Cottingley Village Primary School

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Building Learning Power


Central to all our teaching at Cottingley Village Primary School is developing children's skills to become independent learners.This is based upon Building Learning Power (BLP), part of a national initiative from research by Professor Guy Claxton which suggests that there are four learning dispositions.

  • Reciprocity - being ready, willing and able to learn alone and with others.
  • Resilience - being ready, willing and able to lock onto learning.
  • Resourcefulness - being ready, willing and able to learn in different ways.
  • Reflectiveness - being ready, willing and able to become more strategic about learning.

Just as people go to a gym to develop their physical fitness children at Cottingley Village Primary School develop their learning fitness. In the same way that bodies can become fitter, so too can minds. The four R's have various 'learning muscles' which can be stretched, trained and made more efficient:


Collaboration - working successfully with others.

Imitation - improve your learning by observing other people.

Empathy and listening - putting yourself in other people's shoes.

Interdependence - knowing where to learn by yourself or with others.


Managing distractions - know how to keep distractions to a minimum.

Perseverance - not giving up. Sometimes it takes time to learn a new skill.

Absorption - lose yourself in learning. Focus on what you are doing.

Noticing - looking closely at evidence.


Making links - seeing connections and bringing them together.

Questioning - taking your learning forward by asking meaningful questions.

Capitalising - learn from different sources. Know which one to use in your learning.

Imagining - let your mind explore and play with ideas.

Reasoning - looking for evidence and working out what might happen.


Planning - assess which resources you might need.

Distilling - looking at what you have learnt and taking it into new areas.

Meta-learning - know how you learn as an individual, your strengths and weaknesses.

Revising - monitor how things are going. Change your plans if necessary.


These 17 learning capacities are referred to and used in all lessons in school. Each learning capacity has an image to help the children with them and they can be used on smart board screens and learning objective labels.

Click here to see what these images are.

Click on the links below to find out more about the four learning dispositions.

            Resourcefulness                                             Reciprocity                                                 Reflectiveness                                     Resilience                   

More information can be found at: