Building Learning Powers
How we use our learning muscles at St. Peter’s Junior School
BLP (Building Learning Power) is an approach that is grounded in Science and experience, and is used to help children to:
- Learn more;
- Develop confidence in their own abilities and potential;
- Become lifelong learners.
In our rapidly evolving world, where technology and careers are continually changing, our curriculum not only aims to provide our children with the knowledge that they need, but also the skills needed to be resourceful, reflective, resilient and to be an effective collaborator. BLP involves building and developing particular habits of mind to enable young children to tackle problems calmly, confidently and creatively; to help them to become lifelong learners.
Building Learning Power supports our pupils to embrace our school’s values of Aspiration, Kindness, Contribution, Enjoyment, Resilience and Growth as pupils practise and develop their learning muscles. Just as they can build their muscles by doing the right kind of physical exercise, pupils exercise their learning muscles to develop their strength and stamina. Developing the qualities that enable success as a lifelong learner equates to achieving a good level of all round learning fitness. Alongside this, pupils are taught and encouraged to have a ‘Growth Mindset’, where they are taught the belief that anybody is able to train themselves to learn any new skill or knowledge, and that individuals are not limited by their ‘natural talents’.
The Four Learning Dispositions
The concept of BLP (Building Learning Power) is not just about what they are learning; as importantly, it’s about learning how to learn and these dispositions are incorporated into our lesson design at St. Peter’s to help our young people become better independent learners. The work of cognitive scientist, Guy Claxton, suggests that there are 4 learning dispositions: Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocity.
How you can help at home
- Ask your children about the learning muscles they have been using at school.
- Ask your children what they have learnt today, not what they did. Ask them ‘what learning did you do?’ rather than ‘what work did you do?’;
- Begin to use the language of BLP at home;
- Let your child make mistakes—it is the best way to learn. When your child becomes stuck, ask them to think about what one of the learning muscles would do to become unstuck.
- Celebrate all your child’s learning achievements in and out of school.
- Welcome and foster your child’s questioning spirit as much as you can.
- Try to “think aloud” as you try a new recipe or attempt a challenging DIY task. It helps children if they can see that you too can struggle with uncertainties and then cope with them.