A High Performance Culture

A High Performance Culture

A High Performance Culture at Ewell Castle School - NACE Challenge Award and High Performance Learning

Our high performance culture at Ewell Castle School encompases a number of initiatives, these involve NACE and High Performance Learning.  See below for further details.

High Performance Learning

This term we have see the introduction of High Performance Learning to our students across the whole School through lessons and assemblies. We are aiming as a School to achieve the World Class Schools Award designed for great schools to be even better!

This philosophy has been carefully researched and developed over 40 years by Professor Deborah Eyre. She has established that the key characteristics for successful teaching and learning are through deliberate and purposeful communication with an emphasis on practice and growth mindset.  There is the understanding that all students have the capacity to perform to their own high performance because our brains are mouldable. With enough sustained practice, this neuroplasticity means we can systematically teach students to be intelligent with support from specific competencies.                                                                                                                                                                              

These competencies are categorised into Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs) which outlines the best ways to behave to get the most out of learning in and out of the classroom, and Advance Cognitive performance (ACPs) which promote the best ways in which we can think. These thirty competencies are generic enough to have impact across all subjects but are designed to be transferable for lifelong learning. Some of the VAAs include highlighting the importance of empathy and how collaborative learning is a prerequisite to the workplace as well as the school environment. ACPs are carefully selected areas in which we can focus on how we learn rather than what we learn.

Ewell Castle School Celebrates NACE Challenge Award accreditation

The National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) has named Ewell Castle School the 472nd school to be accredited with the NACE Challenge Award.  The award is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to high-quality provision for more able learners, within the context of challenge for all.

NACE CEO, Rob Lightfoot, said "Ewell Castle School has worked successfully to attain the NACE Challenge Award.  It has shown itself to be committed to developing an environment in which all learners are both challenged and supported to be the best they can be."  The award is based on the NACE Challenge Framework, which sets out criteria for high quality provision for more able learners within a wider ethos of challenge for all.  The framework is available as part of the NACE Challenge Development Programme - a suite of resources developed by NACE to help schools evaluate and improve their provision for more able learners.

NACE's assessor reported: "Ewell Castle has an inclusive ethos and a commitment to embedding challenge in the classroom and across the school ....[and is] committed to the best for every child.  Talents are explicitly recognised and celebrated.  Teachers actively seek to continually identify more able learners and provide learning opportunities to support this process. ... Pupils speak positively of their school, which they are proud to be a part of, and value the support and challenge they receive.  One pupil commented that " ....teachers all encourage us to thrive in all our lessons".  In the prep school, pupils speak with confidence about their 'learning muscles' and articulate the 4 'Rs' with clarity and understanding.  (Reciprocity, Resourcefulness, Resilience, and Reflectiveness). ... The climate for learning is positive, pupils are very well-behaved and have particularly good relationships with their teachers and each other.  Pupils are confident in questioning their teachers and challenging each other respectfully."

Improving provision for the more able remains a priority for many schools and has been highlighted by Ofsted as a key focus.  The experience and evidence gathered by Challenge Award-accredited schools also shows that effective strategies to improve provision for the more able are likely to have a positive impact on the achievement of a much wider group of learners.

To attain the Challenge Award, schools must complete a detailed self-evaluation using the NACE Challenge Framework, submit a portfolio of supporting evidence, and undertake assessment by a NACE associate.  The assessment process includes examination of school data and key documents, lesson observations, and interviews with school leaders, learners, parents and governors.

CEO, Rob Lightfoot,said, "The Challenge Award is presented in recognition of whole-school commitment to and achievement in providing effective challenge and support for all - spanning school leadership, curriculum, teaching and learning, processes for identification and tracking, extracurricular opportunities, strong communication and partnerships, and ongoing evaluation."

Ewell Castle will now be part of the international community of Challenge Award-accredited schools which have demonstrated a sustained and effective commitment to meeting the needs of more able learners, and an interest in sharing expertise for the wider benefit of the education community.

Find out more: www.nace.co.uk/challenge

Copy kindly supplied by National Association for Able Children in Education