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Toes in the Water

Toes in the Water Many schools have wondered what it takes to build powerful learners, but Headteachers often say “I’m not sure we are ready for that yet.” Others fear there’s too much to cope with in the curriculum to worry about the how of learning. Still others aren’t sure what it’s all about. Toes…

Toes in the Water

Many schools have wondered what it takes to build powerful learners, but Headteachers often say “I’m not sure we are ready for that yet.” Others fear there’s too much to cope with in the curriculum to worry about the how of learning. Still others aren’t sure what it’s all about. Toes in the Water is designed to encourage you to play, explore, find out, and just see whether your school can benefit from the ideas. 

What is Building Learning Power really about?

What will it help us to do?

What sort of difference could it make to pupils?

How does it fit with Mastery?

Is there a fit with Growth Mindset or Assessment for Learning?

Will it fit with or change our ideas about learning?

Will it take too much time?

Why is it worth bothering with?

Is it right for our school?

Do we have the will to make it work?

The purpose of these online resources is to encourage you to play, experiment and learn. To have a go; to try things out; to be aware of what the big models of the approach are aiming to do. The resources are designed to help you to gauge what the classroom practice might eventually look and feel like; to find out which strategies will keep it going, avoiding pitfalls or blind alleys. And above all the resources will help you to get a taste for it; to see its possibilities in just a few weeks; to recognise that, with time and patience, building powerful learners will actually work, and children will relish being more in charge of their learning. 

There is something for everyone

For leaders there are:

  • ideas about leading an innovative change programme
  • clear descriptions of the big frameworks of the approach and how they work
  • tools to assess the learning friendliness of classroom cultures
  • resources to help plan an exploration of the ideas with staff
  • strategic pointers about what works and what can be tricky
  • resources to support learning-friendly classrooms and avoid them fizzling out within a year

For teachers and support staff there are:

  • tools to help them to work out the learning friendliness of their classrooms
  • explanations of the key learning behaviours of successful learners and how they work
  • practical ideas from other schools about making a start in classrooms
  • suggestions about what might be better to tackle first and things to leave till later
  • ideas to try in classrooms with criteria to help check how and whether they are working
  • material to help shift classroom relationships, language, routines and celebrations

Everyone in the school is signed up to the online package so its content is available to everyone, any time, anywhere. It will serve not only today’s staff but those who join next year and thereafter.

It’s not designed to hold your hand the whole way. Nor will it inhibit your own thinking. But it will set you off playfully and with enough momentum to get far enough to decide whether Building Learning Power is for your school, your colleagues and your learners.

Toes in the Water consists of five modules

There are 2 modules for senior leaders considering the strategic change management issues for taking on and sustaining this innovation.

There are 2 modules for all staff explaining the framework of learning habits with practical ideas on how these can be developed in classrooms.

There’s one module for everyone which explores how the school itself can learn and the delicate, hard business of changing teacher’s practice. 

Together these modules make for a very cost effective DIY exploratory start to a school’s learning journey.

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