An extract taken from High Performance Learning World Class School St Mary's Cambridge's Accolade Magazine written by Global Lead Teacher Daniel Taylor. 

Since St Mary’s gained certification as a High Performance Learning (HPL) World Class School, we have continued to work tirelessly in the Junior School to integrate HPL within our school ethos and environment so that pupils become outstanding learners and leaders within their communities.

When I started my teaching career, I served as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator in the United States, and I have continued passionately supporting and advocating for children who require specialised support. Over my time as an educator, working in various schools and teaching a wide range of age groups, I have found one common theme. Students may not necessarily remember the exact topics we teach, but they will take away the life skills that we, as teachers, impart. Therefore, I became fascinated with the HPL framework when the St Mary’s Senior Leadership Team first pursued it. HPL creates a structure wherein pupils develop specific values and learning attitudes, backed by training critical thinking skills which can be used throughout their lives.

In April 2020, I became an HPL Global Lead Teacher, following in the steps of my Senior School colleague, Dr Andrew Flint. My interest was centred on the premise of HPL’s ambitious claim that all children can achieve at a high level when given the proper environment and guidance. Specifically, I was keen to demonstrate the efficacy of the HPL framework within Special Educational Needs planning and programmes. There is a common misconception that children with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) often cannot achieve as highly as some of their peers. Professor Deborah Eyre, Founder and Chair of HPL, has been challenging this idea within educational settings in general, as set out in her policy paper ‘Room at the Top’, but I wanted to focus on this specific group of pupils.

Just like Professor Eyre, I believe that any child can achieve at a high level regardless of ability. However, this idea becomes trickier to navigate when children have a difficult time accessing curriculum content due to specific learning needs, such as dyslexia. This is not to say that these children cannot achieve at as high a level as compared to their peers, but it does mean that educators must think more critically about how to create an environment where students with SpLD can be given the opportunity to successfully explore the HPL framework, such as the thinking skills of meta-thinking, linking, analysing, creativity, and realising. I contend that Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) and teachers must partner together to create what I call “Effective Entry Points” to HPL.

Within my role as an HPL Global Lead Teacher, I am working to develop structures and ideas for SENCos and other educators to create these “Effective Entry Points”. I believe that it starts with considering the HPL Values, Attitudes, and Attributes structure. Specifically, pupils with SpLD must be given the resources and training to support their development of agile thinking and a hardworking ethos. In HPL, Professor Eyre stipulates that an individual must be willing to take risks and learn to think creatively, while also persevering if they are to develop a High Performance Learning mindset. Children with SpLD can at times struggle with perseverance as compared to their peers, but perseverance has been shown to increase dramatically when children are provided with targeted resources. When a student feels confident to use given resources within a lesson, they are more willing to take risks and push boundaries. This is where real learning takes place, and where thinking skills begin to develop long term benefits.

My hope is that as an HPL Global Lead Teacher I will be able to support my colleagues at St Mary’s, and collaborate with fellow educators across the country. My aim is to develop HPL more comprehensively within our learning support system at the Junior School, focusing on effective entry points, so that children with SpLD will be able to achieve at their highest levels. By working with other schools through various training sessions, conferences and workshops, our school will continue to successfully develop our HPL programme so that more students are positively impacted.

GEMS Royal Dubai School (GRDS) took control of the High Performance Learning (HPL) Twitter account on Thursday 21st January to share what a day is like at an HPL School. 

Throughout the day, GRDS shared what an average day looked like, best HPL practice, and celebrated their student's achievement. 

We pulled some Tweets together into the moment below:

Who are GEMS Royal Dubai School?

GEMS Royal Dubai School has a bespoke learning model (The RDS Learning Wave), complemented by a Concept Curriculum ensure a holistic approach where students develop webs of information rather than memorising straight facts. Their talented and dedicated teaching team focus on the whole child, with their intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potential being developed alongside academic knowledge.

 Want to know more about High Performance Learning? 

High Performance Learning (HPL) is for ambitious Headteachers, Principals, Senior Leaders and Governors who want to strengthen teaching and learning with a framework that protects well-being and delivers student outcomes. Sign up for one of our Make Your School A High Performance Learning School sessions led by Professor Deborah Eyre.  

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The Persyou 'The Talks' Podcast, hosted by Nicholas McKie and supported by FOBISIA: The Federation of British International Schools in Asia, spoke to Dr Steffen Sommer Principal of High Performance Learning World Class School Doha College.

With over 25 years of experience in education, and having led three very successful British international schools across Europe, prior to taking on the headship at Doha College, his expertise in the field of education is substantial. Steffen is a well-known and active figure within the international education scene; he is Vice Chair of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), and co-founder of the international division of HMC, a professional association of heads of the worlds leading independent schools. A family man and passionate linguist, Steffen has a PhD in Translation Studies and speaks six languages.

Listen to their conversation here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or where ever you usually listen.


High Performance Learning is delighted to announce a new partnership with the White Rose Academies Trust in Leeds, UK. 

The White Rose Academies Trust joined the High Performance Learning School Award Scheme in September 2020 to enhance the journey of all its academies towards achieving World Class status.

The prestigious two-year accreditation programme will ensure that each school within the Trust adopts the High Performance Learning (HPL) framework, which builds on existing good practice and helps schools to enhance learning to ensure every child reaches high levels of performance.

The framework, developed by Deborah Eyre, incorporates over 30 years of research and practical experience, and helps students to reach high levels of cognitive performance by focusing on the development of a specific range of characteristics and behaviours.

Leeds City Academy, Leeds East Academy and Leeds West Academy have all registered for the High Performance Learning School Award Scheme, which promises a rigorous journey of continuous improvement, implementation and a formal accreditation process.

Andrew Whitaker, CEO of the White Rose Academies Trust, commented:

“The White Rose Academies Trust are excited to form this partnership with High Performance Learning (HPL), joining a prestigious international programme which mirrors our own belief that ‘every single student has the potential to be a high performer’; as Professor Eyre says ‘high performers are made, not born’.

"We are hoping that the experience of colleagues at the White Rose Academies Trust, in working with students from disadvantages backgrounds, can help to further enhance the HPL Framework, in turn raising the expectations of students from deprived areas such as those where the current academies are based.

"Professor Eyre’s philosophy really speaks to us as a Trust as we are ambitious and truly believe that we are capable of achieving great things. In September 2016, all three academies were at risk of being judged as ‘Special Measures’ by Ofsted. But through a rapid improvement journey all three academies were judged as ‘Good’ in May 2019.”

Simon O’Grady, CEO of High Performance Learning, commented:

‘‘We are delighted to be working with forward-thinking and ambitious education leaders. Our strategic partnership with the White Rose Academies Trust will transform the landscape of educational achievement.’’

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