St Mary’s School, Cambridge awarded HPL World Class School status

St Mary’s School, Cambridge awarded HPL World Class School status

3 June 2019

St Mary’s School, Cambridge has been accredited as a High Performance Learning World Class School.

The High Performance Learning (HPL) World Class School Award recognises the best schools in the world and is designed for those at the forefront of educational thinking. The school has met demanding standards to complete HPL’s rigorous 2-year World Class School Award scheme.

Earlier this academic year History and Politics teacher at St Mary’s, Dr Andrew Flint, was selected as HPL’s first ever Global Lead Teacher. In this prestigious role, Dr Flint has been sharing his subject-specific HPL expertise with history teachers from around the world in HPL’s Global Community. Dr Flint has engaged students in the process of embedding HPL in St Mary’s School, and models high academic standards himself through his ongoing commitment to research and publication. Dr Flint’s interdisciplinary and cross-curricular approach has led to him creating a wide range of HPL resources, activities, information and guidance for colleagues across all subject areas as well as presenting whole school CPD sessions.

Neuroscience research has shown that there is not a fixed level of ability amongst young learners, and that the brain is more malleable than once thought. HPL provides a style of learning that removes barriers to achievement, by giving children an opportunity to develop in their own time. This reflects the school’s long-held belief that there is ‘room at the top’ for more students than traditional approaches suggest.

As a High Performance Learning School, St Mary’s develops an evidence-based set of HPL skills and attitudes. From confidence, collaboration and risk-taking to agile thinking, concern for society and perseverance – the school ensures that their students are prepared for study, work and life. At St Mary’s, success is not limited to exam results; it is about achieving academic excellence alongside a much wider set of values and attitudes that sit at the heart of their ethos as a Mary Ward School.

Kate Latham, Director of Teaching and Learning at St Mary’s, said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a World Class School. Since we started on our journey to World Class School status in 2017 our teachers and students have embraced the High Performance Learning style of teaching and learning. The HPL characteristics and attributes prepare our students to succeed in learning and in life”.

The accreditor from High Performance Learning commented: “St Mary’s has embraced HPL and its influence is evident in interactive, enjoyable and engaging teaching in both junior and senior schools. Students, parents and staff understand the principles of developing explicit thinking skills alongside values and can see the changes in pedagogical practice and the benefits these are bringing for students. […] One parent expressed amazement at how the school “pulled-off” encouraging competition and high performance without making girls feel under pressure”.

Professor Deborah Eyre, founder of High Performance Learning, said: “Many congratulations to everyone at St Mary’s. We are so pleased to be able to admit you to the prestigious group of HPL World Class Schools. This Award is a tremendous achievement and reflects the commitment and passion St Mary’s has for education and for the girls they teach.”

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