BLH Blog

learning@veseys - the blog

All about the learning process at BVGS

Learning Habit of the Month for March, Absorption.

Learning habit of the month is just another way in which we are maintaining the high profile of BLH and of getting all staff and students to have used each of the habits.

The learning habit of the month of March is Absorption. This is defined as"The students are in a state of flow in their learning for a good period of time".

We shall be encouraging all staff to include this in lessons throughout March. Students will be made aware of this and will be expecting it in lessons.

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Another successful BLH Parents Forum on 27th January...

It was great to see parents working with SALP students at last weeks BLH Parents forum. We shall now enter the next phase of staff lesson observations using the sheets from this night. We shall also engage with the SALP students to observe some staff too. The overall effect should be to encourage more developmental coaching conversations between staff about learning in their lessons.

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'What the impact of BLP has been on my teaching, my students and our school.'


I have now been involved with developing a programme of ‘Building Learning Power’ at my


school for about 20 months. In that time I believe that I have observed profound effects in so


much of what I am involved in.




I have always been a confident teacher and have been lucky enough to have positive


relationships with the students that I have taught, I  have also been keen to try new ideas


and help my students to develop as learners. Some initiatives have worked to a fashion and


other ideas have simply exasperated me. When I initially heard about ‘Building Learning


Power’ I was somewhat sceptical, but I read a little further and began to appreciate the logic


of the process. Without a doubt the opportunity to empower students with a better grasp of


their own learning and to instil a genuine resilience for university study really motivated me


to help develop a ‘Building Learning Habit’ culture at my school.




I have noticed that as we have introduced the learning habit terms to the students they have


taken them on board with real zest and enthusiasm. The ‘splicing’ of learning habit language


into our learning objectives has been quite easy and, I believe, has given our objectives more


meaning. As time has passes we are finding that students already have an understanding of


the habits and are able to more clearly visualise our dual learning objectives.




In one of my As level teaching groups I had a couple of students who were languishing at


grade E/U level when they started their course16 months ago. I have targeted these


individuals and their group for close BLP attention! Although it is so difficult to link cause


and effect between learning habits and exam performance this group has made astonishing


progress, but in particular the two underperforming students have just got strong grade A’s in


their mock A2. I anticipate a full set of A and A* grades in the summer from this group. I feel


comfortable suggesting that our conversations about learning habits have helped the group


with a clearer understanding of their learning. They agree with me that they feel more


confident as independent learners as they move toward the challenges of university study.


It is pretty straight forward to see the effect on my students. I find it very uplifting as they


discuss their own learning using BLP language as the tackle learning challenges. When I ask


the students what their impression is of the use of BLP, they are very positive and


acknowledge the way in which they are now thinking about their learning. I have just done a


session with our Students As Learning Partners or SALP group. They have constructed their


own learning ladders and have identified how they might feedback to staff their observations


in as constructive a manor as possible. There responses have been so mature and


sophisticated throughout.




In my school I feel that the development of BLP has been substantial. After targeting the


introduction of learning habits to years 7, 8 and lower sixth in our first year we have


expanded to encourage staff to use BLH in all those lessons that they feel comfortable. It has


been a natural and unforced progression that now sees the vast majority of lessons


incorporating the use of learning habits. We still have a long way to go. Departments have


been working on learning ladders which detail their interpretation of the progressive


development of learning habits. This work has also been done by parents and our SALP


group. Staff triads or quads have also been meeting regularly to share practice initially across


curriculum areas and currently within departments. Altogether we are deepening our use of


learning habits.




Given these developments and the cultural change which makes us ‘feel’ like a BLH School.


There is the bottom line. We see emerging evidence of a positive effect on internal exam


results. External exam results remain at record levels despite the school having to


deal with continued challenges, especially financial. It is not really possible to link our exam


successes directly to BLH, but I remain convinced that the effects can only be positive and


will get even better. I also know that my A level students will take on university study with


more highly developed and resilient learning skills and that gives me a real sense of


satisfaction. I think that we can sum the progress that the school, has made with a recent


comment made to me by a teacher of german, who said that the effect of the student using


BLH regularly in their lessons has been that they learn more content at a deeper level in less


time than ever before.




Steve Baugh


Assistant Headteacher,


Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield.


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Training for Staff was on BLH Learning Ladders....

Last Monday 2nd November we had a training session for departments to look at how they could build learning ladders for the most often used Learning Habits in their subject. It was wonderful to be able to share the BLH Learning Ladders that had been completed by Parents at our last forum on October 6th. I know that staff were very impressed with the grasp of BLH demonstrated by parents!

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Great Work by Parents on BLH Learning Ladders....

Well done to all the parents who attended our BLH evening earlier this month!. Superb learning ladders were produced  for the following habits: Collaboration, Making Links, Interdependence, Capitalising, Perseverance, Noticing, Meta-Learning, Empathy & Listening. These are well on the way to being typed up and we shall be sharing them in due course!

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....another year of BLH.

Great first week back! We are looking forward to continuing our BLH journey with staff, parents and students. We have had our first BLH Champions meeting of the year. We are particularly keen to help our new staff and students engage with Building Learning Habits. We've even started training up a new group of Students as Learning Partners who will be supporting the other students with developing and refining their Learning Habits.

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BLH: Our Journey

At Vesey we have been on a really important journey of discovery and self-improvement.  The corner stone to this adventure has been the new Building Learning Habits (BLH) programme which kick-started in September 2014.

Click here to read all about what we have been doing and what is happening next.

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Fantastic Results BVGS 2015

Well done to all our students for the fantastic results both at A-Level and GCSE.  We know the hard work that you put in, and we are delighted for you all.  As the BLH programme grows over the next few years, we hope to see even more of you achieving even more top grades, but most of all, we want to see you going out into the world fully prepared to be top-class life-long learners!

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Welcome to our new BVGS BLH Blog........

We shall be using this blog to keep you all updated with 'Our Building Learning Habits journey'. BLH at BVGS was launched in September 2014 and we have made some fantastic advances, however there is still a long way to this space!

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Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham B74 2NH

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