Students from a Shropshire school have impressed educators from around the world at an international conference sharing the best teaching techniques.

Five Ellesmere College students were invited to Warwick University to speak at the annual High Performance Learning (HPL) conference to discuss their experiences and what the HPL framework means to them.

HPL is an international framework delivering educational change, working with schools and teachers to build cognitive competences and designed to achieve academic and lifetime success through a flexible learning framework.

Ellesmere College is one of only 39 schools worldwide to have been awarded High Performance Learning World Class School Accreditation.

Daniel Bottom, Head of English and one of the HPL mentors at the school, said: “We were delighted to be invited to talk at the conference and the students were superb.
“We spoke about how HPL aligns with Ellesmere College’s philosophy that the purpose of education is to make students ‘Life Ready’ so they can leave us fully prepared as they move on to their bright futures.

“Then the students stole the show – they showcased mardi gras flags made in response to ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, drawings to convey understanding of ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘Macbeth’, a piece of flash-fiction written by students, bookmarks, CD covers, artwork and a ‘big picture’ drawing tracking the plot of a studied piece.”

Zoe Fisher, Teacher of English and Drama and HPL Mentor, added: “A lot of delegates came over to thank the students afterwards and I think it is fair to say they were hugely impressed with their eloquence, confidence and ability to articulate how HPL is helping them develop a range of skills and attitudes that they know will make them ‘Life Ready’.”

As part of the conference Year nine student Bella Spencer-Blow, Ethan Oliver of Year 10 and Year 12 students Dylan Cunningham, Iris Grigoras and Davit Chankseliani took part in a roundtable discussion with the HPL founder Dr Deborah Eyre.

Ellesmere College has integrated the HPL approach through the whole school system – from Lower School to Sixth Form. It reflects what is already known about advanced thinking skills and learning behaviours, helping pupils to develop skills and attitudes like confidence, agile thinking, perseverance and a greater awareness and concern for the society we live in – ensuring they are fully prepared for the path of study, work and life which lie ahead.

Iris Grigoras said: “As someone coming from a Romanian school that did not implement such a system, I have noticed a large difference between how I approach my studies of literature now, in comparison to how I used to.

“The implementation of HPL has allowed me to be far more creative during my lessons and work together with my classmates to better understand together the material we are studying.

“Not only are these skills tremendously useful in the classroom, but they have also benefited me in my extracurricular activities, such as the magazine I am an editor of.”

Davit Chankseliani from Tbilisi, Georgia, added: “Being able to provide my input was a rewarding experience.

“During the conference, I felt that, as a student, my voice and opinion truly mattered. In addition, I think that the discussion that followed our speeches was productive.

“I realised that HPL gives me and other students the opportunity to aim high, improve and be creative, without having negative side effects on our knowledge.”

Bella Spencer-Blow from Ellesmere said: “I really enjoyed the conference, I was surprised by how interested and supportive the  academic leaders, from many different countries, were.

“At first it was slightly nerve racking, but once we sat down and started talking, I felt at ease.”

For more information about HPL at Ellesmere College visit

Pictured: L-t-R: Dylan Cunningham, Ethan Oliver, Bella Spencer-Blow, Iris Grigoras, Davit Chankseliani.