What is High Performance Learning?
We all want a high performing education system, but many people assume that only a minority of advantaged children will be given the opportunity to reach high levels of educational performance.
High Performance Learning (HPL) enables students not only to achieve academic excellence but to develop a way of thinking and learning that develops mental agility, reasoning skills and an appreciation of the benefits of working hard. Rather than focusing on early signs of under achievement that, in other schools, might have resulted in a student receiving less demanding work with lower expectations, HPL helps each individual to develop a multitude of cognitive and emotional attributes that give them the skills and resources to break through learning barriers.
HPL has been developed by Professor Deborah Eyre. Based on a lifetime’s research and practice in education for advanced cognitive performance, it identifies attributes, values and practices that can be developed in schools to enable more students to achieve highly.
What does High Performance Learning looks like at Doha College?
There is a gap between how success is defined within school systems and what society, the workplace and the individual require in the wider world.
We look to increase our students’ performance, to look beyond their own geography and embrace a world-wise education. We believe that High Performance Learning liberates our students as high achievers with the skill-sets to operate and empathise as true global citizens.
The High Performance Learning Philosophy
At the heart of HPL is a fresh way of thinking about learning and the way we approach it practically, emotionally and intellectually. Informed learning is at the heart of HPL, how we approach learning and how we then use that learning to develop our decision making and reasoning.
The approach required of HPL lies in the Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs), the broad headings of which are Empathetic, Agile and Hard Working. Covered, amongst other things, under the VAAs is the ability to work collaboratively with others, to feel confident in your ideas and opinions yet be able to listen and consider those of others, to have an understanding and empathy for wider society in all its shapes and forms, and to be confident in your beliefs yet open to changing your thinking by considering new or contrary information.
The learning tools for HPL are identified as Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics (ACPC). Broadly speaking, these are ways of thinking and learning that with practice become more fluid and eventually second nature. At the heart of these skills is a mental athleticism that enables students to explore a variety of routes around learning, to stand back and rationalise, to use past experience in approaching new tasks, to seek evidence, information and logic, not to be afraid of problems and challenges, to explore other perspectives and by using the skill-sets develop a way of thinking and reasoning that become second nature.
Many of the ACPCs and VAAs were being employed at Doha College, prior to HPL. Our focus now is to embed HPL into the day-to-day life of the college and teach students to use these skills within the taught curriculum, during pastoral time and within extra-curricular activities.
High Performance Learning is an exciting journey for Doha College. Alongside our students, staff and parents we will embed HPL into everyday life as we continue to develop our standing as a World Class school.