Bradley Stoke Community School

Learning at BSCS Primary Phase

Learning to Learn Strategies


One of the keys to children succeeding at school is for them to understand how they learn; if a child can explain the different skills he or she is using, this enhances awareness of what helps them to learn. We believe strongly in encouraging children to explain the why, how and what of learning and we use a number of strategies to enhance this.

We invest time and resources to support approaches which make learners think about learning more explicitly in the classroom. We teach children strategies to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning. Overall these strategies involve being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses as a learner, being able to set and monitor goals and having strategies to choose from or switch to during learning activities.

Becoming Better Learners


Are you a purple learner? We use ‘purple learning’ to help children understand the importance of challenge. 

If learning is too easy; learners can find themselves in the ‘Blue Zone’ and can become bored and ‘switched off’ quickly – they know they will not learn anything new in the blue zone.

If learning is too hard; learners find themselves in the ‘Red Zone’ or the ‘Danger Zone’ and can quickly feel stressed and overwhelmed by a task. 

We learn best when we are in the ‘Purple Zone’ or the ‘Challenge Zone’ (red and blue mixed together to make the purple!) Learners feel confident to have a go and know that some of the learning will be difficult but, if they keep working hard, they can be successful.

Have you been on the Purple Learning Bus today?

Acorn Class have a Purple Learning Bus – they try to get on the bus every day!

Picture of Purple Bus and children putting their name/picture in the bus

If they find themselves in the Red or Blue zones we encourage them to use their Elli learning Powers to help move themselves into the Purple Zone

ELLI (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory)

Being able to plan and manage you own time in a task and keep yourself motivated are examples of self-regulation and meta-cognition. Teachers and learners use The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI). Learning dimensions (powers) are introduced to the children through a series of ELLI characters. This starts in Reception and continues throughout the Primary Phase.

We introduce children to the ELLI learning powers through a story. Click here to find out more.

Changing and learning   Chameleon  A sense of myself as someone who learns and changes over time    
Critical curiosity  Cat Making connections and seeing that learning ‘matters to me’
Creativity Unicorn Risk-taking, playfulness, imagination and intuition
Interdependence Bees Learning with and from others and also able to manage without them
Strategic awareness  Owl Being aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions as a learner, and able to use that awareness to manage learning processes
Resilience Tortoise The readiness to persevere in the development of my own learning power

 What helps you to learn?

........these are 'movers'.  smile

What stops you from learning?

........these are 'blockers'. frown

Children learn about movers and blockers. In every class, we decide on a class list of movers and blockers.


We talk a lot at BSCS Primary Phase!  Sometimes talk can help us learn, sometimes talking is not helpful.  We reflect on what is helpful and unhelpful talk in our classrooms.

These are examples of what we think is helpful talk:

  • Asking a question
  • Explaining an answer
  • People asking for help
  • Talking about your work with your friends
  • Helping your partner work out the answer to a difficult question
  • Saying ‘good morning’ politely
  • Sharing your ideas

These are examples of what we think is unhelpful talk:

  • Chatting when you should be listening
  • Arguing
  •  Interrupting
  •  Being mean
  • Shouting out
  • Saying mean things about someone else’s work
  • Talking about things that are not to do with your learning