Barry Tech Review

Best review technology by Barry

A Guide to High Performance Learning » Education Learn Academy


Jane is a parent in Dubai with a three-year-old ready to enter school. She wants a private school, but there are just too many options she doesn’t know which to choose.

In fact, there are 215 private kindergarten-to-post-16 (KG-12/13) in Dubai, according to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). This does not include the 171 early childhood centres in Dubai, although Jane wants a school where her child can stay from their foundation until their elementary years.

A Guide to High Performance Learning
A Guide to High Performance Learning 2

Jane came across GEMS Royal Dubai School as she was searching for private elementary schools in Mirdif, Al Mizhar and the neighbouring districts. Actually, a friend recommended the school because of its KHDA outstanding rating, so she checked the school website to see what other information was available.

That’s when she learned that the Royal Dubai School has a World Class School Award for High Performance Learning (HPL) and is one of the first four schools in the United Arab Emirates to receive a World Class School accreditation. Now, she’s curious about HPL and whether her child needs it.

If you’re like Jane and wish to know what HPL is, why an HPL World Class School Award is significant, and why you may want to send your child to an HPL-accredited school, read on.

What Is High Performance Learning?

Founded by Professor Deborah Eyre, HPL is an educational framework designed to deliver high-performing education — i.e., produce high-performance learners or achievers. However, HPL is unlike any other supposedly high-performing educational system.

Its fundamental difference lies in its premise that the brain is plastic and learners can become more intelligent through the application of a systematic and strategic approach. In other words, a gifted child does not a gifted child make. Conversely, there’s nothing to prevent an ‘average’ child from excelling.

This is in stark contrast to the commonly held thinking that a child’s potential determines their performance in school. By this logic, children are tested and categorised early, after which high performance is expected only from seemingly gifted children. Meanwhile, other learners perceived as average are guided toward less-demanding activities.

In HPL, everyone can excel, and superior performance is not restricted to those with potential. In other words, high performance is for the many instead of just the chosen few. The school simply needs to systematically build towards realising a high-performance outcome for as many of its students as possible.

HPL has identified attributes, values and practices that schools can develop in their students to enable as many of their students as possible to become high performers and achievers.

The HPL System

The HPL framework says a learner must develop core characteristics and attributes to become an achiever. These characteristics and attributes are grouped into two: the advanced cognitive performance characteristics (ACPs) and values attitudes attributes (VAAs).

Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics

ACPs are 20 types of thinking employed by high-performing individuals. It has five categories:

1. Meta-Thinking

Meta-thinking means meta-cognition, self-regulation, strategy-planning, and intellectual confidence. A meta-thinker can do the following:

  • Use a variety of approaches when deliberating on something.
  • Apply knowledge gained from one field to another.
  • Think about how they think and, thus, monitor, evaluate and self-correct their thinking.
  • Find an appropriate way to think of a new learning experience using existing knowledge or concepts.
  • Report their views confidently based on available evidence.

2. Linking

Generalisation, connection-finding, big-picture thinking, abstraction, and imagination comprise linking cognition. It also includes the ability to employ other people’s perspectives. Somebody who excels in linking can:

3. Analysing

Analysing pertains to critical or logical thinking, precision and problem-solving. Someone with these skills can:

  • Deduce, pose hypotheses, provide reasons, and seek evidence to support their position.
  • Work without losing sight of the domain of analysis.
  • Break a task down into its components to find an appropriate approach.

4. Creating

High performers can create with their minds through intellectual playfulness, flexible thinking, fluent thinking, originality and evolutionary thinking. They can:

  • Understand rules but bend them to create something new (but valid).
  • Discard an idea if they find something better.
  • Think of multiple solutions to one problem.
  • Think out of the box.
  • Come up with something new based on existing ideas.

5. Realising

Realising includes automaticity as well as speed and accuracy. Somebody good at realising can:

  • Act (well) without active thought because of ingrained skills.
  • Work quickly without sacrificing accuracy.

Values Attitudes Attributes

VAAs refer to 10 values and attitudes that learners must develop to become thinking-caring individuals. They have three categories: empathetic, agile, and hardworking.

1. Empathetic

Empathetic students are collaborative, confident and concerned for society.

2. Agile

Agile learners are enquiring, open-minded, risk-taking, creative, and enterprising.

3. Hardworking

Hardworking students know the value of practice and use it to improve their proficiency. They are also persevering and resilient.

HPL Accreditations

Schools that subscribe to the HPL framework can have one of two levels: the High Performing School Award and the World Class School Award.

A High Performing School Award affirms that a school has been evaluated against the HPL framework and is on a quest to make high performance learning the norm in the school and among its students. After two years of receiving a High Performing School Award, the school will gain its first accreditation and join The Global Community of High Performing Schools.

Meanwhile, a World Class School Award goes to a school that has been able to embed the HPL philosophy into the very core of the way it teaches and operates. It has systematised and optimised HPL to ensure impact.

Does HPL Work?

It does.

HPL liberates students (and their parents) from the constraints of early categorisation. It gives students hope that they can surpass expectations as long as they apply themselves using the HPL framework.

Thus, students of HPL schools demonstrate improved well-being and self-esteem. HPL school students are also more optimistic and believe they are capable of high performance.

Performance outcomes also support the HPL premise.

In the two years of HPL accreditation, 67% of schools achieved excellent results across all examination levels. In the same period, HPL schools also increased their general certificate of secondary education (GCSE) or international GCSE results by 9%.

HPL: Going Beyond Potential

High performance learning is a fantastic and optimistic educational framework that says virtually anyone can become a high performer. All a learner needs is a system that will allow them to develop the advanced cognitive abilities, values, and attitudes they need to tread their chosen path, track or field.

HPL is for you if you want your child to accomplish way beyond what early assessments of their potential indicate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *