Our knowledge about learning is continually changing in the light of research and there is still much that we do not know. At The Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation one of our key aims is to keep up to date with current thinking on how children learn and ensure that personal learning and thinking skills are at the heart of our curriculum.

What is Learnology?

Learnology is a weekly lesson which aims to look closely at a ‘learning power’. Learning powers include resilience, collaboration, empathy, questioning, contributing… By doing this it is hoped that our pupils will gain a clearer insight into how they learn and come to understand that intelligence can be developed rather than being something that is fixed. An understanding of how one learns increases self-esteem, motivation to learn and outcomes.

“Our task is to educate their (our students) whole being so they can face the future. We may not see the future, but they will and our job is to help them make something of it.”

Ken Robinson,

Why it is important?

At the heart of Learnology is a fundamental belief that education is about preparing children for life beyond the walls of the classroom. It is about helping them to build up the mental, emotional, social and strategic resources so that they can enjoy challenges and cope well with uncertainty and complexity.

This is particularly relevant in a society that is full of change, risk, opportunity and complexity. Learnology is not a quick fix or a bolt on but should be seen as a way of refreshing our thinking about the culture in our schools and the habits of us, as teachers. We need to go beyond the wish lists of ‘wider skills’ and ‘key attitudes’ – what is needed is a gradual, sometimes challenging, hugely worthwhile process of change.

Learnology sessions explicitly introduce what a learning power looks like, feels like and how we can apply it – we then weave this throughout our teaching and learning so that our pupils practise it and understand the importance of developing this aspect. Every week, pupils vote on a learning hero. This is a child who has shown the learning power that we are focusing on, by doing this we are highlighting the importance that these key skills and attributes have in our schools.

“In a complicated, fast-changing world the intelligent path is to let go of being a Knower and embrace being a Learner.”

― Guy Claxton.