Building Learning Power
"Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance.
Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."
At St.Edmund's R.C Primary School we want to instil certain habits and attitudes to enable our pupils to be more confident in their own learning ability. By becoming better learners pupils will concentrate more, learn faster and better, think harder and find learning more enjoyable.
Today’s schools need to be educating not just for exam results but for lifelong learning. To help the children build their learning power we will be teaching the children the 4Rs of learning based on research developed by Guy Claxton:
Being resilient, resourceful, reflective, reciprocal.
Through these 4Rs the children will be able to have greater success and reach their full potential as learners.
Being resilient, like Roger Rhino, is about not giving up, learners can….
- get lost in learning – I can be on task and get completely absorbed in my learning
- manage distractions – I can shut out distractions when I’m learning
- persevere – I can stick with my learning, even when I find it hard
- be creative – I can think in creative ways and use it to further my learning
Being resourceful, like Barry Beaver, is about keep looking for other ideas.
- question – I can ask questions to help me with my learning
- investigate – I can explore in different ways
- make connections – I can make connections with what I already know
- visualise – I can create a picture in my mind
Being reflective, like Tom Tortoise, is about thinking of what to do and how to improve.
- plan – I can organise myself for my learning and get on independently
- be curious – I can find interest in what I’m learning and want to know more
- reason – I can give reasons for my thinking and work systematically
- reflect and evaluate – I can reflect and then recognise the next steps for my learning
Being reciprocal, Andy Ant, is about working alone or in a group.
- be self reliant – I can recognise when to learn independently and collaboratively
- be a team player – I can work well as part of a team
- empathise– I can see things from the viewpoint of others
- piggy back ideas – I can learn from those around me
At St.Edmund's R.C School we value the importance of having the right attitude and mindset for our learning.
Based on the work of psychologist Carol Dweck, we encourage our children to have a 'Growth Mindset', to help them embrace challenges and learn from setbacks, understanding that the more effort and practice they put in the better they will get.
A fixed mindset leads us to believe our basic skills and qualities are more or less set from birth and there is not a lot we can do about it.
At our school we want to encourage everyone to have a growth mindset, believing that most things can be achieved through hard work, listening to support, practice, and by not giving up when faced with a challenge.
People with growth mindsets know that some people may be particularly talented at certain things but recognise this as just a starting point; even these people need to work hard to improve their talent.
How can you support this at home?
We specifically plan for learning in the classroom and frequently talk about the learning process and seize on real-life situations as prompts to discuss learning-power skills. We also model learning ourselves. We share our own difficulties, frustrations and triumphs in learning. We admit we don’t know the answers to some of the questions asked of them and pursue new knowledge alongside our pupils. We display being an active learner. We model how to respond to others doing things well and how to use mistakes as a springboard for new learning.
Having a growth mindset helps pupils to achieve more because they have resilience, value practice and are not afraid of a challenge.