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Building Learning Power

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BLP encourages teachers to place as much emphasis on dispositions (or habits) as content

Building Learning Power is a whole-school approach to teaching and learning based on the work of Professor Guy Claxton, which in turn builds on and flows from the ‘growth mind-set’ concept as articulated by Carol Dweck and John Hattie (among others).

Building Learning Power’s starting point is that the brain is like a muscle inasmuch as its intelligence grows with exercise: in short, learning is learnable. Furthermore, the language we use when talking about learning is significant, and BLP offers a rich but common vocabulary for talking about what learners do, thus allowing pupils to make links between different topics and indeed the things they learn, within and beyond the classroom.

Why are we adopting Building Learning Power as our approach to teaching and learning? In a world where estimates suggest two-thirds of current pupils will end up working in roles that don’t yet exist, and most of today’s teenagers may have had between 10-15 different jobs by the time they are 40. BLP encourages teachers to place as much emphasis on dispositions (or habits) as content. Where focus exists concurrently, progress will be made. In addition, establishing the concept of learnable intelligence will stimulate independent learning, which in turn will allow pupils to develop their resilience and flexibility when confronted with difficulty, something that will serve them well as they move through the school and beyond, to Higher Education and the workplace.

Our 10 chosen dispositions between them represent four areas of development (cognitive, emotional, social and strategic) and are:

  • Persevere
  • Notice
  • Question
  • Link
  • Reason
  • Explore
  • Plan
  • Review
  • Collaborate
  • Listen

Each disposition is further subdivided to provide opportunities for teachers to provide targeted interventions that help pupils develop their ability to become reflective, independent and interdependent learners.