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Building Learning Power at Northolt High School

Last weekend, Northolt High School teachers attended the first of this year’s Learning and Teaching conferences to explore how to Build Learning Power with our year 7 pupils.

Building Learning Power is one of our key year 7 learning and teaching priorities. Building Learning Power- or BLP- is a fusion of skills. It brings together the doing and the knowing of learning. Developing the doing learning skills that underpins learning will help our year 7 pupils grow into resilient and well-rounded learners.

Your Learning Powered Mind


Skills our pupils will develop through Building Learning Power (click image):


Building Learning Power develops pupils’ mindsets and results in pupils achieving even more in their learning: 

Without learning power With learning power
This is too hard... This may take some time and effort
I can't do maths... I'm going to train my brain to do maths
I made a mistake... Mistakes make me improve...

This term, we are focusing on cross-curricular approaches to perseverance – one of the key BLP learning skills. During our conference, Northolt High School staff spent time developing approaches to lesson planning that is going to help our year 7 pupils build their learning power in all of their lessons.

Over the weekend, teachers explored how to ensure we are planning for challenge. We also explored how to get our pupils to enjoy the challenge of getting stuck and making mistakes in their learning- and most importantly- how to develop skills to get unstuck when faced with challenge.

So, from now on, year 7 pupils are going to notice quite a difference to their lessons. They’ll start to see that it isn’t just the subject content that is being assessed. They will be asked to evaluate if they feel like they are being challenged through our Challenge Traffic Lights:

Are you feeling challenged (85)









And if the level of challenge isn’t sufficient, then our teaching staff will ramp it up another gear to ensure all of our pupils are working their hardest to get the most out of their learning.

Year 7s will start to notice things getting harder and more challenging in their lessons- through more challenging questioning, for example:

The Question Matrix (resize)

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Or even more challenging stretch marking and assessment:

Sociopath Work (autocorrect)

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During the weekend conference, staff also developed Getting Unstuck approaches so that when learning gets tough, our pupils have strategies to cope with the demands.

Getting Un-Stuck





An example of how to get unstuck in English








Learning has never been so exciting at Northolt High School and Building Learning Power is going to develop our pupils into the resilient, intelligent, high-achieving, emotionally responsible, curious citizens of tomorrow.

Mr Mathews
Assistant Headteacher