blpEveryone is talking about it; learning to learn, lifelong learning, personalised learning, assessment for learning – and it is now a central strand of the Department for Children, Families and School's initiatives and Ofsted Inspections. Learning in the world of education has, at last, become a common enthusiasm.

In an attempt to help our children learn better or learn more, we in education have tried to understand learning styles, multiple intelligences and the like. In order to help our children organise their knowledge more effectively we introduced practical tools like mind maps. These approaches have paved the way for a more permanent set of approaches aimed at helping the children to help themselves to learn better.

One of these approaches, known as Building Learning Power, was created by Professor Guy Claxton. He suggests there are four main learning dispositions: Resilience – not giving up, Resourcefulness – being able to use a range of learning strategies and knowing what to do when you get stuck, Reflectiveness – being able to think about yourself as a learner and how you might be able to do this better and last, but not least, Reciprocity – being able to learn with and from others, as well as on your own.

The idea is that these dispositions are like a group of "learning muscles". Just as we can build our physical muscles, with the right kind of exercise, learning muscles can also be developed and can grow strong and develop stamina. Each of the four R’s is made up of a number of learning capacities – it is these we are aiming to develop in the children and by doing so enable them to learn better.

When you are around school you will see reference to the Four R’s. We're sure you will hear your children using the four R words and if you ask them we're are also sure they will be able to explain what they mean. We have introduced and been using BLP across the whole school and are already seeing its positive impact on the children’s approach to learning. It is deliberately planned and talked about by the teachers in their lessons.

BLP has been introduced in over three thousand schools in the UK with several local authorities committing themselves to the approach; it is also being delivered in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Miss Vials has been involved with the successful delivery of BLP in many schools, including her headship prior to Swallowdale. She worked for her last local authority promoting BLP as an approach within all their local schools. She has become an associate consultant with Professor Guy Claxton and has led many training sessions for the teachers here at Swallowdale since she joined the school.

We are part of the Bradgate Education Partnership. Click here to take you to the BEP website.


News Bulletin

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Term Times 2016/2017

Autumn Term 2016

School Opens - Tuesday 30th August
Mid Term Break - Monday 17th - Friday 21st October
School Closes - Friday 16th December

Spring Term 2017

School Opens - Wednesday 4th January 
Mid Term Break - Monday 13th - Friday 17th February
School Closes - Friday 7th April

Summer Term 2017 

School Opens - Monday 24th April
Mid Term Break - Friday 26th May - Friday 2nd June
School Closes - Friday 14th July

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