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Building Better Learners: Pre-training information

Welcome to the Building Better Learners information site.

Here you will find information that will be useful to you before the Building Better Learners introductory training session. There is also a short task we would like you to complete before the session. See 3 below.

1. Introductory session programme

Here’s what will be happening during the training session


For all staff

  • 9.00 Introduction and objectives
  • 9.10 The learning child. Input
  • 9.20 What do good learners do? Activity
  • 9.45 What do we do when we learn? Activity
  • 10.30 Coffee
  • 10.50 The supple learning mind. Input
  • 11.15 Your learning behaviours. Activity
  • 11.30 A new craft for a teacher. Input
  • 11.40 Features of perseverance. Input and activities
  • 12.05 Getting ‘Stuck’ right.
  • 12.15 A collaborative learning activity.
  • 12.40 Feedback and reflection.
  • 12.55 Recap on the big messages.
  • 1.00 Lunch


For SLT and team leaders

  •  Outline of the full BLP learning journey
  • How the first year on-line learning is organised
  •  Sorting out team sessions
  • Commitment required of staff
  • Role of the team leader
  • Getting the best out of the team
  • Dealing with strategic issues
  • Admin re the on-line courses
  • Building compelling data.

2. An introductory video about Building Learning Power.

For those of you who know little about Building Learning Power – here’s a short video of what it is and why it’s important. It will help you tune into the training session.

3. Something we want you to try before the training session

The very best way to help your learning on the introductory session is to ask you to try something out in the classroom beforehand. By doing this you will begin to connect practically with what learning power is all about.


4. Something to try before the training session if you have time

This resource invites you to undertake a rich activity in the form of a learning enquiry, and guides you through the basic principles for you to organise your own discoveries and extend your own understanding of the power of building pupils’ learning habits. You will need about four weeks to do this, please don’t start this activity unless you have that amount of time in your classroom before the training.
view resource

5. About the Online modules

The introductory training session forms the first little bit of  a longer programme  Building Better Learners.  Some of this programme is an online course called Stepping Stones Programme A: Establishing Key Learning Behaviours). By the end of the programme you will have become a skilful learning powered coach.

Stepping Stones Programme A: Establishing Key Learning Behaviours

Guided by best practice thinking in professional development this modular on-line programme organises a consistent school wide approach to developing pupils’ learning behaviours.

Stepping Stones series consists of three modules, each expected to take about a term to complete.

It shifts the culture of the school to learning positive
It focuses learning teams on a gradual change process
It builds expertise across the school
It ensures the school STARTS and STAYS on a proven right track
It ensures you build character-based learning RIGHT not LITE

Help your pupils move


  • Sure-footed beginnings
  • Discovering their learning behaviours
  • Developing a basic learning vocabulary
  • Trying out learning behaviour targets
  • Being aware of using learning behaviours
  • Beginning to believe in themselves as learners


  • Deeper solid progression
  • Exploring how learning behaviours progress
  • Expanding and deepening their learning vocabulary
  • Designing their own ‘instant habit-forming’ targets
  • Purposefully using learning behaviours to understand content
  • Having the strategies of powerful learners

How it works

The Stepping Stones Programme A consists of three online modules, each expected to take about a term to complete. Sessions within each module can be drip-fed monthly. The modules are:

pererverance blobby man


Perseverance is key to the learning journey. It is vital that pupils are able to get to grips with the knotty emotions of learning, and can view and use them positively as aids to the journey, not as setbacks.

collaboration blobby man


At its least sophisticated, collaboration is little more than being cooperative. At its most sophisticated and complex levels it goes beyond learning ‘in a team’ and becomes learning ‘as a team’. It is an invaluable life skill.

questioning blobby man


The desire to ask questions to satisfy innate curiosity is alive and well in very young children, as any parent of a 3 year old will readily confirm! Explore how we can ensure that questioning remains alive and builds into a full blown inclination to explore and learn about the world.

Each module is divided into three pairs of sessions, with each pair consisting of:

Individual teacher sessions.

Teachers work their way through the materials at a time and place to suit them. The materials will usually take about 30-45 minutes to work through. They introduce new thinking and practical ideas for staff to get their heads around prior to the team session.

A Professional Learning Team session

This brings staff together as a learning team (typically six to eight staff per team, meeting monthly intervals). The session is convened and led by a learning champion. During each session staff share and discuss how they have moved their practice to incorporate learning power, consider new material introduced in the online session, and plan for their next classroom experiment.

The pairs of sessions in each module are drip-fed each month to teachers thus ensuring gradual, well founded change

The Perseverance module is structured in detail as follows; the modules on Collaboration and Questioning follow the same pattern.

Session 1A. Understanding Perseverance (Individual teacher session)

Here the learning behaviour is unpacked in detail; what it consists of, how it grows and progresses.

Teachers analyse what stage their pupils have reached in the progression of perseverance and then consider ways they could work in the classroom to improve and develop that learning behaviour.

The session is accompanied by a substantial range of practical ‘how to’ activities for immediate classroom use. These cover the stages of behaviours for perseverance….from bringing it to life in pupils where it is missing to it being part of a pupil’s learning character.

Session 1T. Understanding Perseverance (Professional Learning Team session)

Sharing and building understanding of the Teacher session materials, and planning how to use them in the classroom experiments.

Session 2A. Using the Language of Perseverance (Individual teacher session)

This session explores using the language of perseverance; how it builds and shifts as the behaviour grows. It includes how to nudge progression in the behaviour by what you say, how to reinforce this through written comments and how to develop practical ‘if-then’ plans to move pupils on.

Session 2T. Using the Language of Perseverance (Professional Learning Team session)

Sharing the classroom experiences planned in the previous team session, getting to grips with the new material on language, and planning further classroom experiments.

Session 3A. Infusing Perseverance into Lessons (Individual teacher session)

This session is about how the learning capacity can be infused into lessons, It covers the early stages of developing split-screen or dual focus lessons and includes a prepared lesson on Growth Mindsets ready for use in the classroom.

Session 3T. Infusing Perseverance into Lessons (Professional Learning Team session)

Coming together to share planned classroom enquiries, absorbing and accommodating the material from session 3A, and planning the next classroom experiments.

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