Kington St Michael Church of England Primary School

Learning Together, aiming high

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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?



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)



Carrying on with difficult task
Looking for more challenge themselves

Using resourcefulness
Managing distractions



Choice in way of working (independently/with teacher)
Working in groups/pairs
Working independently

Discussing the successes/difficulties as a team
Circle time activities (listening/empathy/points of view)




Discussing learning
Developing pupil’s self-assessment skillsSelf-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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 show the children that they are all good at something and we can all achieve, succeed and excel in particular areas.


The teachers at school use 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!