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Learning Powers

St John Fisher: Our Vision

At St John Fisher, we strive to create a school community where children and adults achieve their full potential and SHINE!  We will achieve this through engagement, high expectations and by treating all with respect and dignity.

Building learning power is about helping young people to become better learners, both in school and out.

What is Learning Power?

It is about creating a culture in classrooms – and in the school more widely – that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to become better learners; face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.

Why are we focussing on this in St John Fisher?

Pupils 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.

Is it just important for school?

Building Learning Power prepares youngsters better for an uncertain future. Today’s schools need to be educating not just for exam results but for lifelong learning. To thrive in the 21st century, it is not enough to leave school with a clutch of examination certificates. Pupils/students need to have learnt how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive.

How does it work?

Building students as powerful learners:

  • is based on a coherent picture of what it takes to be a good learner
  • capitalises on previous learning-to-learn ideas
  • grows a student’s learning character and habits
  • develops the appetite and ability to learn in different ways
  • transforms the culture of the classroom and the climate of the school
  • shifts responsibility for learning to learn from the teacher to the learner
  • engages teachers and students creatively as researchers in learning
  • gives schools the opportunity to track students’ learning development

What effect will developing students learning behaviours have?

  • raised achievement
  • improved behaviour
  • increased motivation
  • supple learning minds
  • increased enjoyment in learning
  • established habits of lifelong learning
  • enhanced creativity
Learning Power in St John Fisher

All staff and children have been involved in creating a plan for what Learning Powers we will focus on in our school and what they will look like.  Each year group had a different power to investigate, create and present to the rest of the school.  They not only wrote stories to explain how each power works but also created a display to help everyone to remember the key messages.

Learning Powers at St John Fisher
Empathy & listening Questioning & reasoning Collaboration Planning     Imagining          Perseverance Revising          Absorption     

·  Listen closely to understand what people are really saying

·  Get to know one another better

·  Feel the needs of others

·  Offer kindness

·  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Listen contains the same letters as silent

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to talk

When you talk you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen you may learn something new (Dalai Lama)

·  Ask questions of yourself and others

·  Use what you have learnt in life

·  Record your thoughts

·  Find different points of view

·  Dive beneath the surface to see more

Question everything

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer

If you don’t ask you don’t get

· Value all ideas

· Learn from each other

· Believe in your ideas

· Stay on task

· Take on a role

Two heads are better than one

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t

·  Take one step at a time

·  Reflect on where you are now

·  Think about where you need to be

·  Consider what you need to do to get there

·  Tackle obstacles on the way

Failing to plan is planning to fail

If plan A didn’t work, don’t worry…the alphabet has 25 more letters

·     Acknowledge all thoughts

·     Use the community/wider world for inspiration

·     Enjoy free time to explore, discuss and share

·     Consult others for ideas

·     Wonder creatively

Reach for the stars

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were

Life is so much more interesting inside your head

·   Never give up when it is difficult

·   Feed off frustration

·   Understand learning is a slow and uncertain process

·   Take risks

·   Be excited to try different ways

I might not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday

If at first you don’t succeed…try, try again

Winners never quit and quitters never win

·  Come up with different strategies

·  Work as part of a team to improve

·  Welcome change

·  Try new angles to find the best way

·  Regularly check you are on track

Progress is impossible without change

Take a chance, make a change

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you

·  Do one thing at a time

·  Create a setting which helps you learn

·  Show readiness to learn

·  Open your mind

·  Block out distractions

Feel it, flow with it, infuse with it, believe it. Time to let the magic begin.

Lose yourself in learning.



Empathy and Listening

This teaches us to contribute to others experiences by listening to them to understand what they are really saying and putting yourself in their shoes.


Asking questions of yourself and others.  Being curious and playful with ideas- delving beneath the surface of things.


This helps us to know how to manage ourselves in the give and take of everyday tasks and interactions, respecting and recognising each other\’s viewpoints; adding to and drawing from the strengths in teams.


Thinking about where you are going, the actions you are going to take, the time and resources you may need and the obstacles you may face.


Using your imagination and intuition to put yourself through new experiences or to explore new circumstances, wondering….What if?


Keep going on in the face of difficulties, channelling the energy of frustration productively.  Knowing what a slow and uncertain process learning often is.


Being flexible, changing your plans in the light of different circumstances, monitoring and reviewing how things are going and seeing new opportunities.


Being able to lose yourself in learning- becoming absorbed in what you are doing; rapt and attentive and in a state of \’flow\’.

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