Curriculum

BUILDING LEARNING POWER 

Building Learning Power is an approach to learning to learn. 

At Sunnyfields we use Building Learning Power as part of our aim to develop independent learners with a growth mindset. Lifelong learning is our birth right. We can continually develop our capacity to learn throughout our lives. We are all learners every day of our lives it’s just that sometimes in our busy schedules we can lose sight of this wonderful capacity, worse still we can take it for granted and then assume that our children will just "pick it up"! 
 
Research however is less cavalier and suggests that there are several dispositions that we need to develop in order to become successful lifelong learners.  

Guy Claxton, who has created Building Learning Power, suggests that there are 4 key learning dispositions: 

Resilience 
Resourcefulness 
Reflectiveness
Reciprocity 

These dispositions are inherent in us all. They are not fixed at birth, or when we leave school; they can be developed by everyone regardless of “ability”, social background or age. In fact, ...there are NO limits to extending our learning power! 
How empowering is that? How liberating? How exciting? 

 
We can think of these dispositions as being like groups of "learning muscles". Just as we can build our physical muscles with the right kinds of exercise, so we can exercise our learning muscles to develop their strength and stamina. Each of these dispositions is made up of a number of learning behaviours, which are called capacities. Because the learning capacities are quite specific in nature, they can be individually trained, nurtured and exercised. 

 
Have you exercised your learning muscles today? 
Because if these learning muscles are not exercised, through lack of opportunity or encouragement, they can so easily wither and fall into disuse. 

Curious about lifelong learning? 

Passionate about helping your child to become more self-aware as learners, to develop habits of a successful learner and to appreciate that they can continually improve those habits? 

We can support parents by generating Portable Learning Power so that children have the ability 
to learn what they need to in whatever circumstances they may find themselves. 
 
LET'S START PUMPING THOSE MUSCLES! 
 
 

 Top tips for Managing Distractions 

Homework can be a challenge for learners small and big! Discuss/consider what learning environment might be appropriate for your child at home. Think about internal distractions, such as hunger, tiredness, emotions, failure and put strategies/schedules into place to overcome these barriers. Give them time to talk about situations that are bothering them and allow them time to deal with emotions before settling to a task. Depending on the age of your child talk about what you do to manage your distractions. A refreshment break? Music on or off? Physical activity? A change of room? Breathing exercises? 

 
Remember: Brain breaks are great if you get stuck or lose focus. 
What can your child do to help themselves focus? 
What can you do? 
Can your child draw a picture of themselves using this learning muscle and stick it somewhere 
memorable at home to help them to remember to use this muscle? 
 

The Learning Muscles 

 

Resilience

being ready, willing and able to
LOCK ON TO LEARNING
Absorption Learning Muscle;you become engrossed in what you are doing; you are unaware of time passing
Managing Distraction Learning Muscle;you know what distracts you, you try to minimise distractions, you settle back quickly after an interuption
Noticing Learning Muscle;you notice how things look, what they are made of, or how they behave, you can identify significant detail
Perseverance Learning Muscle;you are not put off by being stuck, you keep on going despite difficulties and find ways to overcome them, you recognise that learning can be a struggle.
 

Reflectiveness

being ready, willing and able to become
MORE STRATEGIC ABOUT LEARNING
Planning Learning Muscle;you think about what you want to get out of learning, you plan the steps you might take, you access resources you may need
Revising Learning Muscle;you are ready to revise your plans as you go along, monitor how things are going, change your plans when you have had a better idea
Distilling Learning Muscle;you mull over experiences, draw out useful lessons from experiences, think about where else you might use these lessons
Meta-Learning Muscle;you are interested in how you learn as an individual, know your strengths and weaknesses as a learner, are interested in becoming a better learner
 

Resourcefulness

being ready, willing and able to
LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS
Questioning Learning Muscle;you are curious about things and people, you often wonder
why, you play with ideas, asking "How come?" and "What if?"
Making Links Learning Muscle;you look for connections between experiences or ideas, you
find pleasure in seeing how things fit together, you make patterns
Imagining Learning Muscle;you picture how things might look, sound, feel, be; you let your
mind explore and play with possibilities and ideas
Reasoning Learning Muscle;you create logical arguments, you deduce what might happen,
you look for evidence
 

Reciprocity

being ready, willing and able to
LEARN ALONE AND WITH OTHERS
Interdependence Learning Muscle;you know how much interaction you need with others to
assist your learning, you make informed choices about working on your own or with others
Collaboration Learning Muscle;you manage your feelings when working with others, you
understand the ground rules of team work, you are able to work effectively as part of a pair or
team
Empathy and Listening Learning Muscle;you put yourself in other people's shoes to see the
world from their point of view, show you are listening by eye contact and body language, hear
feelings and thoughts behind someone's words
Imitation Learning Muscle;you are ready to learn from others, notice the approach and detail
of how others do things

At Sunnyfields our whole school ethos is one of encouraging success and building aspirations. All staff have high expectations of learners, believing that everyone has something to offer and the capability of rising to the challenge. We reinforce this by encouraging learners to reflect on how and why a success, however small or large can be achieved. Each class is encouraged to adopt the 4 Rs by collecting marbles in a jar. When the jar is full the class get a suitable reward such as extra playtime.

 

New National Curriculum and Assessment Criteria
Click here to read information on the changes taking place and how they are being implemented at Sunnyfields.