Learning @ Leventhorpe

learning at leventhorpe2

At Leventhorpe, learning is at the heart of everything that we do including our mission statement:

“Together we provide the care and opportunities of all to grow, learn and face challenges with confidence.”

The world is a complex and rapidly changing place and we recognise as educators that our challenge is to provide young people the skills they will need to adapt.  As a school with outstanding teaching and learning, a national support school and a leading player in the local teaching school alliance, we take our learning challenge extremely seriously and to do this we work hard to stay abreast of the latest educational thinking.
In recent year we have engaged whole-heartedly with the ideas of Profession Guy Claxton, known as "Building Learning Power".  For us at Leventhorpe, Building Learning Power has become so interwoven with the way we think about learning, that we have decided to adapt and refine in to put our own particular Leventhorpe style onto it.  We have called our system “Learning @ Leventhorpe”.

“Learning @ Leventhorpe” or L @ L for short starts by asking students four key questions:

  • How will you build your learning?
  • How will you manage your learning?
  • How will others help you learn?
  • How will you focus on your learning?

Students are then encouraged to reflect upon the sixteen learning habits that they can adopt when faced with a challenge: How will you build your learning?  This question has a focus on things that you can do in lessons, or at home that will help you to learn. 

  • Questioning: being inquisitive or wanting to know “why?” is a crucial habit for good learning.  It is also important to be able to think of, and ask the right question at the right time.
  • Imagining: being creative and coming up with ideas and solutions to problems.  Being able to think how things might be if…
  • Making Links: being able to see how things might be connected.  Understanding how different pieces of information can be related.  Noticing the similarities and differences in information from different sources.
  • Reasoning: being able to develop a chain of argument to show that you understand the key issues.  Making sure that your points make good sense, and justifying what you are saying.

How Will You Manage Your Learning?

This question focuses on things that you can do to make sure you will take full advantage of lessons, or times when you are working at home.

  • Resourcefulness: being able to use the different learning resources that are available.  This covers things like computers, for research or presentation, using books, using other people, using TV or Radio, newspapers or magazines.  You need to know how to make best use of these to help you with different types of learning tasks.
  • Organisation: being ready to learn, having the right equipment, making sure you manage deadlines and your time, planning your work so that you know what to do and how to do it.
  • Adapting: being able to be flexible, knowing when to make changes.  Being able to check how well you are doing and being ready to go in a different direction if necessary.
  • Positivity: having a ‘can-do’ attitude, being prepared to take responsible risks.  Understanding that if you try, and don’t quite achieve what you hoped, you have still made progress.  Feeling good about yourself and knowing you can always learn more.

How will you learn from others?

This question considers how well you work with others and how you learn from them.  Teamwork is a crucial skill in life and you need to work at your social skills to make the most of the people around you.

  • Observing: being able to recognise and notice how others behave and what they do.  More generally it covers how good you are at seeing links and patterns in information.
  • Empathy: being able to understand the views and opinions of others.  Can you see things from different perspectives and respect beliefs or opinions that you might disagree with?
  • Listening: We have two ears and only one mouth!  Can you listen effectively to other people?  Do you really listen, or do you just pretend you are listening?  Can you listen effectively for a long period?  Can you listen to short sharp instructions? 
  • Collaboration: being able to work effectively with others.  Teams often have different roles.  Have you got the flexibility to undertake different roles in groups?  Can you work well with different people, even those you don’t necessarily like?

How will you focus on your learning?

This question thinks about how well you work when you are set tasks.  It is important that you are an efficient and effective learner!

  • Managing Distractions: you need to be able to know how to stay ‘on-task’.  This might be difficult at school if you are working with friends, or people you don’t get on with.  At home it might be difficult to find a quiet space, or work in your room if there is the temptation of your laptop or TV.  You will need to work out ways to stay in control of these issues!
  • Engagement: being really interested and excited about learning.  Making sure that you take advantage of each opportunity to the full.
  • Precision: being accurate in your work, e.g. spelling and grammar.  Also, being accurate in your thinking or reasoning, being able to make clear logical judgements.
  • Determination: being able to stick at a task, even when it is difficult.  Knowing when you are stuck, and being able to try different strategies to move on.  Knowing where you want to get to and working hard to make sure that you achieve long term goals.

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