At Castle Hill Primary School, we are passionate about our two mottos - ‘Manners Matter’ and ‘Aiming For Excellence’. In 2016, we began our journey using High Performance Learning (HPL) to help embed our values across the school, and equip every child with the behaviours and skills needed to be a successful learner.
What is HPL?
HPL was founded by Professor Deborah Eyre, and is a research-led organisation that is passionate about every child achieving excellence. There are 10 Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs), which are the behaviours that lead to a successful learner. At Rooksdown, these are represented as animals whilst at Greenbank, they are represented as superheroes. You can find a copy of the images the children use below, or collect a paper copy from reception at both sites.
|The ability to seek out opportunities to receive responses to your work, present your own views and ideas clearly and concisely, listen to the views of others, be willing and able to work in teams, take a variety of roles and be able to evaluate your own ideas and contributions.|
|The ability to know the contribution you can make to society for the benefit of those less fortunate, demonstrate citizenship and a sense of community ethos and recognise differences as well as similarities between people and peoples, be aware of your own and others’ cultural heritage and sensitive to the ethical and moral issues raised by their studies.|
|The ability to develop a belief in your knowledge, understanding and action, recognise when you need to change your beliefs based upon additional information or the arguments of others, deal with new challenges and situations, including when this places them under stress.|
|The ability to be curious, be willing to work alone; be proactive, keen to learn, show enterprise, think independently, challenge assumptions and require evidence for assertions, actively control your own learning, move on from the absorption of knowledge and procedures to develop your own views and solutions.|
|The ability to be open-minded and flexible in your thought processes, demonstrate a willingness to innovate and invent new and multiple solutions to a problem or situation; adapt your approach according to need, surprise and show originality in your work, developing a personal style, be resourceful when presented with challenging tasks and problems, using your initiative to find solutions|
|The ability to be open-minded and flexible in your thought processes, demonstrate a willingness to innovate and invent new and multiple solutions to a problem or situation, adapt your approach according to need, surprise and show originality in your work, developing a personal style, be resourceful when presented with challenging tasks and problems, using your initiative to find solutions|
|The ability to take an objective view of different ideas and beliefs, become more receptive to other ideas and beliefs based on the arguments of others, change ideas should there be compelling evidence to do so.|
|The ability to demonstrate confidence, experiment with novel ideas and effects, speculate willingly, work in unfamiliar contexts, avoid coming to premature conclusions, tolerate uncertainty.|
|The ability to train and prepare through repetition of the same processes in order to become more proficient in order to fully automate their learning|
|The ability to keep going and not give up, face obstacles and difficulties but never give up, persist in effort, work diligently and work systematically, not be satisfied until high quality, appropriate precision and the desired outcome are achieved.|
|The ability to overcome setbacks, remain confident, focused, flexible and optimistic,help others to move forward in the face of adversity.|
Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics
What does this look like in School?
At school, children are encouraged and rewarded for showing the VAAs and ACPs. All classes use ClassDojo to award points and share excellent examples of work and behaviour with parents. ClassDojo is free to use, and all parents can speak to their child’s class teacher to be provided with a unique activation code. ClassDojo can work on a computer, as well as an app for smartphones. Some of our parents have even used the app to create their own reward system at home (although there is an in-app charge for this feature). The children thoroughly enjoy this reward system and value the feedback, especially when it is shared with their parents!
In celebration assemblies on a Friday, we have a special award called ‘Learner of the Week’. This award was created to specifically praise the use of VAAs and ACPs in school.
Finally, at Greenbank, the children often learn and sing superhero ‘theme songs’, using song lyrics that reflect each superhero attitude. The children love suggesting songs that they believe represents the superheroes and it has helped them deepen their understanding of each VAA. Our children are extremely powerful singers, and many staff members and parents have been moved to tears by some of the songs!
How Can I Help at Home?
By encouraging the same learning behaviours at home, you will be supporting your child’s positive mindset - they will believe in their own abilities, become more confident in their learning and see that they can achieve if they work hard. As well as downloading the ClassDojo app, a helpful parent guide can also be found below or in reception at both sites.
HPL Top Tips for Parents
The Impact on Castle Hill Primary School
We have worked hard to ensure all children are supported to achieve excellence, and in October 2019, both Rooksdown and Greenbank were presented with a global HPL award. We were proudly named the first county school to be awarded ‘World Class Status’.
We truly believe that our children are becoming more confident in themselves, that it’s OK to make mistakes in order to move forwards and that they are inspired by and enjoy learning here at Castle Hill.
An interview with our very own Miss Wyers: