Building Learning Power

Building Learning Power (BLP) is an approach to learning that we have begun to implement at Peover Superior Primary School since January 2015. 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.

The purpose of education is to supplement the upbringing provided by families with a more systematic preparation for the future, involving cultivating attitudes, skills, knowledge, values and beliefs that we think young people are going to need to be brave and confident lifelong explorers and navigators in the 21st Century.

At Peover Superior we are committed to building young people’s learning power; not just what they are learning, but more importantly learning how to learn. One of the major developments recently for our school has been the introduction of Professor Guy Claxton’s pioneering work on helping young people become better independent learners, which suggests that there are four learning dispositions- Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocity.

Just as people go to a gym to develop their physical fitness, pupils come to Peover Superior Primary School to develop their learning fitness. Just as bodies can become fitter, so too can minds. The four ‘R’s’ have various ‘learning muscles’ which can be stretched, trained and made more efficient:

The 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 HERE.

What can you do to stimulate learning at home?

Resilience:

  • 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.

Resourcefulness:

  • 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.

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 if necessary.

Reciprocity:

  • 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.