ISN's High Performance Learning Journey
Emily Morgan, Meghan Honeysett and Michelle van Buuren

We are delighted to share the latest exciting development in our pursuit of educational excellence—ISN's embrace of High Performance Learning (HPL). This transformative approach, in harmony with our vision of cultivating global citizens, distinguishes ISN as the only school in France on the path to achieving HPL accreditation.

HPL is a comprehensive approach to education that seeks to maximise the potential of each student by combining academic excellence with the development of essential life skills and values. HPL is not just a philosophy; it's a dynamic framework seamlessly woven into the fabric of ISN's educational culture. Rooted in research-based pedagogy, HPL empowers our students to actively engage with challenges, think creatively, and take charge of their learning journey.

HPL Coach Melanie Saunders conducted a comprehensive training session with our staff in November 2023. This workshop equipped our educators with the tools and insights needed to effectively integrate HPL into our teaching practices.    

This was a valuable session for our educators who had the following to say:

Mélanie Laroche, Science Coordinator and Sustainability and Eco School Coordinator, "Thanks to this workshop, I am now better equipped to teach our students. HPL gives them the values, attitudes, and advanced cognitive skills they need for success throughout their lives."

Santanu Bhowmik, Head of Mathematics; MYP, IGCSE & DP Mathematics Teacher,   "As we embark on the journey of HPL, the HPL workshop helped ignite interest and curiosity to  read more and make connections between various ideas and philosophies on empowering the mathematics learners. In the IB world, teachers are the lead learners. As the lead learners, teachers need to constantly and consistently re-invent themselves to keep themselves relevant in this fast changing world. The workshop helped us in understanding what and how mathematics lead-learners should think and strategies about HPL. Based on our collective experience of teaching mathematics, we understand that most of the challenges with mathematics stems from causes not related to mathematics. Our learners who struggles with mathematics  is mostly due to lack of confidence, practice( and regular review of class work), perseverance(not give up and willingness to learn), organisational skills(notes, materials,gadgets), communication skills(unsatisfactory note taking skills, presentation of work and the use of mathematical notations and terminologies). Thus, the workshop helped us believe the notion that to set the stage for our students to be agile learners, we must first encourage them to be emphatic and hardworking."


Why HPL at ISN?

Aligned with our status as an IB World School, HPL perfectly complements ISN's vision of nurturing global citizens. HPL enriches our commitment to the IB Learner Profile, fostering inquiry-based learning and instilling values such as respect, empathy, and social responsibility.

Key Features of High Performance Learning at ISN:

  • Innovative Learning: HPL effortlessly integrates into our existing practices, enhancing our commitment to providing a holistic and engaging learning experience.
  • Outstanding Student Outcomes: HPL creates an ambitious school culture, supporting exceptional student outcomes by empowering them with cognitive skills for success.
  • Strategic Direction: Offering a long-term strategic direction, HPL is tailored to our unique context and culture, reflecting contemporary thinking in learning and teaching.
  • Enhancing Existing Practices: HPL doesn't require a complete overhaul; rather, it strengthens and enhances our current practices, making learning even more impactful.

An example of HPL in practice in the Primary School is how we use the Values, Attitudes, and Attributes (VAAs). Woven into our curriculum alongside the IB Learner Profile, VAAs are celebrated through our Essentials program. Students were taught about a value and then asked to draw a character to represent the value. The winning characters were selected to represent the values and huge characters were printed. The characters embody these values, contributing to our vibrant and inclusive community. Below are the characters Bob the Hard-Working Monster, Bubbles the Empathetic Bear and Argyle the Agile Avocado


Meghan Honeysett, Grade 5 Teacher and STEAM Coordinator, expands, “Our Primary School Student Drive Team plays an important role in leading our HPL journey in the Primary School. They are the voice of all the students and they work with teachers to organise events, implement new, exciting ideas and lead exciting educational experiences that enhance the learning of the students. An example of this was our ‘Storytime with Bubbles’ event where the Student Drive Team came up with the idea to bring in their teddy bears to support our discussions about feelings, empathy and mental health during World Mental Health Week."

Both Primary and Secondary Student Drive Teams play a vital role in enhancing learning through HPL, sharing memorable experiences and becoming familiar with advanced cognitive performance characteristics. The Grade 7 HPL Activity showcases students generating essential and conceptual questions, utilising "The Question Sorts" activity to delve into the chemistry unit, cultivating a deeper understanding of ACPS - Creating.

Captured in photos, students actively engage with HPL frameworks to refine their ideas for essay writing and collaborate in the art room, building confidence to challenge themselves. Emily Morgan, Senior Lead for Student Engagement and Achievement, observes a marked improvement in critical thinking when students reference HPL frameworks, fostering perseverance and a willingness to tackle daunting tasks.

ISN is on track to achieve full HPL accreditation by June 2024, underscoring our commitment to providing a world-class education that empowers every child.

As we embark on this exciting HPL journey throughout our school, we invite our entire community to join us in fostering a learning environment that unlocks the full potential of each student. Stay tuned for updates on this transformative adventure!

As a parent, what can I do?

As partners in the educational journey of our students, we invite parents to actively engage in the transformative experience of HPL at ISN. Recognising the crucial role parents play in the holistic development of a child, one of the pillars of HPL is the 'Engagement of Parents.' Embracing the proverb, "it takes a village to raise a child," we extend this sentiment to education, emphasising that it takes a collaborative effort to nurture and guide our children towards success.

We recommend Deborah Eyre and Wendy Berliner’s book for parents, "Great Minds and How to Grow Them". This practical guide, authored by a world-class academic and an award-winning journalist, offers insights into creating a conducive home learning environment, optimising the school experience, fostering values and attitudes associated with success, developing essential thinking and learning skills, and navigating potentially challenging areas like homework and adolescence.

Let's embark on this educational journey together and unlock the greatness within each student.

For more information about the book and HPL please visit: