: Developing Learning Behaviours: a whole school approach The second in a series of blogs by Hayley Wood


Developing Learning Behaviours: a whole school approach

The second in a series of blogs by Hayley Wood

by Alexandra Park Research School
on the

Hayley Wood, Assistant Director of Alexandra Park Research School describes how staff at Alexandra Park Primary School have been implementing a whole school approach to developing learning behaviours in the second instalment of a series of blogs.

Part one of this blog described the journey we are on as a school as we implement a whole school approach to developing the children’s learning behaviours, with the hope of creating confident, motivated self-regulated learners, equipped with the skills and behaviours they would need to achieve throughout their school life and beyond. After deciding on our six learning behaviours, we had to consider how we were going to present this to the children for it to have the most impact.

The next phase was built around a children’s version of the school’s learning behaviour model to support understanding and to give staff, children, and the whole school community a shared language. This included a focus on developing the children’s ability to discuss their learning and helping them to develop a language to talk about their own learning.

Following further internal and external research, the children’s version of our learning behaviour model was designed based on a shared understanding and coherent picture of what it takes to be a good learner. It utilises previous ideas and aims to develop children’s understanding of learning and, importantly, shifts responsibility for learning to learn from the teacher to the learner. The six behaviours identified were: pride, determination, creativity, curiosity, independence, and collaboration.


To further support the children’s understanding, bookmarks were made demonstrating what each learning behaviour might look like. These were placed in the front of all of the children’s workbooks so they could refer to them at any point during their learning:


The learning behaviours were introduced to children one at a time following the cycle below:


Following the introduction and launch of the model, there was a noticeable change in children’s behaviour during learning tasks and from the language they were using. Regular classroom observations were carried out over the next two terms, and pupil and staff voice started to deepen our understanding of the impact of the model.

Our findings, from a range of internal sources, showed that there was a significant improvement in the learning behaviours the children were demonstrating in the classroom. There was also a significant increase in children’s articulation of their learning and their confidence and ability to talk about what learning behaviours are and why they are important, and this was noticeable to both staff and parents (see below for quotes taken from staff, pupils and parents)

Child A has always demonstrated good learning behaviour and is very active in her learning. However, it is becoming noticeable in circle times and during class discussions that she is now able to articulate this much clearer and can also explain how they help her learn and achieve”.

Loads of teachers say well done or that’s great but X always tells me what it is I have done well or why they are proud of me. I like it. I always try and do it again then but that doesn’t always work.’

I can walk in any classroom or see children in the library for example and comment and discuss their use of learning behaviours. A recent example was a group of Year 6 children who were all working together, discussing, and sharing ideas, and then producing a poster and business plan for a project they were working on. I was able to comment on their creativity when sharing ideas and well as their collaboration to achieve the task’.

I received a message from home to tell me X had shown great determination when building a model at home. The parent commented that he often doesn’t last for very long and dad usually ends up taking over and finishing it as X gets frustrated when he finds bits difficult. However, this time he stuck at it and parents were able to praise his determination and independence, as well as referring to how proud they were of him. I was able to then echo this at school and we discussed and celebrated all the learning behaviours he’d shown in our circle time. It was a great realistic example for all the children to see the impact learning behaviours can have in lots of areas, not just school.’

We have been delighted with the impact the project has had so far, and the implications for further improvements are infinite. In the third blog from this series, we will describe how introducing Class Forums’ have really helped to provide precious time for school staff to listen to the pupil’s views and further develop our school learning behaviours.

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