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Building Better Learners: On-line start

Who for? Schools new to Learning Power where face to face start-ups are not possible, e.g. schools overseas, or tiny schools.
When? Any day of the year! (no In-service day required)
What for? Introduce senior leaders and staff to the principles, frameworks and first step classroom practices of building powerful learners. An essential introduction to the big picture of the approach enabling staff and leaders alike to hit the ground running when they begin the subsequent online Stepping Stones programme.
Online resource pack: 
Modules for senior leaders to consider strategic change management involved, as well as modules for all staff explaining the frameworks and practice of learning power.
AND…Online programme: 
Stepping Stones Phase 1 for all staff, containing a good year’s worth of content.

Benefits of this blended learning programme for the school

Our core programmes are guided by best practice thinking in professional development.  This means we blend online information with in-school learning teams. Our researched information comes to you online. You  discuss and explore it in learning teams across the school. Teachers then plan, use and share the changes they want to make in their classrooms. This way of learning together organises a consistent school-wide approach to developing pupils’ learning behaviours and:

  • Shifts the culture of the school to becoming more learning friendly
  • Focuses learning teams on a gradual change process
  • Builds expertise right across the school
  • Ensures the school STARTS and STAYS on a proven right track
  • Ensures you build better learners RIGHT not LITE
  • Organises professional development activities throughout a year
  • Scaffolds in-house training, saving cover costs for external courses
  • Has a far greater impact on classroom practice than traditional staff development activity.

The blended programme includes

First Steps, the online start-up training package.

The purpose of this online pack of resources is to unpack the big picture frameworks of the learning power approach, introduce some practical start-up ideas and suggest strategies to keep the approach alive. There is enough background information and exercises to prepare senior leaders, learning champions and staff to make best use of the deeper ideas introduced in the accompanying Stepping Stones Phase 1 online course. 

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.

The resources ensure leaders:

  • Build their confidence in how to lead a complex change programme
  • Have enough resources to confidently explore the ideas with staff
  • Understand why the subsequent online programme [Stepping Stones Phase 1] has to be blended with in-school teacher learning communities to ensure changes in classroom practice
  • Have enough resources to ensure learning friendly classrooms remain active into the future….not a fizzling-out one year wonder


The resource ensures staff:

  • Feel confident that the approach is relevant, worthwhile and manageable
  • Feel prepared to take on the deeper learning from the Stepping Stones Phase 1 online modules
  • Are clear about the purpose and value of learning in Professional Learning Teams
  • Have enough material to make a practical start on shifting their classroom to having a more learning friendly culture


First Steps start up package consists of five online modules

Modules 1 & 5  are written for senior leaders and consider the strategic change management issues for taking on and sustaining this innovation.

Modules 2 & 3 are written for all staff and explain the framework of learning habits for better learning and how these can be developed in the classroom.

Module 4 explores the online and team learning aspects of the Building Better Learners: Stepping Stones blended learning programme and how to ensure the programme works effectively for the school.

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


Online Programme – Stepping Stones Phase 1 

The course covers four key Learning Habits:

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.



Pupils need to learn how to deal with change, emotionally and practically. With an inflexible frame of mind they are unlikely to recognise the need to change their ideas or the way they do something. They also need to know what ‘good’ looks like; how to keep an eye on how things are going and evaluate how things went against external standards.

How the online programme works

The Stepping Stones Phase 1 programme consists of nine online sessions, each expected to take about a month to work through. Sessions introduce staff to four key learning behaviours, explore how those behaviours grow, and consider the cultures in which they can thrive.

The sessions are:

The Culture for Building Learning Power

Unpick the meaning of classroom cultures; use a learning power culture instrument to assess where your classroom culture is now; ready your culture for learning.

Understanding Perseverancepererverance blobby man

Unpick the meaning of perseverance and how it develops over time; analyse what stage your pupils have reached in the progression of perseverance; consider aspects of classroom culture to improve and develop it; explore a substantial range of practical ‘how to’ activities for immediate classroom use.

Using the Language of Perseverance

Consider rich shifts in the language to engage perseverance; nudge progression in perseverance by what you say; help pupils generate more productive self-talk for perseverance; practical ‘if-then’ plans to move pupils on.

Understanding Collaboration

collaboration blobby man

Follows the same model as Understanding Perseverance, above.

Using the Language of Collaboration

Follows the same model as Using the Language of Perseverance, above.

Understanding Questioning

questioning blobby man

Follows the same model as Understanding Perseverance, above.

Using the Language of Questioning

Follows the same model as Using the Language of Perseverance, above.

Reviewing Our Progress

Tools to help you review your progress in shifting your classroom practice, and estimating the progress your pupils may have made in the learning habits.

Putting Revising into LearningRevising_Graphic

This session accelerates the pace and is a precursor to Phase 2 which ranges more broadly over the range of learning behaviours. By this stage teachers’ confidence and skills in being a learning coach, using the language and classroom approaches will enable them to assimilate the ideas about Revising in a single session.

Each session is divided into four sections:

Three individual teacher sections

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

A Professional Learning Team meeting section

This brings staff together as a learning team at monthly intervals (typically six to eight staff per team), convened and led by a learning champion from your school. Staff share and discuss how they have moved their practice to incorporate learning behaviours, consider new material introduced in the individual online learning sessions, and plan their learning enquiries ahead of the next team meeting.

Here’s what you will find in the four sections:

Section 1: How the learning habit develops

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.32.37

Section 1 introduces you to what the learning behaviour is about and what progress in that learning behaviour looks like, what a habit looks like in its early stages and what it looks like as it improves through time….given the right encouragement and culture. You are asked to plot where your pupils are now in their use of the behaviour.

This section offers a concise way of getting to grips with the learning behaviour and how it progresses. It’s likely to take about 20 mins to get your head around it.

Section 2: A learning friendly classroom culture

Activity 2 - Classroom Observation-Perserverance

This 2nd section invites you to think about your classroom culture and how you might shift it to making it more learning friendly for the particular learning habit. This section should take about 10 minutes.

Section 3: Teaching for learning; activities and talk


This 3rd section offers; ideas for lesson starters/quick wins; classroom activities; learning reflection tools; ideas for the appropriate learning language for each phase progression in the learning habit. You are likely to browse in this section for about 30 minutes in preparation for the team meeting.

Section 4: Professional Learning Team meeting

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.42.00

The final section gives a skeleton plan for the Professional Learning Team session (usually undertaken about a week after the individual online sessions) It includes downloadable enquiry question and planning formats. In team sessions you are invited to share the impact of your classroom experiments with colleagues, discuss the online materials, and plan how you might use these to change your classroom practice. All the activities are designed to help you bring the learning behaviour into active use in the classroom. The section also includes a range of indicators that you could start looking for to begin to measure the impact of teacher development across the school. The team sessions are timed to last about 75 minutes.

Free preview

You can actually view a session here

View actual course Preview the online course

Book bundle

3 copies of Building Learning Power

5 copies of Learning Power Heroes

5 copies of Building 101 Ways to Learning Power

5 copies of Building Learning Power in Action

2 copies of Learning Powered School

4 sets of 5 BLP Posters for classrooms

Options for the Building Better Learners programme

For Schools new to Learning Power Building Better Learners: Training day start is an option, it does require an INSET day at the start. 

For schools new to Learning Power, Building Better Learners: Consultancy review start is also available with in-school training which does not require an INSET day 

If your school has already started its own journey with Learning Power, Building Better Learners: Reviving practice start will be right for you.

If you are overseas or don’t have the budget for in-school face to face training, why not try our remote programme, Building Better Learners: On-line start