January 22, 2021
As parents, we naturally want the very best for our children. We witness the wonder of watching them grow, learning to crawl, then walk, and eventually talk, and we sense their incredible potential.
The question to be asked and answered is how do we unlock that potential? Unfortunately, there is no definitive guide to good parenting, no universally accepted manual we can refer to unequivocally to navigate our way through the many challenges and choices we face as parents during early childhood and adolescence. We effectively make it up as we go along, doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time, hoping in the end that we are making the right choices and that everything will work out okay in the end.
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is thinking that the most important schooling years are in high school, when our children are preparing for exams that will decide which university they are accepted into.
Whilst choosing a good school, with a proven track record of high exam results and university offers from top universities, is certainly important, secondary school is not where you build capacity. It is during primary school that the brain of a child is most permeable, undergoing hyperbolic growth and development, and it is in the primary school where the foundation for future success is formed.
By the time our children arrive at secondary school, their intellectual capacity will already be self-evident, with some children able to communicate in multiple languages, and with a reading speed two or three times that of other children. It is in the primary school years essentially, that you form the base of your pyramid of knowledge, and the wider and deeper your base, the greater the potential for future growth.
In addition to starting early, Carol Dweck, a lecturer at Columbia University and Harvard University, and author of The New Psychology Of Success, reveals that another key factor of success is not innate talent or intelligence, as many believe, but resilience, being the ability to persevere and grow through adversity.
Dweck provides compelling evidence to show that it is not generally the most talented athletes that make it to the Olympics. Talent itself is not enough. It is individuals prepared to do the work day in, day out, through the pouring rain, the biting cold, and soring temperatures, through injury and short-term disappointments, never giving up on their dream, who eventually go on to achieve success.
Developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ is just one of the corner stones of ‘High Performance Learning’, arguably the most important development in education in the 21st century supporting our growing understanding of nurturing human capability. Another corner stone of High Performance Learning is the key breakthrough in understanding that the brain structure and function is not fixed and unchangeable, which is to say that mental ability has little to do with genes or DNA and a lot to do with the learning environment. This is an important belief in HPL Schools, where all students are considered to possess the potential to be High Performance Learners.
In a High Performance Learning School, students are not placed along the traditional bell curve spread of learners, from low ability to high ability, but rather are placed on a journey moving for the current level of ability for each student toward a high level of ability for all students.
Another important aspect of High Performance Learning, is working closely with parents as partners. Again, in a traditional school, it is normal for parents to drop their children off at the front gate, handing over responsibility for the process of their children learning to the school. In a High Performance Learning School, this is not the case. The parents are given a manual, and ongoing training and support to become ‘High Performance Parents’ working with the school to support their children on their High Performance Learning journey.
“It is essential that parents are involved in the learning process. Without ongoing parental support and involvement, it would not be possible to achieve the results we do,”
Kendall Peet, Head of School at the International British School of Bucharest since 2011
The International British School of Bucharest is currently the only High Performance Learning School in Romania, and with 87% of their students being offered places in the top 5% of universities worldwide this year, it is clear that the school is achieving incredible results.
“We are extremely proud to be the first school in Romania accepted into the global community of High Performance Learning Schools, which will ensure we remain at the forefront of teaching pedagogy, preparing our students with the key competencies to succeed, not just academically, but in life.”
Matthew Tansley, Head of Secondary School at the International British School of Bucharest since 2018
The International British School of Bucharest is the only fully accredited British international school located in the city centre, on a modern, purpose-build campus connecting their students to the world.
To find out more about High Performance Learning, contact the admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.