My HPL Journey- Abbie Williams-Hall
Abbie- HPL Blog
As we are all aware, learning does not stop the moment we leave school, college or university. It is ever evolving. Our potential to learn is not determined by the amount we read or do but simply by our mindset. It is about developing a skillset to understand who we are as a learner and knowing that there is in fact no ceiling regardless of your age. It is our job as teachers, parents and the community to facilitate this within children. To equip them with a ‘toolkit’ to achieve anything they put their mind to as well as empowering them to have a love of learning in our wonderful World.
As an adult, I continue to utilise the HPL skills throughout my day-to-day life. I feel very fortunate in my life to have many role models who inspire me to do things that perhaps I never thought possible. My Dad is a huge inspiration to me and like many people, I have always wanted to make my parents proud. I vividly remember standing at the start line to my first ever half-marathon and turning to my Dad nervously saying, “I don’t know if I am going to be able to finish this.” A huge wave of doubt had suddenly overcome me, despite my many months training. My Dad simply turned to me and said, “Yes you can Abbie. Remember it is 70% in your mind and 30% in your body.” His words resonated with me not only throughout that half-marathon on that cold and wet October morning in Llanelli, but they have also stayed with me throughout my life. What my Dad taught me that morning was so powerful yet so simple. To have confidence in my own ability, to show resilience ‘when the going gets tough’ (in the words of Boyzone) and to take risks because without doing so you will never know what you can achieve.
High Performance Learning is exactly what it says; reaching the highest level of learning for all and creating a mindset where every single child feels empowered and inspired to learn. The wonderful thing about HPL is that it is not prescriptive it allows each child to keep their identity and take their own path to success. HPL is not a ‘quick fix’ and nor should it be, it requires everyone to be on board from teachers, parents to the community. It is about developing the children with the skillset to become independent within their learning, to face any intellectual challenge with confidence and enthusiasm and to play with abstract ideas.
Having been a teacher now for over a decade I have been in many situations where ‘new initiatives’ are quickly introduced however they are also quickly forgotten since they are simply an ‘add on’ with little value other than a fancy badge or logo to print onto a letter head. However, HPL is not and will never been an ‘add on’ it encompasses everything a school should embody from learning to behaviour and should be at the heart of everything you do.
I feel so incredibly privileged to be able to play a part in inspiring children to learn, to watch them achieve as well as having belief in their own ability! Too often are we scared of using the word ‘failure’ with the children, when in fact it can be the most powerful lesson we teach them. To get back up again, re-evaluate and show the confidence and ability to try again.
This is me completing the Llanelli half marathon.