Last week’s blog went behind the scenes in Ms Mann’s Year 6 maths lesson and captured her working her learning power magic. But Ms Mann is not alone – all the teachers in her school are pursuing the same aim: to build better learners. As their website declares:- “At St Herbert’s we have adopted Building Learning Power to help children to become better learners. Building Learning Power is about creating a learning culture in our classrooms – and in the school more widely – that systematically cultivated habits and attitudes that enable our pupils to be more successful in school and life generally.”
Making this bold assertion on their website is backed up by plenty of action behind the scenes. At St Herbert’s leaders support and nurture teachers in developing their practice; Governors support the approach and review progress; teachers actively develop their learning-friendly classroom cultures and improve their coaching style; and learners are consistently exposed to the ideas from nursery to Year 6. What we witnessed and captured on video was the culmination of five years of learning about the craft of learning, and thinking about how they needed to teach differently… for as we all know, if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always got.
The more usual
But what if, as a teacher, you’re feeling frustrated that your students give up easily, or can’t work together profitably, or are shy of asking questions, and to top it all you don’t have the good fortune of working in a school like St Herbert’s: your school may have more pressing priorities than improving learning behaviours; finances may not allow the whole school to engage in developing a more learning-friendly culture; school leaders may not understand teachers’ frustrations about students’ negative attitudes to learning; or maybe the school is looking for quick-fix initiatives rather than a root and branch development. What might we offer individual teachers who work in such schools?
Until now we have always treated Building Learning Power as a whole-school approach, but it’s time to extend our reach and embrace teachers who are working in non-BLP schools.
We have 5 online modules ready for individual teachers. These will be available as single one-off modules that might resolve a particular interest, or as bundles. The first 5 address the key learning behaviours of Noticing, Collaboration, Perseverance, Questioning and Revising. Nine more are in development and will be published in the Autumn term.
Each module covers the aspects of the learning habit at hand, the classroom climate required to develop it, ideas for classroom practice, language to nudge the habit, and a mini road map to move your practice forward. Designed to be thought-provoking, as well as full of quick wins, they will be priced at less than £10 each, with discounts available for bundles.
A special treat
As a treat for our blog readers we are releasing the Noticing Module – cunningly called “Helping your learners to Notice” – for free!
Simply fill in the form below and you will be granted access to the module for free, until August 30th. (After that, the module will move behind a paywall.)
Is there a catch? Well… we would love to know what you think of the Noticing module – Did you find it useful? Will the full range address your needs? Would you be willing to spend from your pocket for these sorts of resources? We would welcome your feedback in the comments section of the module. But other than that, no! No catches.
We will return to St Herbert’s C of E Primary Schools next week to visit an infant class in action.