Building learning power
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BUILDING LEARNING POWER. outline of the project key findings the impact on / benefit for the school. What the Project was; Rationale. Got over the ‘shock’ of the new Ofsted framework. Major improvements last year. Teachers work really hard for the pupils

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Building learning power


outline of the project

key findings

the impact on / benefit for the school

What the project was rationale

What the Project was; Rationale

  • Got over the ‘shock’ of the new Ofsted framework. Major improvements last year.

  • Teachers work really hard for the pupils

  • Expectation on the part of the pupils that we do it for them

  • Still wasn’t a genuine focus on learning.

  • Needs to be if we are to sustain and build on improvements.

What the project was the starting point as reported by graham powell positive

What the project was; The starting point as reported by Graham Powell (positive)

  • ‘Consistency rarely seen in schools’.

  • ‘Students are ….(generally)….aware, focussed and motivated.

  • Awareness of students’ needs

  • Explicit links to standards

  • Tangible and measurable learning gains

  • Competence and Confidence modelled by teachers

What the project was the starting point as reported by graham powell negative

What the project was; The starting point as reported by Graham Powell (negative)

  • Dependency culture where students rely too heavily on their teachers to do the learning for them.

  • Not always an emotional commitment to the work on the part of the students.

  • Less emphasis on how students learn, compared to what they learn.

  • Teacher’s job is to provide the answers

  • Resilience of some – males in particular – is in need of enhancement.

  • Teachers value the end product more than the process of learning.

2 quotes from john hattie

2 quotes from John Hattie

  • It is what the learners do that matters. The aim is to make the students active in the learning process until they reach a stage where they are their own teachers.

  • A teacher’s job is to make the work difficult. If you are not challenged, you do not make mistakes. If you do not make mistakes, feedback is useless.

What is blp guy claxton building learning power

What is BLP – Guy Claxton ‘Building Learning Power’

  • Some key phrases;

  • Habits rather than skills

  • Getting into the habit of learning yourself.

  • Getting students to make choices.

  • Avoiding approaches which only enable students to gain exam results (‘equip to confront the tests of life; rather than a life of tests’)

  • Piaget; ‘Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’.

    ‘focusing on big ideas, fostering engagement whilst providing (the students) with some degree of autonomy, independence and choice.’

    Ron Ritchhart

What is blp a common language for learning

What is BLP? - A common language for learning

Four dimensions of learning

Four dimensions of learning









What is blp some key habits for a learning life

What is BLP? - Some key habits for a learning life







The action plan

The Action Plan

  • Phase 1 – Focussing & Learning. Baseline of current practice and training of LCs (cohort 1)

  • Phase 2 – Developing Practice. Further training. Trying out and sharing ideas. Coaching.

  • Phase 3 – Widening across the school. New cohort of LCs coached. ‘Whet the appetite INSET’ with all staff.

  • Phase 4 – Involving the students. Year 7 and 12 Induction.

  • Phase 5 – Beginning to embed the culture. Further training. Embedding in s.o.l. Review

Our manifesto now done by department

OUR MANIFESTO (Now done by department)

  • STOP/DO LESS – Spoon feeding, Providing answers straight away, Always focussing on content, Discouraging questioning, Talking so much, Making things easy, Teacher led lessons, Worrying about content, Scaffolding, Exemplars all the time,

Our manifesto now done by department1

OUR MANIFESTO (Now done by department)

  • START/DO MORE; Use cross-curricular stimuli, Student research, Students planning lessons, Independent tasks, Opportunities for students to organise learning, Reply with a question, Trusting students, Getting students to question, Student focussed lessons, Engaging starters, Group work, Take risks, Student led plenaries/starters, Arouse curiosity.

Key findings my own experience

Key Findings - My own experience

  • Summed up by Graham in his new book.

    ‘I started to provide them with stimulus material that would get them stuck. I wanted them to generate their own questions and explore possibilities for themselves. I was determined to make them do the thinking. At first, I met with some resistance. One student in particular intimated that it was my job to teach the group and give them the answers that they could repeat in the exam and get the grades they needed.

    I explained to them that this wasn’t going to prepare them properly for the demands of the exam or their future needs. I sensed that some of the group were not convinced . I didn’t give in and gradually they began to expect to be challenged in lessons and to rise to it.

Building learning power


Things have moved on and they are now much more actively engaged and involved in the planning and delivery of lessons.

They have now taken on responsibility for creating provocative, relevant, and stimulating starters to warm up their learning muscles, and they lead the discussions that distil what we have learnt and what we need to learn. They have become a different group: they have transformed themselves into students who no longer depend on me to provide them with all the answers.’

Key findings observations

Key findings - Observations


BHO – Magic trick linked to observations of a Science Experiment

DAP – No questions of teacher. Observe the final product

ARA – Noticing features of a magazine front cover


MANY - Image – What questions are you asking yourself?

MANY – Starter – What questions have we got about the topic.


JLN – Prejudice example

NAP – Blitz, Holocaust examples

NAP – Linking random objects/people/places


COB – Students enter to an audio of ‘The Godfather’


NAP & SIN – Recreate an image without talking. Group work later

MSE& LED – Roles within a group. Collaborate for finished product


TSP – Problem solving

Impact staff

Impact - Staff

  • Early days yet!

  • Strong group of BLP champions

  • Cohort 2 – a bit of a raw deal

  • Most staff are enthused (judging by INSET evaluations, but clearly work to be done)

  • Staff are trying ideas out – even those not in 2 BLP cohorts (BHo, HMo etc). State of mind.

  • It has not been too onerous (How you react as much as how you plan; Not resource heavy)

Impact staff cont

Impact – Staff cont.

  • Job now is to help students help themselves.

  • If a student gets stuck we do not see it as a failure on our part, but more an opportunity for them to work through difficulties.

  • More engaging tasks – many seemingly not related to subjects

  • Attempt to stimulate curiosity

  • Answering a question with a question

  • Focus on how learning

  • Focus on application of type of learning post school

  • ‘Ready, Go, Steady’ (Explain). NB ‘Ready’ = warm up habits of mind.

  • Allowing students to lead the learning (link with VP)

  • Being a ‘nudger’

Students reaction negative

Students’ reaction - negative

  • Sense of frustration – the teachers’ job is to provide them with the answers

  • Model answers. Real explanation as to why not.

  • I will not be in the exam with you.

  • ‘Getting stuck is a good thing’. Students laughed.

  • Year 12 induction yesterday. Graham said that they were very dependent.

Students reaction positive

Students’ reaction - positive

(Y13 student evaluations). Commented on variety.

  • Engagement. There has been buy-in.

  • More of a buzz

  • Light bulb moments

  • Jack F; That’s not Appleyard’s style. He never answers a question directly. He always gets you to work it out for yourself.

  • Have been stretched (differentiation)

The future comments

The Future - Comments

  • Convinced it’s the way to go.

  • A ‘hook’ for lifelong learning, engagement & buy-in (with intrinsic motivation of grades)

  • Persuade that BLP and high achievement go hand-in-hand.

  • Persuade that Ofsted and BLP are mutually-compatible!

The future improvement plan

The Future – Improvement Plan

  • INSET Day – 3 hours. More input and department time.

  • Build ideas into schemes of learning – Review in department meetings.

  • Split screen objectives (one LO for the ‘habit’)

  • Further Afternoon INSET sessions. LCs to provide practical examples.

  • BLP resource & ideas centre – AST input.

  • BLP Student Leadership Group (Observations, ideas, assemblies)

  • BLP in ATM (Y7 & 12)

  • BLP/VP Learning Observations in Y12.

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