In September we became a High Performance Learning Pathway School (HPL) which has been very exciting and a great opportunity to fully realise our values of scholarship, character and community. We are on a two year journey to become a HPL accredited school.
This means that we believe that all our students have the potential to be high performers, and we teach with these expectations in mind. We started our journey with the aim that we will work together to ensure our students are school-ready, work-ready and life-ready. We pledge never to tell our students they cannot achieve; it is just they are not doing it yet but with practice and perseverance it will happen. After we had our induction with schools both nationally and globally, we started to plan our roadmap for our first year which sets out each stage of developing our vision.
We started with our staff training in September, where all of our school staff attended workshops on the HPL framework. We looked at the skills and characteristics that help students think and behave to get them to reach the highest outcomes. Our staff drive team have worked on posters and student handouts in order to share the language of HPL in a visual way. The Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics (ACPs) have 5 areas of how we think: analysing, creating, linking, meta-thinking and realising. Under each area it is broken down into characteristics that we will use in our lessons.
The framework that we are introducing in our curriculum and around the academy also has 3 areas of Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs) which are agile, empathetic and hardworking. Our school virtues are explored along with the VAAs in our character education which is taught across all year groups. We have added the characteristics to our positive points system which will be linked to rewards in January.
Our vision, mission and values support the high performance learning philosophy and has been shared with our school community. New signage around the Academy has helped to share our core purpose as we move along our journey towards being a world class school.
On the 3rd December we had our student launch HPL day with all of our students experiencing a carousel of workshops on the Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics (How we think) and the Values, Attitudes and Attributes (How we behave). Some examples of the workshops are below:
The day began with a launch assembly for all students bringing together what HPL is and how we all need to be ambitious and aim high. Mr Devshi explored the importance of having a positive attitude to learning and how to show our virtues in our character. This was followed by Mrs Cudd who focused on how our brains make sense of information and what the skills look like in action.
Over the course of the day the students experienced a variety of activities from discovering inventive ways to use paper clips to unscrambling puzzles. Visiting four different workshops students also had the opportunity to recreate logos, learn how to plan effectively and find out what they know about emperor penguins. The afternoon ended looking closer at our own communities, here in Handsworth Wood and exploring what life might be like in outer space.
It was great to see our whole school community all working on the skills and characteristics that we know will ensure our students reach their full potential. We look forward to introducing our HPL framework to you in the new year.
Sally Yates, Deputy Headteacher