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Building Learning Power (BLP) and Growth Mindset

At Birch Hill we know that learning can be difficult.  Sometimes we call it the Learning Pit.

Building Learning Power (BLP) is an approach to learning that we teach throughout our school as it helps children:

  • Learn more and enjoy learning                 
  • Become better learners
  • Become lifelong learners

BLP enables our children to understand how they learn.  It helps them learn how to face challenges confidently and creatively as well as promote inquisitiveness and a thirst to know more.  BLP equips our children with the skills and attitude to learn in all situations in their lives, both now and in the future. 

BLP is based on the work of Professor Guy Claxton. Firmly rooted in science and research, it suggests that there are several broad dispositions that need to develop in order to become successful lifelong learners. At Woodbury we think of the learning dispositions as being like groups of ‘learning muscles’.  Just as we can build our physical muscles by the right kinds of exercise, so we can exercise our learning muscles to develop their strength and stamina.

The four learning muscles of;

  • Resilience, 
  • Resourcefulness, 
  • Reflectiveness and
  • Reciprocity,

each made up of four smaller learning muscles.  A description of each of these is given at the end of this page and summarised in the document below. 

BLP is universally applicable to all children; of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds. Developing your Learning Muscles  is not restricted to school – learning continues at home and throughout adult life!  Many parents who came to our BLP Workshop, said that they wished they had been taught BLP as the skills and attitudes are so necessary throughout life.  Please see the Parent leaflet below.

Teaching BLP

Teaching BLP does not change the curriculum content we teach.  However the teachers will tell the children which learning muscles they will be developing and encouraging the children to use these with each other and on their own. The children will be expected to talk about their learning. When there are challenges, the teachers will not step in too quickly but give the children time to ‘exercise their learning muscles’. The teachers will also show the children how they are learners, by modelling and sometimes saying that they ‘don’t know’ but show how to find out. We will praise the process of learning rather than just the academic outcome. Having made a good mistake and learning from it will be celebrated - it is excellent to have the skills to analyse a problem, the creativity to think of another way to tackle it and the resilience and confidence to have another go.

Children and BLP

Children will learn to use the language of learning. They will say things such as  “I was resourceful today…” or “I was resilient when I…” Children will be taught to see mistakes and challenge as a normal part of their learning and they will be expected to try hard to overcome these challenges for themselves. Over time, children will become better at facing challenges and uncertainty in a calm, confident and creative way. They will also become better at understanding how they learn well and they will be able to recognise what they need to do to move their learning on.  

Example of a classroom display 

By year 6 you will learn about all of the BLP 'muscles' .