St Swithun’s school, Winchester, is celebrating. The independent girls’ school has been recognised as one of the very best schools in the world and become accredited as a High Performance Learning World Class School.
The award recognises schools at the forefront of educational thinking with exceptional outcomes for students. St Swithun’s now joins an elite global community of schools from Dubai to Mexico who routinely share practice and support each other.
Professor Deborah Eyre, Chair at High Performance Learning (the accreditation body) says:
Truly world-class schools understand that while grades are important, producing students who are intellectually and socially confident, work-place and life-ready with a global outlook and concern for others is our true aim. St Swithun’s has worked hard to strengthen its practice and to move closer to the vision of every child becoming a high performer.
High Performance Learning (HPL) is based on the philosophy that the inherent lifelong plasticity of the brain means that we all have the potential to become cleverer and to perform at a high level given enough time and the right circumstances. While some children naturally acquire the thinking skills, values, attitudes and attributes needed for a lifetime of success, many don’t. They need to be taught explicitly how to recognise, practise and embed them.
There is much overlap with the attributes which the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) lists as the most important for today’s children to acquire for the future: solving complex problems; critical, creative and flexible thinking; managing, co-operating and negotiating with people; demonstrating emotional intelligence; being service-orientated and being confident in judgement and decision-making.
Through the HPL initiative, children as young as three years old at St Swithun’s begin to recognise and explore these concepts in an age-appropriate way and to apply them across all areas of the curriculum throughout their school career. The characteristics are also taught to students of all ages through subject lessons, through an extensive and varied co-curricular programme, through pastoral support and PSHE, and via the school’s unique academic enrichment programme.
St Swithun’s headmistress Jane Gandee said:
Helping our students to achieve highly in everything that they do is vital for their long-term happiness and is central to our vision. To be recognised by HPL as a school which provides world-class quality education is a significant achievement. I am proud of the staff, students and parents who have embraced the high performance values.