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Building Learning Power


Here at Newhall Park we are on a journey to grow our ‘Learning Power’.  What this really means is that we are all learning to be better learners.


Lifelong learning and the development of independent learners is an objective for all schools.  The idea is that we move away from children and adults giving in too easily and develop their ability to persist at a problem so they can find alternative solutions.


During the last academic year we started to follow Professor Guy Claxton’s work on Building Learning Power (BLP).  This work follows the belief that there are four key learning dispositions:





These are usually referred to as the new four R’s of learning.  Each of these four areas of learning comprises a number of areas of learning which we call muscles


We are teaching the children about these learning muscles and the fact we can exercise them to develop their strength and stamina. 


We are using BLP to develop a common language for talking about our learning as this will help everyone develop their understanding of how we learn.   It will also help the children explain how they have achieved or approached a learning activity.



The key parts of this learning disposition are perseverance, noticing, managing distractions and absorption.

The children will learn how to stay engaged in a task, the importance of never giving up and the benefits of learning when getting unstuck.



The key parts of this learning disposition are questioning, capitalising, making links and reasoning & imagining.

The children will develop their ability to ask and answer questions, use resources to help them develop their learning, make links between the different areas of their learning and use their imaginations.



The key parts of this learning disposition are planning, meta-learning, distilling and revising. 

The children will learn how and why they learn and will be encouraged to regularly look back at their learning to see whether they have made progress against their individual objectives.  They will be asked about future areas for improvement.



The key parts of this learning disposition are imitation, interdependence, empathy and listening & collaboration.

The children will learn how, why and when it is best to learn on their own, with a partner or within a group and develop the skills they need to be a valuable member of a learning community.

Last academic year we concentrated on developing:

  • our perseverance which is one of the muscles within the resilience section.  The children may sometimes refer to this skill as stickability.  


  • our  collaboration.  Being able to work with other people is an essential skill in life and one which we are trying to develop within all of the children.  


  • our questioning skills.  Being able to consider why something has happened, how an outcome could be changed and be prepared to ask a challenging question rather than accepting things at face vale.  


We will keep reinforcing these skills throughout this year and also introduce new muscles.  The muscle we are developing during the autumn term is revising.