The Issue: We have known about “The Word Gap,” for 20 years. Risley and Hart[1], in their ominously titled study, “The Early Catastrophe,” found that children from disadvantaged backgrounds hear, on average, 30m fewer spoken words by the age of 3 than their more advantaged peers.  Unsurprisingly, that is mirrored in the way children speak and interact in school, with a vast disparity between the number of new words children use, their confidence in speaking and their willingness to listen.

Feeling like a fraud at work? Like you're failing and about to be found out? Imposter Syndrome affects over 70% of people at some point in their careers but together, we can empower ourselves to succeed. HPL's Global Education Director, Russel Ellicott, reflects on how Imposter Syndrome impacted his leadership as Head of one of the UK's top grammar schools, the indispensable support he had in overcoming it and offers tips for all leaders to help change their mindset.

Deborah Eyre, Founder and Chair at High Performance Learning, discuses the value of open-mindedness and its impact on cognitive success.

Professor Deborah Eyre, Founder, and Chair at High Performance Learning, discusses why the learning-loss narrative is damaging. Not only does it risk creating low self-esteem and loss of hope in students, but the evidence from the learning sciences would suggest that a gap in learning isn’t usually detrimental in the long term. So we should be taking a more positive view. Learning is not linear, and progress is not wholly defined by time spent in class. Indeed, rather than being a lost generation, students who were schooled during COVID are likely to be more persistent and resilient than any who have gone before. The real plus being that if they encounter high-quality teaching post-pandemic then their progress should be truly rapid.

Professor Deborah Eyre, Founder, and Chair at High Performance Learning, discusses why and how school leaders should prioritise building a strong and purposeful culture to create a high performing school. Something that is even more relevant in schools that may still be faced with hybrid learning. It takes a combination of vision, process, consistency and investment – and measurement is critical to reinforce and gauge progress.

Russel Ellicott, Headmaster at Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, delves into how any school can become outstanding, why the ‘feel’ of a school is critical, and the opportunities presented by the pandemic.

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