Building Learning Muscle


Students who are more confident of their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable. They do better in their tests and external examinations. And they are easier and more satisfying to teach.

Created by : Professor Guy Claxton

A key aim of Oak Lodge is to develop our students into lifelong learners, equipped for the challenges of living in a rapidly changing society. Some estimates suggest that over half of our students will be employed in jobs which don’t even exist yet. We therefore place great importance in developing learning skills for life through an approach called "building learning power".

Building learning power is...

> based on belief that the skill of learning can itself be learned

> about the whole person – qualities, values, self image, relationships, skills and strategies

> about better life chances for young people

Wren students have been introduced to the concept of four learning muscles, known as the 4 Rs:

1. Resilience – willing and able to lock on to learning

2. Resourcefulness – willing and able to draw on wide range of methods and strategies

3. Reflectiveness – willing and able to think about selves as learners

4. Reciprocity – willing and able to use relationships in most productive and enjoyable ways

All lessons are planned with specific learning objectives to develop one or more of the learning muscles. In this way, there is an explicit focus on how learning is taking place as well as what learning taking place. Lessons are regularly observed by teachers and student observers who then discuss the learning.

Each week, learning is celebrated in an assembly with an award for student learner of the week and staff learner of the week. The awards are a result of nominations by students and staff.

We maintain a regular dialogue with parents about building learning power. Spring reports focus on a student’s level of competence in each of the four learning muscles. Bulletins and parents meetings support parents in developing learning power at home.