Call the School: 01933 312748

Last week’s Geography Week was fantastic.  The children at HFJS are concerned about their future and have thought of ways to tackle the global problem of plastic pollution.  Because 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year, by 2030 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.  Another fact that was mind boggling was that 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute.

Mrs Münster launched Geography Week on Monday 7th January where the children were given the upsetting reality of plastic pollution.  The children were then set a task to research different countries of the world and find out the effects of plastic pollution in their country and what that country is doing to improve the situation. 

Mrs Spencer-Smith also intrigued the children with a ‘message in a bottle’ for each class.  The message was the ocean sending out an S.O.S to help with plastic pollution.  The children then wrote a message in a bottle back to the ocean choosing a genre of writing.  Some children wrote an underwater story where their character was affected by plastic pollution.

All of the hard work and presentations from each class were shown during this Monday’s assembly.  It was so interesting to hear about how other countries have reduced their plastic waste.  By learning from other countries we can improve our own country.  Did you know that many European countries refund money when you return your plastic bottles to the supermarket?  Did you know that we export some of our plastic waste to Thailand for them to recycle? Thailand are struggling to recycle their own plastics let alone plastics from other countries.

HFJS children have thought hard about ways to reduce plastic pollution and are looking forward to the challenge of us prohibiting the use of single-use plastic in schools by 2022.

What is Learning Power?

Building Learning Power (BLP) is an approach to learning that we have begun to implement at Higham Ferrers Junior School. This approach was created by Professor Guy Claxton. It is based on the idea that we are all capable of becoming better learners. BLP applies this idea directly to the work of teachers in the classrooms, to provide a practical framework for fostering lifelong learning in all young people.

At HFJS, our school ethos is one of striving to be the best we can be. BLP allows us to nurture this ethos and build the children’s learning power through a variety of strategies and techniques.

Key Principles of Building Learning Powers

  • It is a learning culture that encourages children and teachers to become better learners
  • It allows children to approach difficulties in learning without fear of failure
  • It allows the children to take small steps within learning
  • It develops confidence
  • It is not additional to teaching but should be grounded within everyday teaching and learning
  • It gives clear labels for the children to use to develop understanding of learning processes

What are the ‘Building Learning Powers’ we are working on?

Professor Claxton suggests there are four main learning dispositions:

  • Resilience- not giving up,
  • Resourcefulness- –being able to use a range of learning strategies and knowing what to do when you get stuck,
  • Reflectiveness- being able to think about yourself as a learner and how you might be able to do this better,
  • Reciprocity- –being able to learn with and from others, as well as on your own.

These dispositions are then split into seventeen learning ‘muscles’ that the children are encouraged to ‘stretch’ within their everyday lessons and activities and apply to different aspects of their learning. Just as we can build our physical muscles with the right kind of exercise, learning muscles can also be developed and can grow in strength and stamina. It is these we are aiming to develop in the children. We have given ourselves three ‘muscles’ to work on this year: Perseverance, Collaboration and Questioning.

Please find below posters on the 4 Learning Dispositions and ways that you can help support this learning at home.


Main Contact

The name, postal address and telephone number of the school, and the name of a person to whom enquiries should be addressed is:

Miss Gemma Oakenfull,
Higham Ferrers Junior School,
Saffron Road,
Higham Ferrers,
Rushden, Northants.
NN10 8ED

Tel: 01933 312748
Fax: 01933 418703

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