Supporting Students to Reach Their Full Potential

Nurturing the unique individuality, talent and self-assurance of each student is central to Reddam House's philosophy. We wish to develop every child’s potential and give them opportunities to undertake work which moves forward their learning. One of the benefits of an all-through school is that we can recognise and build on what learners already know, avoiding unnecessary repetition and setting out appropriate objectives for all students.

Our unique Challenge and Extension (CHEX) programme is a cornerstone of academic life and part of the vocabulary of Reddam House. We believe that every student should be challenged and extended to achieve their best in every subject, and therefore, CHEX is part of every lesson's teaching philosophy, from formal academic to practical pursuits, and we encourage all our students to embrace it.

How Can CHEX Enhance Your Child's Performance & Outcomes?

From the Early Learning School through to Year 13, CHEX is woven into the fabric of school life and can be found in both the curriculum and co-curricular programme, with teachers providing a stimulating learning environment, where all students are stretched.

Every classroom has a CHEX display that provides guidance on how to improve in the individual subject. CHEX manifests itself through extension exercises that promote higher-order thinking skills. It is also reflected in challenging questions, assignments (prep) that encourage wider reading, and Cycle Tests that offer extended opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and learning.

This programme is accessible to all pupils, regardless of ability. It is meant to develop a ‘mindset for learning’ that incorporates ideas of resilience, effort and the understanding that success is in the hands of the individual. 

Open-ended questions or 'possibility questions' are used from the earliest stage of an infant’s education at Reddam House to encourage them to explore what comes next. These questions ensure that children can be involved in constructing their own curriculum and direction of learning, supported by our attentive teachers every step of the way. As they grow, our young explorers discuss their knowledge and are encouraged to ask questions about what else they would like to learn about a particular topic. This is incorporated into small group planning so that children are true protagonists in the classroom.

In the Reception classroom, CHEX books encourage children to attempt more challenging tasks and to explore each area of the classroom every week. The challenges are open-ended, allowing children to complete them in different ways, while the classroom learning is embedded into continuous play provision. This style of learning enables them to become independent learners who can decide how they want to complete elements of their work in a play context. Reception children are truly excited by the challenges revealed each Monday and are keen to explore areas of learning outside of their comfort zone.

As our pupils embark on a more structured curriculum in Junior School, they are challenged to engage, enquire and extend their own learning, through their classwork, extra-curricular activities and homework. We do not put limits on our pupils' learning; instead, using the model of 'Austin's Butterfly', we gently encourage them to achieve their true potential. Our pupils flourish in this supportive environment and look forward to the CHEX challenge woven into every lesson.

Each of our classrooms displays CHEX in different ways, allowing children to see it visually and even add their own CHEX work for others to complete. Junior School pupils from Year 3 to 6 also have an individual CHEX Challenge Choices booklet to use at home. Packed full of exciting tasks to develop creativity and thinking skills outside of school, these booklets ignite new interests and are uniquely Reddam.

In Middle School, teachers understand the importance of developing young people’s confidence, self-discipline and understanding of the learning process. A variety of teaching approaches are used to make learning an enjoyable and challenging experience, matching tasks to learners’ maturity and preferred learning styles. To ensure that learning opportunities for Years 7-9 are maximised, every classroom has a CHEX board; an interactive display with a series of subject-relevant extension tasks which are designed to be fun whilst also helping to develop higher-order thinking skills. These are extremely popular with the students and are a unique feature of Reddam House Berkshire.

In Senior School, we encourage a classroom culture of high expectations and aspirations, where hard work, curiosity and knowledge are viewed positively, and where all sorts of talents and abilities are valued. In addition, we use peer and self-assessment to make young people partners in their learning, helping them to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and inform subsequent progress.

Teachers are encouraged to present their curriculum as a series of problems to be solved rather than a body of knowledge to be absorbed; where independent thinking and open inquiry are stimulated. Furthermore, teaching and learning methods are created to foster these abilities, so that learning becomes an enjoyable and challenging experience for all. In particular, students are encouraged and supported in asking their own questions and linking out-of-class experiences with day-to-day learning.

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