  Risk Taking

Demonstrate that adults are always learning too
Show that adults make mistakes
Encourage risk taking in learning
Encourage your child to enjoy a challenge and challenge themselves

Here at school we are showing the children that they are all good, or “smart” at something and we can all achieve, succeed and excel in particular areas.

The display in the Hall shows how we can encourage the children to find their strengths and see the strengths of others. Individuals may be smart at practical tasks, musical activities, sport, relating to others—or in many other ways.

The teachers at school are using book characters to illustrate the 5Rs and the qualities of each. You could try this at home when you read stories to your child. For example, Red Riding Hood is reflective, the third little pig is resourceful, the Seven Dwarves are reciprocal and Cinderella is resilient.  These are all characters used in Reception and Key Stage 1. Key Stage 2 children are being encouraged to source their own characters to illustrate each of the 5Rs. Harry Potter could cover most of them!

A Guide to Building Learning Power - Click here

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