Junior School Academic Strategy

Barbreck Academic Strategy

This year, our Barbreck Strategy was released in conjunction with the School’s Towards 2025 Strategic Plan. This Strategy defines a unique and exceptional focus on the journey of the ‘whole child’ within the warmth and care of the Barbreck environment.

This focus encompasses the development of young minds and embraces a carefully crafted academic program and a personalised approach that recognises and nurtures every Barbreck girl’s ability and potential – academically, physically, socially and emotionally.

Underpinning this Strategy is the design of the Barbreck Teaching Model that establishes a culture of classroom practice empowering every girl to engage in their own personal learning journey. Understanding that every learning journey is unique, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not necessarily capture the strengths and challenges of every classroom member, the Barbreck Teaching Model is designed to, ultimately, recognise differing rates of learning and the varying capabilities of each student.

A Model of Academic Care

St Catherine’s Gradual Release of Responsibility Model.

The greatest strength of the Barbreck Teaching Model is a teacher’s knowledge of each students’ learning journey. This Model defines a level of academic care that requires teachers to enhance student learning, wellbeing and resilience and to embed these in every classroom experience.

Our Barbreck teachers know how each girl learns, their personality, their pace of work, their concerns, their levels of confidence and importantly, their interests.

In shaping the Barbreck Teaching Model, the implementation of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) has been adopted in every classroom. This pedagogical approach is defined by teacher-led instruction, providing modelling, scaffolding and guidance of students through to independent practice. This approach enables teachers to build every students’ confidence with their learning and at all levels of their academic journey.

A Personalised Journey

Through a learning cycle of assessment, targeted differentiation, reflection and timely feedback, each girl is provided a safe and supportive environment to enable them to academically thrive. Defined by a collection of academic data, individual learning plans are tailored to suit each girls’ pathway with the instructional level personalised to enable growth and academic development.

Naplan Success

St Catherine’s School’s 2021 NAPLAN results again reveal our strengths across our Literacy and Numeracy programs and provide evidence to the success of the Barbreck Teaching Model introduced in 2019. Suffice to say, even with the COVID-19 lockdowns endured over the past 12 months, our Barbreck NAPLAN data demonstrates considerable growth in the academic performance of our current Years 3 and 5 students. These results remain similar to 2019, when NAPLAN was last conducted, and when Barbreck students were placed as the top performing school in the region – compared to local independent and government schools.

Indeed, our Junior School is an exquisite environment for young girls to build their confidence as learners and to enjoy every day at school – exploring their strengths through our comprehensive academic programs and within the warmth of Barbreck’s pastoral care.

Over the course of the past two years, we have learnt much about our capacity to deal with change. We have also understood with a sense of wisdom, the capacity of our students. Indeed, they are significantly more independent, resilient and motivated than we have ever given them recognition for in the past.

Ms Karen McArdle

Head of Junior School

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