HPL – Top Tips for Parents

Week 1

As a High Performance Learning Pathway School we will be sharing with you “Top Tips” on how you can support you child/ren with developing the High Performance Learning skills at home.
There are 30 of these skills broken down into the two categories of Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics (ACPs) and Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs).
This week we look at the VAA of being Open Minded (The ability to take an objective view of different ideas and beliefs; becoming more receptive to other ideas and beliefs based on the arguments of others; change ideas should there be compelling evidence to do so)

Top Tips on…..Being Open-Minded

  1. Model being open-minded yourself
  2. With younger children try new activities and experiences, giving them opportunities to broaden their interests
  3. With older children you could encourage them to debate things that they dislike. By providing alternative views or suggestions they are exposed to different views that can make them thing about the opinions of others
  4. Watch programmes together which articulate responses to different questions e.g. The Big Questions on BBC1
  5. Choose current news issues to debate and discuss. Make this into an activity where you make a point and they have to provide a counter argument and vice versa

Week 2

This week we look at the VAA of being Enquiring (The ability to be curious; be willing to work alone; be proactive; keen to learn; show enterprise; think independently; challenge assumptions and require evidence for assertions; actively control your own learning; move on from the absorption of knowledge and procedures to develop your own views and solutions)

Top Tips on…..Being Enquiring

  1. Model being enquiring yourself
  2. Encourage children to ask questions
  3. Encourage childrens’ curiosity. Consider asking your child to become an ‘expert’ in a specific thing and tell you all about it. It may be something they are already interested in or something new. This encourages them to be independent in their research – perhaps they could present it to you.
  4. Encourage interests that model total concentration e.g. making  a model aeroplane from a kit, painting a picture, getting balls into a net
  5. How about choosing a new interest to you and your child/ren. Something that you are both interested in but don’t now a great deal about. Complete a joint project and finish it with a related event e.g. finding out more about film making and having a movie night; finding out about the development of trains and going on a train ride.

    Week 3

This week we look at the VAA of being Confident (The ability to develop a belief in your knowledge, understanding and action; recognise when you need to change your beliefs based upon additional information or the arguments of others; deal with new challenges and situations, including when this places you under stress)

Top Tips on…..Being Confident

  1. Model being confident yourself
  2. Encourage and emphasise the HPL philosophy ‘ that learning can be a struggle, but is not permanent’ and that ‘everyone has the potential to be a high performing learner’. In this way you are encouraging a child to keep trying and thus improve their confidence
  3. A person with intellectual confidence thinks: “I can do this. I will get there. It’s hard but I will keep going”. Be sure to model this approach at home with everyday things that you have to tackle.
  4. Praise effort
  5. Don’t do things for your child that they can learn how to do. Children need to understand that they have the potential and the power to do things for themselves. It is in exploring this power that they learn.

Week 4

This week we look at the VAA of being Concerned for Society (The ability to understand the contribution you can make to society to the benefit of those less fortunate than you are; demonstrate citizenship and a sense of community ethos; recognize differences as well as similarities between people and peoples; be aware of your own and others’ cultural heritage and be sensitive to the ethical and moral issues raised by learning)

Top Tips on…..Being Concerned for Society

  1. Model showing concern for society
  2. Encourage an interest in what is going on in the world and talk about events. Inevitably, the majority of news stories involve the need for concern for others
  3. Encourage care and compassion at home and consider ways in which this can become outreach to the local, national and international community.
  4. Consider the opportunities to discuss and act on issues which require caring more for society e.g. signing petitions regarding environmental issues
  5. Consider the impact that loneliness can have on people. Encourage a discussion on this and how at work/school we can reach out to those who may benefit from our friendship and company.

Week 5

This week we look at the VAA of Risk-taking (The ability to demonstrate confidence; experiment with novel ideas and effects; speculate willingly; work in unfamiliar contexts; avoid coming to premature conclusions; tolerate uncertainty)

Top Tips on…..Risk-taking

  1. Model the belief that you and your children are capable learners
  2. Talk about decisions that you have made that went well and those that went not so well and why
  3. Play games that encourage them to take risks (not physical ones!) e.g ‘Risk’
  4. Intellectual risk-taking is a high order skill. It is about taking a considered approach to something – not a rash one. Consider opportunities that allow for risk so that there can be greater progress in learning e.g. how to make good decisions – provide scenarios and talk these through
  5. Take a current news issue and speculate on it. Talk through your speculation demonstrating that you are considering a range of views. Encourage your child to do the same. What is the speculation built on?

