High Performance Learning

High Performance Learning

High Performance Learning

What is HPL?  HPL, or High Performance Learning, is a framework of teaching based on research into the way children learn. It reflects what is known about advanced thinking skills and learning behaviours to help all our children develop ‘better brains’.

Research in neuroscience has shown many common characteristics of top performers across a variety of disciplines. These can be grouped into learner “thinking” and learner “behaviour”.

  • In the “thinking” group are characteristics such as meta-cognition, strategy-planning, generalisation, imagination, logical thinking, originality as well as the ability to use some skills automatically. HPL calls these “Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics,” (ACPs).
  • In the “behaviour” group are characteristics such as empathy, confidence, mental agility, perseverance, practice and resilience. In HPL language these are our “Values, Attitudes and Attributes,” (VAAs).

These skills can be taught to all pupils: the evidence is clear that there is not a fixed level of ability amongst young learners, and that the brain is much more malleable than was once thought.


How do we do this at Ewell Castle Prep School? 

At the Prep School, we have focused on learning characteristics and teaching children 'how to learn', for many years. With the help of HPL, or new approach has become more structured and helps progress throughout the Prep and Senior School. Our biggest focus is getting our children to believe that they can all perform to a high level. Our devoted teachers support children who currently have a fixed mindset to truly believe in the power of yet. We teach our children that making mistakes is a constructive part of learning and something that we continue to encounter throughout life. 

At the Prep School, our pupils are introduced to different characters and mascots who help their understanding of what it is to be a good learner. These characters make regular appearances through assemblies and other activities in the classroom. 

All teaching staff at Ewell Castle are involved in the two-year professional development programme that will see the school become a High Performance School by the end of 2025.