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Empowering our Juniors to flourish

Haileybury Rendall School’s Explicit Teaching program gives Junior School children the skills and confidence to thrive.

NEWS 28 July 2023

The Junior School years at Haileybury Rendall School (HRS) are a series of building blocks that each enable every child to become a curious, confident and lifelong learner.

A key part of the Junior School experience is a highly-effective teaching and learning program called the Explicit Teaching Model that helps students learn core literacy and numeracy skills faster and earlier.

Since it was developed, Haileybury has shared the Explicit Teaching Model with hundreds of teachers and school leaders nationally and internationally, helping many children outside of Haileybury to improve their literacy and numeracy capabilities.

At HRS, the experienced teachers often begin lessons with a Warm Up - a focused 10 to 15-minute session at the beginning of a reading, spelling, writing or mathematics lesson that helps students prepare to learn.

Explicit Teaching also uses a highly effective research-based framework called ‘I Do, We Do and You Do’.

During this time in class, teachers show children what they are learning, how to do it, and why they are learning it. This breaks down complex skills and strategies into clear, manageable and sequenced steps.

First the teacher clearly demonstrates and explains the concept that is being learned — the ‘I Do’. Students and teachers then do the learning task together — ‘We Do’, and, finally, students do it themselves – ‘You Do’.

“The wonderful thing about our Explicit Teaching Model is that it is consistent and predictable and allows students to feel comfortable in their learning environment”
Lisa Doyle, Head of Junior School

“Students feel supported as they learn new concepts and they can work at a high level because of the way Explicit Instruction is delivered. We also focus on making thinking visible in learning, and this helps students build their internal self-talk when they engage in tasks that are less familiar. They build their ability to recall and retrieve prior learning in every lesson and this makes stronger connections between old and new information — it helps learning ‘stick’.”

Like the rest of HRS, the Junior School also has a strong wellbeing focus that builds resilience and ensures students learn to treat each other with kindness and respect. Dedicated staff within HRS are available to support students and families as and when needed and get to know every student and to be able to support them on their journey through HRS.

Junior School also creates many opportunities for students to join lunchtime and after-school clubs — from Chess and LEGO to a Reading Club where Senior School students help younger students improve their reading skills.

“We also have an extension club for Years 5 and 6 students, called Polymath Platoon, that builds creative and critical thinking and applies skills that students learn in class to real life problems,” says Lisa.

Recently, some Years 5 and 6 students from HRS won a silver medal in the national Junior Ethics Olympiad – an annual Australia-wide competition. The students debated the complexities of friendships, peer pressure and social media and presented their points of view.

This year’s Olympiad competitors came from as far afield as Melbourne, Moreton Bay, Southport in Queensland and Ravenswood in New South Wales. HRS fielded two teams with one team winning silver and the other team receiving an honourable mention.

“The students were all absolutely thrilled and the silver medalists were particularly elated with their win. HRS won bronze last year and silver this year — they have their eye on a gold medal next year!” says Lisa, who was one of the Ethics Olympiad coaches.

“Participating in the event requires a lot of teamwork. The students meet at an Olympiad Club at School once a week and begin to develop their critical and creative thinking skills. The competition presents students with a scenario and multiple viewpoints, so it opens their minds and allows them to reflect on why they believe certain things.”

“It also reminds them that they have the right to share their ideas and that they can have healthy and respectful conversations with others – even if their opinions are different.”

Academically, each year in Junior School builds on the one before and, as they look back over their time in the school, children can clearly see their progress, adding to their confidence and motivation to learn.

“They come to us as little learners and keen inquirers and they leave our Junior School with confidence, independence, a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge,” says Lisa.

As they take the step into Middle School, each student is well on their way to becoming a strong and independent learner who knows how to question, problem-solve and explore further and deeper.

Discover more about Haileybury's renowned Explicit Teaching Model in the classroom here.