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St. Anne's Learning Powers

What are Learning Powers?

Building Learning Power (BLP) is an approach to learning that we have implemented at St. Anne’s CE Primary School. This approach was created by Professor Guy Claxton. It is based on the idea that we are all capable of becoming better learners and compliments what we have learned about ‘Growth Mindsets’.

Key Principles:

1. It is a learning culture that encourages children and teachers to become better learners

2. It allows children to approach difficulties in learning without fear of failure

3. It allows the children to take small steps within learning

4. It develops confidence

5. It is not additional to teaching but should be grounded within everyday teaching and learning

6. It gives clear language for the children to use to develop understanding of learning processes

At St. Anne’s, one of our values is ‘Inspire – inspiring everyone to achieve’ and another value is ‘Challenge – Challenging ourselves to grow’.  Learning Powers allow us to nurture these values and build the children’s learning power through a variety of strategies and techniques.

Why are we developing Learning Powers?

We believe that this approach allows us to develop a common language for learning across the school. The language is used in all classrooms, with all children. This helps everyone talk about understanding learning to learn. We hope that this understanding will begin to spill over into life outside school, where you will be able to reinforce the ideas by encouraging the children to use their learning language in their everyday lives.

The idea is that the four dispositions (4 Rs) are like a group of "learning muscles". Just as we can build our physical muscles with the right kind of exercise, learning muscles can also be developed and can grow in strength and stamina. It is these we are aiming to develop in the children.

What does LP look like?

You may have heard your children using some of the learning power language or referring to one of our 4 learning superheroes.  Professor Claxton suggests there are four main learning dispositions:

Resilience- not giving up,

Resourcefulness –being able to use a range of learning strategies and knowing what to do when you get stuck,

Reflectiveness- being able to think about yourself as a learner and how you might be able to do this better,

Reciprocity –being able to learn with and from others, as well as on your own.

These dispositions are then split into seventeen learning ‘muscles’ that the children are encouraged to ‘stretch’ within their everyday lessons and activities and apply to different aspects of their learning.


St. Anne's Superheroes  

Reciprocal - Co-operating Cooper

Collaboration - Knowing how to manage yourself in the give and take of a collaborative venture, respecting and recognising other viewpoints adding to and drawing from the strength of teams.

Imitation - Constructively adopting methods, habits or values from other people whom you observe.

Empathy and Listening - Contributing to others’ experiences by listening to them to understand what they are really saying, and putting yourself in their shoes.

Interdependence - Knowing when it’s appropriate to learn on your own or with others, and being able to stand your ground in a debate.

Resourcefulness - Resourceful Remi

Questioning - Asking questions of yourself and others.  Being curious and playful with ideas – delving beneath the surface of things

Making Links - Seeing connections between disparate events and experiences.  Building patterns – weaving a web of understanding

Imagining - Using your imagination and intuition to put yourself through new experiences or to explore possibilities.  Wondering ‘what if…?’

Reasoning - Calling up your logical and rational skills to work things out methodically and rigorously; constructing good arguments and spotting the flaws in others’.

Capitalising - Drawing on the full range of resources from the wider world – other people, books, the internet, past experiences, future opportunities

 Reflectiveness - Reflective Raheem

Planning - Thinking about where you are going, the action you are going to take, the time and resources you will need, and the obstacles you may encounter.

Revising - Being flexible, changing your plans in the light of different circumstances, monitoring and reviewing how things are going and seeing new opportunities.

Distilling - Looking at what is being learned – pulling out the essential features – carrying them forward to aid further learning; being your own coach.

Meta-Learning – Knowing yourself as a learner – how you learn best; how to talk about the learning process.


Resilience - Persevering Poppy

Managing Distractions - Recognising and reducing distractions knowing when to walk away and refresh yourself.  Creating your own best environment for learning

Perseverance - Keeping going in the face of difficulties, channelling the energy of frustration productively.  Knowing what a slow and uncertain process learning often is.

Absorption - Being able to lose yourself in learning – becoming absorbed in what you are doing; rapt and attentive, in a state of flow

Noticing - Perceiving subtle nuances, patterns and details in experience.