At St. Olave’s Prep School we want our children to acquire the right skills and attitudes for life.

After researching the concept of Growth Mindset, Building Learning Power (BLP), visiting schools and listening to experts in the field of metacognition: Our SLT and Teaching and Learning Team have chosen a list of key learning muscles to support the development of these skills in an explicit way.

Each muscle has a character linked to it and each character has a set of tools that are an essential part of each lesson, where children will be identifying key attitudes needed for the tasks and their own key areas for improvement.

The children welcome every opportunity to explore and debate issues together and to value each other’s contributions and efforts.

ISI June 2019

Growth Mindset is a key concept based around the work of Carol Dweck, which shapes the ethos of the school. We believe the children should be taught to love challenges, be curious, see mistakes as a way to improve, enjoy effort, persevere and learn from each other. Rather than simply praising ‘ability’ and ‘flair’, we praise effort, persistence and positive attitudes to the learning process and give feedback to help children make even more progress so that learning is seen as a way to improve.

Pupils display courage in class, being prepared to risk getting things right or wrong, appreciating that it is the process of finding out the best answer that matters.

ISI June 2019

Building Learning Power or BLP is based on the work of Professor Guy Claxton.  It is an approach to learning that is taught across our school and it helps the children learn more and become lifelong learners.

We want children to see learning as a process. For them to see that ability is not a gift or fixed, but something that can be improved with hard work and practice. We want them to know that they are all good at something and that they can get better at things that they find a challenge. We believe that we need to give our children the skills they need to face whatever career path they take in a future that we may not recognise.

Pupils develop strong self-confidence, self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-discipline and resilience.

ISI June 2019

The approach that we take is realistic and accessible to all and it is an approach that can be cultivated at home and school.

Our 4 chosen Learning Muscles are:

  • Resilience
  • Cooperation
  • Reflectiveness
  • Resourcefulness

We call these behaviours our Learning Muscles and explain to the children that they need to be exercised in order to get learning fit. Each muscle is broken down into a set of associated behaviours that we teach explicitly through our normal timetable and curriculum.

We launched the Learning Muscles in September 2018 and are currently focusing on the second Learning Muscle: COOPERATION.

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