Unlocking the potential of students is a crucial aspect of their academic journey. Melissa Schoorman, the Head of Wardle House and Deputy Principal, shares insights into the importance of learning how to learn. In this exploration, we delve into the strategies employed in Wardle House to empower students with the skills necessary for maximising learning outcomes and unlocking students’ potential.

The foundation: Learning how to learn

Understanding the process of learning is foundational in a student's academic development. Melissa emphasises the significance of introducing this concept early in a student's journey, fostering curiosity about how the brain receives, interprets, and responds to information.

Three consistent themes at Wardle House

Wardle House focuses on three consistent themes to aid students in developing valuable reading, writing, and language skills.


The Project Ignite series at Wardle House offers weekly opportunities for explicit teaching on interpreting and organising information. Students gain autonomy by making informed decisions about studying techniques and understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach does not exist. Emphasis is placed on attempting multiple strategies, such as visual aids, flashcards, reading aloud, or copying, encouraging consistent short-term repetition over cramming.

Time management

Introducing the art of time management is essential in conjunction with learning study and revision techniques. Students, from the early years, engage in time-bound tests and assessments, honing their ability to complete tasks within set time constraints. These experiences teach them to prioritise tasks and develop fundamental planning skills.


From Year 3 onwards, students are taught to organise their writing plans systematically. Utilising quadrants, they separate vocabulary from the sequence of events, integrating various writing structures into assessed pieces. This detailed planning results in cohesive and coherent writing, allowing students to communicate efficiently within constrained time frames.

The synergy of skills

When repetition, time management, and organisation work in unison, the results are extraordinary. Students become confident interpreters of information, applying their knowledge successfully. The fear and pressure associated with test-taking diminish as it becomes a normalised part of the learning process.

Tips for teachers

Unlocking the potential of learners is a collaborative effort, and teachers play a pivotal role in fostering these skills:

  1. Create a supportive classroom environment: Cultivate a classroom atmosphere where learners feel comfortable exploring different learning methods without the fear of judgement. This creates a space where creativity can flourish, and every learner is encouraged to participate.

  2. Provide varied learning resources: Offer a diverse range of resources, including visual aids, hands-on activities, and collaborative projects. This ensures an interactive learning environment that accommodates diverse learning styles and sparks creativity.

  3. Encourage self-reflection: Guide learners in reflecting on their learning experiences. Encourage them to identify the learning strategies that work best for them and why. This self-discovery contributes to continuous improvement and inspires a growth mindset.

  4. Incorporate time management exercises: Integrate time-bound activities into lessons to help learners develop effective time management skills. This instruction enables learners to progress efficiently and take ownership of their learning journey.

  5. Promote organisational strategies: Teach organisational techniques, such as planning and structuring, to enhance learners' ability to manage tasks efficiently. This solution empowers learners to discover effective ways to organise their learning materials and streamline their academic progress.

Unlocking student potential is not just about imparting knowledge but empowering students with the skills to navigate their academic journey effectively. Learning how to learn becomes the cornerstone of their success, and at Wardle House, these three consistent themes lay the foundation for a future where students confidently embrace challenges and maximise their potential.

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