Tag Archives: learning

Guy Claxton & Art Costa visit

Professor Guy Claxton brought the world renowned Art Costa (creator of the US Habits of Mind framework) to visit Bushfield, to show him how we have embedded the Building Learning Power approach into the school’s ethos and practice:

The following day, Guy took Art and his colleague Graham Watts to visit a couple of BLP schools in Milton Keynes: Bushfield Primary and St Pauls Catholic Secondary School.

Whilst seeing many similarities with their Habits of Mind schools, both in the UK and the US, both Art and Graham were astonished by the depth and fluency of the way in which students talked about their own learning.” — from Expansive Education

Assessing our Learning Power

At Bushfield we learn not just reading, writing, maths, science, ICT, history, geography, art, dance, PE and all the other subjects . . . All schools do that of course. But here’s a thought — maybe a school should also teach you how to learn?! In our Value Rings, we say Be a skilful learner, and so we learn about strengthening our Learning Muscles which we can flex in everything we do at school, but also at home and anywhere in fact.

Some people call them 21st Century skills [google that!], which help us learn and adapt for our whole lives. When you add all your learning muscles up, you have Learning Power. We’ve used the Building Learning Power approach to  kickstart this over the last few years. Professor Guy Claxton is one of the original education researchers who designed  Learning Power. Here he is talking about it:

Now we’re deepening this approach, by introducing a computer-based tool called ELLI that helps us assess each individual learner’s Learning Power (and that’s staff as well as pupils). Here’s Dr Ruth Deakin Crick, another of the original Learning Power team, introducing ELLI:

The learner does a web quiz, which asks them to think about their learning — here are three of the questions:

…which generates a picture showing how you see yourself as a learner, which has proven to be very powerful for helping learners of all abilities:

Personal ELLI profile showing your ‘Learning Power’

A class’s collective Learning Power profile

Finally, here’s a video of Tim Small who was training our team this week, explaining ELLI’s impact on pupils, the school staff and leadership.

Bushfield on the leading edge of learning

Bushfield School, Wolverton, is one of the most advanced schools in the country in its use of a radical new approach to learning for the 21st Century — say educational experts who’ve visited hundreds of schools and trained thousands of teachers in “Building Learning Power”, which is a core part of Bushfield’s approach to learning.

Internationally leading Professor of Learning Sciences, Guy Claxton, visited Bushfield this week to see for himself how the school has been teaching pupils to “learn how to learn”. This gives them a new language to talk about being skilful learners in all aspects of life, not just in school. Children talk naturally about building “learning muscles” like managing distractions, collaborating, and questioning — just what they’ll need to thrive in a fast-changing world.

Prof. Guy ClaxtonProf. Claxton’s visit followed a colleague’s review of the school who reported that she’d never seen such rapid, effective adoption of the approach.

After observing lessons and meeting with staff and pupils, Prof. Claxton commented,

“I saw 7 and 10 year olds collaborating and talking about their learning in ways that would have defeated many Cambridge undergraduates. I was thrilled to see what Andrea and her team have been able to achieve, when you coach children in the right way – and trust them to take more responsibility for their learning. Fantastic!”

Guy Claxton visiting Bushfield School

Bushfield Year 3 pupils in Mrs Truan’s class, working in pairs during Prof. Guy Claxton’s visit