Alleyn's Learners' Programme

The Alleyn’s Learners’ Programme, or ALP, is a collection of relevant and responsive courses that help pupils to develop as learners and as young people. Offering key strategies, interventions and opportunities for reflection, ALP creates a space in the curriculum for our pupils to explicitly focus on their academic development and well-being.

Taught weekly in Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 by a wide range of staff including leaders from the Lower and Middle School, ALP lessons are energetic, interactive and full of games and problem solving as well as in-depth discussion and reflection. Growing from a meta-cognition course, the programme now encompasses various critical thinking elements, essential study and enquiry skills as well as individual support for pupils.

In the Lower School, pupils begin by exploring what it means to be a successful learner at Alleyn’s and developing essential habits for learning. They go on to think about the way their brains work and develop and then consider their own aspirations through a project on heroes of character.

In Year 8, an introduction to critical thinking and to the mindset which allows us to think deliberately, helps pupils explore the difference between reasonable inference and unreasonable assumptions, and between weakly and strongly conceived arguments, before they look forward to their entry into the Middle School and consider what it means to pro-actively drive their own education.

“A chance to reflect and develop learning skills for the future in an excellent way. A real asset to Year 8!” Year 8 pupil

Throughout Year 9, pupils develop their skills of enquiry through two guided research projects. The first, the Alleyn’s Initiative, encourages them to take meaningful action based on primary research, and to consider the characteristics of effective teamwork and how to present ideas well.  The second, the Independent Challenge, provides the opportunity to explore a topic of interest and to understand the hazards of research and of cognitive bias.

Based upon the findings from positive psychology, the Year 11 ‘Balance’ course encourages our students to flourish during their GCSE year by offering them a balanced range of experiences that are understood to lead to a greater sense of wellbeing: learning a new skill, thinking about others, being active and making time for relaxation. Offered alongside help with managing the challenges of examinations and study, at the heart of the ‘Balance’ course is a desire to help our pupils to understand, through experience, that wellbeing is the source of ‘success’.

This year, the courses on offer range from gardening and mindfulness as ways to build relaxation into our lives, to touch-typing and university cookery as new skills. Global Perspectives, Model United Nations and Amnesty International are all options for thinking globally and students choose between zumba, parkour and British military fitness to explore ways to build exercise into their lives. A particularly popular option has been the 'Alleyn’s Apprentice' which gives our students a taste of using their initiative and working with external stakeholders.

Infographic showing an overview of the Year 11 ALP course

Infographic showing an overview of the Year 11 ALP course


"Interesting, enlightening, challenging, but most of all fun!"

- Alleyn's Learners' Programme pupil

Alleyn's boys and girls in an ALP session with iPads

“What a brilliant initiative this seems to me. I really like the fact that, through this programme, pupils make a positive choice”

- Alleyn’s parent

Girls and boys participating in an ALP session