Week 6

This week we look at the VAA of Resilience (The ability to overcome setbacks; remain confident, focused, flexible and optimistic; help others to move forward in the face of adversity)

Top Tips on…..Resilience

  1. Model the belief that you are resilient
  2. Talk about situations that may arise that require you to be resilient
  3. Don’t be too quick to solve their problems. Remember that making mistakes is all part of the learning process. Reflecting on something that went wrong and talking through how they might do it differently next time helps to build resilience
  4. Recognising and rewarding children when they do suffer setbacks is crucial to developing resilience. Sometime we hang back with our congratulations until our child/ren have completed something successfully. Being vigilant of the steps they have taken along the way is just as vital to building up this skill
  5. Try to model optimism – crucial for resilience

Week 7

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Big Picture Thinking (The ability to work with big ideas and holistic concepts)

Top Tips on…..Big Picture Thinking

  1. Model the belief that you ‘think big’
  2. Talk about their learning in and out of school but specifically how it relates to the wider world e.g we are learning about angles and this could relate to the construction of a house
  3. Start conversations with ….”What would happen if…..”
  4. Use the image of a ‘bird’s eye view’ to get them to think bigger than the moment that they are in
  5. Come up with a ‘what if/where do/how come’ style question that you want them to find out about – set them a challenge. So, where do snowflakes come from? What if the sky was always cloudy?

Week 8

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Imagination (The ability to represent the problem and its categorisation in relation to more extensive and interconnected prior knowledge).

Top Tips on…..Imagination

  1. Take opportunities to use imaginative play
  2. Conversations that encourage a more creative response e.g how would you go about weighing a house?
  3. Consider ways to be more creative and encourage curiosity. Take something ‘everyday’ that you can find out more about – set a challenge; who can discover the most obscure fact
  4. Provide an answer; what is the most creative question you can come up with that would have that answer.
  5. Ask where they use their imaginations the most. Is it in a particular subject? Can your child/ren explain to you how and why they use their imagination here – what does it look like?

Week 9

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Seeing alternative perspectives (The ability to take on the views of others and deal with complexity and ambiguity).

Top Tips on…..Seeing alternative perspectives

  1. Conversations that encourage an alternative view. Point out that it may not be your own personal view but how could someone else view the same situation differently?
  2. Imagine being a reporter asking questions to understand someone’s point of view on an issue
  3. Consider a current news issue – how could the same issue be viewed in different ways? Be deliberately challenging to see how well alternative perspectives can be explained
  4. Discuss the important of taking on the views of others – why should we do this? Consider ‘life situations’ where this is vital.
  5. Ask about subjects they study that explore alternative perspectives. Can they provide specific examples and what does this skill bring to their understanding?

Week 10

This fortnight we look at the VAA of Collaboration (The ability to seek out what people think about your work; present your views clearly and concisely; listen to and hear the views of others; be willing and able to work in teams; assume a variety of different roles and be able to evaluate your own  ideas and contributions).

Top Tips on…..Collaboration

  1. Encourage the habit of explaining to you what they are doing and why. This also helps abstract thinking
  2. Comment positively and constructively on what they are doing – this will make it easier for them to share thoughts with confidence
  3. Encourage working in teams by taking part in activities together e.g. sport
  4. Discuss how in ‘real life’ situations people work together – discuss the good it brings. Current news stories can be useful here.
  5. Discuss how you work collaboratively in your own life e.g work/ as part of a team. Drawing a diagram of how business/institutions work based on collaboration can provide interesting discussions

Week 11

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Fluent Thinking (The ability to generate ideas )

Top Tips on…..Fluent Thinking

  1. Encourage the rethinking of ideas, so not settling for the first idea as thinking this is the best one.
  2. Encourage listening to others in order to collaborate on ideas e.g. brainstorming
  3. Encourage independent brainstorming – recent research is suggesting that this is most productive
  4. Encourage your child to come up with as many answers to the same question as they can
  5. Discuss how you generate ideas when faced with different situations at work or at home

Week 12

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Originality (The ability to conceive something entirely new )

Top Tips on…..Originality

  1. Encourage confidence in new ideas
  2. Ask questions that are open-ended so that you can consider together if there is another way to solve a problem
  3. Explore together the history of an invention. How has it come to be the way it is? How has someone added to an idea to make it their own or make it different?
  4. Try to design something together- this could be anything. At each point along a design process stop and think about how it could be better.
  5. Ask to read your child’s classwork/homework and discuss how it may be presented/produced by others in a different way

Week 13

This fortnight we look at the ACP of Evolutionary & Revolutionary Thinking  (The ability to create new ideas through building on existing ideas or diverting from them)

Top Tips on….. Evolutionary & Revolutionary Thinking

    1. Encourage conversations that start with “I wonder what would happen if?” or “What would it look/sound/feel like if you created..?!”
    2. Explore new ideas together by trying to come up with a unique invention or further developing something that already exists. What improvements/modifications could you make to something?
    3. Research someone that has been innovative or diverted away from existing ideas. Someone like Heston Blumethal for example, who is more revolutionary in his cooking than most by incorporating a scientific approach to his methods
    4. Encourage confidence in giving new ideas a go! Part of what it is to be a high performer is seeing how ideas can flourish and develop; often something like a visual organiser or diagram can help someone to see their ideas and next steps in their thinking
    5. Encourage entries into the Word of the Week. How can the word be used in different ways/contexts