Seven behaviours, that support the development of Effective Lifelong Learning
Learning Power- Skills for life
- Mytchett Primary and Nursery Academy is committed to developing children’s learning behaviours to ensure they become life long learners, nurturing the skills to learn; we call this Learning Power
- Our children are a generation who are growing up, working towards a future that we cannot predict, with jobs yet to be created!
- Every child should have the opportunity to thrive, but we need to harness the tools for them to do so.
- Our Learning Powers are progressively taught, experienced and developed from the Early Years to Year 6.
Where it all begins…
If you were to consider a very young child trying to walk and talk they have been through many processes to reach their final goal.
During that time, they will have been demonstrating the following
- Responding to feedback
- High levels of resilience
- Risk taking
- Making connections
- Endless curiosity
- Seeking communication
- Trying new approaches
All of these are skills that we are born with and with careful nurturing they will continue to develop and grow stronger. Professor Art Costa said it is important to prepare children “Not just for a life of tests, but for the tests of life” This means that we need to help children to build up the mental, emotional, and social resources to enjoy challenge and cope well with uncertainty and complexity.
Changing and Learning
People who are strong in this dimension know that learning is itself learned. They believe that through effort their minds can get stronger just as their bodies can.
Effective learners like to find things out, to get to the bottom of things and find out what is really going on. They like to ask questions like Why? Where? How? Etc. They are less likely to accept information uncritically or just because someone says so.
Effective Learners are on the look out for links between what they are learning and what they know. They like to see how things fit together. They connect learning at work with learning in hobbies, home, with friends and learning from previous experiences with learning occurring now.
Creative learners are playful, they like a challenge and are willing to take risks. They like to look at a problem from many different perspectives and will use their imagination, letting their mind 'float free' to find creative solutions. They listen to their intuition in their learning.
Resilient learners like a challenge and are willing to give it a go even if the outcome and the way to proceed are uncertain. They accept that everyone can find learning hard sometimes and are not frightened by finding something difficult.
Strategic learners consider how they will approach a task and take account of their own habits, preferences, strengths and weaknesses. They are aware of their own feelings about learning and know how to manage them. They know their personal learning preferences.
Effective learners like to work with other people, learning from them and learning with them. They can work on their own too providing a healthy balance between independent and collaborative learning.
But how do you teach learning behaviours?
At Mytchett Primary and Nursery Academy we introduce children to the idea of Learning Powers in our Early Years Settings, both Nursery and Reception Year. We then extend the children’s understanding of ‘how’ they learn throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
By knowing what it takes to be a good learner, our children are able to develop their learning behaviours and habits, as well as their appetite and ability to learn in different ways.
Early Years Foundation Stage - Children are introduced to the Beaver who shows great resilience, the Curious Cat who asks lots of questions and the Creative Monkey who enjoys challenges and likes to find creative solutions.
In Key Stage 1 - Children build on from the previous characters that have been introduced and learn about the Spider who is able to make links to further their learning, the Honey Bee who can successfully work collaboratively or on their own, the Owl who demonstrates strategic awareness and the Butterfly who is capable of adapting his approach to different situations.
By Key Stage 2 - The children have been introduced to all seven learning behaviours and can choose which one is best to support them in their learning. Children are able to make links with their learning behaviours throughout their learning and are encouraged to consider which behaviours will help them learn best.