High Performance Learning


In summer 2022 The School of Research Science became a High Performance Learning World Class School. As part of this community of outstanding educational establishments, we use a research-based HPL approach to help us systematically build the cognitive competencies in our students that lead a young person to thrive not only academically in school but also provides our students with the skills and attributes they will require to be successful in higher education and their future careers.

World Class Award

We embed the HPL philosophy throughout all phases at our school. We never tell our students they cannot achieve; it is just they are not doing it yet but with practice and perseverance it will happen.

What is the High Performance Learning Approach?

High Performance Learning is based on research from across cognitive psychology, gifted education and neuroscience, and on 30 years of practical experience of educators in over 16 countries. The philosophy of High Performance Learning starts from the following key principles:

High academic performance is an attainable target for everyone
We can systematically teach students how to be ‘intelligent’ and how to succeed in school
World class schools produce students that are both intellectually and social confident, who are college ready, workplace ready and life ready, with a global outlook and a concern for others.
There are 20 generic characteristics which students need to develop if they are to be high performers in cognitive domains (ACPs)
There are also 10 values, attitudes and attributes (VAAs) that develop the wider learner dispositions needed for cognitive and lifetime success.

As well as an underpinning philosophy, High Performance Learning provides a practical framework that school leaders can use to transform learning – actively involving students and their parents in the learning journey and presenting schooling as a quest for cognitive success.

The framework is not another school improvement process, or a step-by-step programme, but instead identifies the component parts needed to make high performance learning a reality.

What we want our students to develop

We truly believe that all children can be high performance learners and we strive for all our students to have a performance mindset and reach their full potential. HPL is based around a framework that includes 20 generic characteristics that students need to develop to be high performing learners.

These are based around, ‘How high performing learners think’ (ACPs) and ‘How high performing learners behave’ (VAAs). These are embedded across our curriculum and are part of the daily language we use at school.

Values Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs)



At SRS our students learn to seek out opportunities to receive responses to their work; present their own views and ideas clearly and concisely; listen to the views of others; are willing and able to work in teams; take a variety of roles and are able to evaluate their own ideas and contributions.

Concerned for society

Our students learn the ability to know the contribution they can make to society for the benefit of those less fortunate; demonstrate citizenship and a sense of community ethos and recognise differences as well as similarities between people and peoples; they are aware of their own and others’ cultural heritage and sensitive to the ethical and moral issues raised by their studies.


At SRS our students learn to develop a belief in their knowledge, understanding and action; recognise when they need to change their beliefs based upon additional information or the arguments of others; deal with new challenges and situations, including when this places them under stress.



Our students explore how to have 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 their own learning; move on from the absorption of knowledge and procedures to develop their own views and solutions.

Creative and enterprising

Our students learn to be open-minded and flexible in their thought processes; demonstrate a willingness to innovate and invent new and multiple solutions to a problem or situation; adapt their approach according to need; surprise and show originality in their work, developing a personal style; be resourceful when presented with challenging tasks and problems, using their initiative to find solutions.


Our students have the ability to take an objective view of different ideas and beliefs; become more receptive to other ideas and beliefs based on the arguments of others; change ideas should there be compelling evidence to do so.


At SRS our students have the ability to demonstrate confidence; experiment with novel ideas and effects; speculate willingly; work in unfamiliar contexts; avoid coming to premature conclusions; tolerate uncertainty.

Hard Working


Our students have the ability to train and prepare through repetition of the same processes in order to become more proficient.


Our students learn to keep going and not give up; face obstacles and difficulties but never give up; persist in effort; work diligently and work systematically; not be satisfied until high quality, appropriate precision and the desired outcomes are achieved.


Our students learn to overcome setbacks; remain confident, focused, flexible and optimistic; help others to move forward in the face of adversity.

Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics (ACPS)

Meta Thinking

Meta Thinking

Our students have the ability to knowingly use a wide range of thinking approaches and to transfer knowledge from one circumstance to other.
Our students learn to monitor, evaluate and self-correct.
Our students learn to approach new learning experiences by actively attempting to connect it to existing knowledge or concepts and hence determine an appropriate way to think about the work.
Intellectual confidence:
Our students learn to articulate personal views based on evidence.


Generalisation: Our students show the ability to see how what is happening in this instance could be extrapolated to other similar situations.

Connection finding: Our students show the ability to use connections from past experiences to seek possible generalisations.

Big picture thinking: Our students show the ability to work with big ideas and holistic concepts

Abstraction: Our students show the ability to move from concrete to abstract very quickly.

Imagination: Our students show the ability to represent a problem and its categorisation in relation to more extensive and interconnected prior knowledge

Seeing alternative perspectives: Our students show the ability to take on the views of others and deal with complexity and ambiguity


Critical or logical thinking: Our students show the ability to deduct, hypothesise, reason, seek supporting evidence

Precision: Our students show the ability to work effectively within the rules of a domain

Complex and multi-step problem solving: Our students show the ability to break down a task, decide on a suitable approach, and then act.


Intellectual playfulness: Our students show the ability to recognise rules and bend them to create valid but new forms.

Flexible Thinking: Our students show the ability to abandon one idea for a superior one or generate multiple solutions.

Fluent thinking: Our students show the ability to generate ideas.

Originality: Our students show the ability to conceive something entirely new.

Evolutionary and revolutionary thinking: Our students show the ability to create new ideas through building on existing ideas or diverting from them.


Automaticity: Our students show the ability to use some skills with such ease as they no longer require active thinking.

Speed and accuracy: Our students show the ability to work at speed and with accuracy.


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+971 56 998 5019


For Enquiries


Nouakchott Street Dubai, UAE Next to Mushrif Park



+971 4 601 1011
+971 4 601 1003


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