How HPL becomes second nature at Doha College

As it is well known by now, Doha College has been confirmed as one of only eight 'Pioneer' schools in the world for High Performance Learning (HPL). This is a huge honour for Doha College, and the challenge is to implement HPL in an effective and sustainable way. Vice Principal Neil Thomas and Assistant Principal Uzma Zaffar attended an induction course on HPL implementation at the beginning of the academic year, the value and impact of which were tremendous. Mrs Zafar said: "We met teachers from the other Pioneer schools who were looking to implement HPL this year, and the HPL advisers. The focus on growth mindset was inspiring - it really chimed with us and what we were already doing with our primary and early years students."

"We met teachers from the other Pioneer schools who were looking to implement HPL this year, and the HPL advisers. The focus on growth mindset was inspiring - it really chimed with us and what we were already doing with our primary and early years students."

Uzma Zaffar, Assistant Principal

After laying the groundwork with a series of workshops where parents were presented the concept in an interactive way, Doha College decided to take a view of where we are right now in terms of how our practices and processes align with the features of HPL and World Class Schools. We are carrying out the HPL 'Pulse Check' with our leadership team, and identifying what departments already do to teach the ACPs (Advanced Cognitive Performance characteristics) and VAAs (Value Attitudes and Attributes). In addition, teachers are sharing areas of good practice and suggestions as to how they can weave this into their teaching.

In January, Doha College invited their HPL adviser, Melanie Saunders, to run an INSET day to staff, to keep up the momentum and deepen staff's understanding of the concepts of High Performance Learning.

Another Growth Mindset survey was recently completed by all students from Year 4 upwards, gauging their thoughts on the matter, with children having now been exposed to the practices and the specific vocabulary since the beginning of the year. Year 4 then organised a joint assembly, looking at "foundations": what are they, and what should be the foundations of an outstanding school like Doha College Primary? This was linked to the foundations of what makes a High Performance Learner at DC. The students zeroed in on respect, understanding and good decision making as the first three elements to build on, and they continue to work on this project by adding ongoing HPL-related contributions to the "Foundation" artwork in the Year 4 hub - see the photos in the gallery below.

The Doha College Parent Portal hosts a dedicated page with details of HPL background, terminology and links to videos that explain the concept in depth. Parents are key to a students' development, and they are being encouraged to re-enforce a growth mindset mentality at home. 

As expected, the HPL concept has been taken on by both staff and students incredibly well, and the concept is continuing to grow in stature. The primary school, in particular, has done a huge amount of work on introducing the concept. According to Dr Sommer, "although it's early days, the impact is already being felt. The outcomes of the activities showcased at the parents' forum and the steep learning curve for the children are really impressive. Doha College is already known as one of the leading British curriculum international schools in the Middle East, so the challenge is about keeping that outstanding position, and continuing to raise our performance even further. When the Leadership Team heard about HPL, we decided to make it a central part of Doha College's three-year development plan, and it looks like it will certainly make the school an even better place."


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Monday, 21 August 2017