Building Learning Powers

Building Learning Powers (BLP) is based on research by a man called Guy Claxton who is one of the UK’s leading experts on the development of young people’s learning and creative capacities.  We’ve adopted it at Fernhill Primary because it helps our learners become confident, capable and creative lifelong learners.  The framework provides a clear picture of what it takes to become a good learner.  We believe BLP teaches children how to learn and helps them take ownership and responsibility of their own learning.

Our Learning Powers:


  • Demonstrate/model sticking at things even if they are difficult
  • Talk about how you feel when you are taking on challenges
  • Praise children when they persevere and recognise when a child needs to take a break
  • Help children to find interests and activities that are really absorbing
  • Talk with children about what helps them to concentrate and manage distractions


  • Encourage questions
  • Demonstrate making links between different ideas
  • Encourage children to be imaginative and to think outside the box
  • Help children to find ways of using resources such as reference books, dictionaries, the Internet


  • Encourage children to take responsibility by organising themselves – e.g decide and collect what resources are needed for a task
  • Ask not what they are doing, but what they are learning
  • Help children to think about, and plan, activities
  • Encourage flexibility and the ability to change a plan if necessary


  • Demonstrate/model being a good learner and how to make mistakes
  • Work, play and learn alongside children, enabling them to pick up good habits through imitation
  • Make expectations of turn-taking and cooperation clear
Tough Tortoise: Resilience/



not giving up
  •  I have courage to have a go and I try not to say “I can’t”
  •  I am determined and keep trying even when it is hard
  •  I can help myself when I am stuck
  •  I know when to ask for help
  •  I try not to be distracted or distract others
Curious Cat


being able to use a range of learning strategies and knowing what to do when you get stuck,
  • I can ask questions of myself and others and I’m curious about ideas. I like to find out more
  • I can see links between events and experiences. I build patterns – weaving a web of understanding
  • I use my imagination to explore possibilities and ask “What if…?”
  • I think things through carefully.
  • I use tools around me like other people, books, the internet and my own experiences to help me find answers
Reflective Owl: Reflectiveness being able to think about yourself as a learner and how you might be able to do this better
  • I can talk about my learning
  • I can be flexible and change my plans as I go along.
  • I can make my own decisions and can explain my point of view.
  • I use feedback to make my work better next time
  • I allow time to improve my work
Team Bee: Reciprocity/


being able to learn with and from others, as well as on your own.
  • I am willing to share ideas and learn from the ideas of others
  • I respect others’ ideas even if they are different to my own
  • I treat others fairly and am willing to take turns
  • I can manage my feelings and try not to argue
  • I get involved and can take on different team roles.
  • I can make decisions about when to work on my own and when to work with others