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Learning Philosophy

Our award-winning Learning Philosophy puts our learners first and is at the heart of our approach to teaching and learning.

Introducing our Learning Philosophy

We understand how people learn best, and how to work with every individual to remove barriers to learning. 

Our Learning Philosophy has driven new models of applied learning, which develop motivated and emotionally strong learners. 

Every year our philosophy helps thousands of people to unlock their potential and switch on to the power of learning. In 2016-17 it was awarded the Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Practical Teaching and Learning.

The Learning Philosophy is rooted in an understanding of how the brain, motiviation and emotions work together to help learning. Here is why those elements are at the heart of our teaching and learning practice:


Our brains are capable of incredible things.

From the study of neuroscience, we understand that the brain connects neurons to make networks. These networks strengthen and work faster through repeated use.

Your brain is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets! We believe in hard work and recognise the value in working through our failures so that we are constantly learning and improving.

We are here to help you develop good learning habits, and set aside those which can hold you back from learning. We do this by developing your independent learning skills, teaching active listening, building life skills, and through identifying technical and soft skills required for the work place.

Activate Learning has built outstanding relationships with a huge variety of employers.

Jane Samuels, Head of Projects and Partnerships at the Edge Foundation


We need to motivate ourselves in order to do the practice that strengthens the networks in our brains.

By repeatedly demonstrating the relevance and impact of newly learnt skills and knowledge, we maintain our students’ motivation.

We help you develop the grit, determination and patience to persevere, as well as empower you to have freedom over your learning.


Our emotional response to studying has a massive influence on how we learn.

The more positive your emotional response to studying is, the more likely you are to engage with and remember what you’re learning.

We listen to what you tell us about your learning habits, and we help you to believe in yourself and focus on your strengths. We create learning environments where you are encouraged to take risks and learn from mistakes in a safe and supportive space.

Teachers plan innovative activities that develop learners' entrepreneurial and employability skills well. Vocational areas have set up 'learning companies' through which a high number of learners are gaining valuable entrepreneurial and employability skills."

Activate Learning Ofsted inspection report 2014