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Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR)

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Pedagogy at Sherwood State School

At Sherwood State School, our mission is to 'Aim Higher' to achieve the best outcomes for all of our students. Our approach to ensuring this is delivered consistently across all learning areas is through our comprehensive embedding of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. 

This model is recognised as a successful approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centred, whole group delivery to student centred collaboration and independent practice. As the name suggests, responsibility for successful delivery of lesson content is gradually released to the learner. The language that the students are familiar with reflects this approach, and delivery of this is segmented into three key areas; 'I do', 'we do' and 'you do'. This model may include demonstrations, prompts, practice, think alouds, or working in groups. Our Teachers at Sherwood State School plan for a diverse group of learners, therefore, the gradual release of responsibility model ensures that all of our students are supported in their acquisition of the skills and strategies essential for success through effective teaching and learning. 

The model below represents the mentoring relationship and two-way interaction between our teachers and students which is vital to our continued success at Sherwood State School. 

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Focus Instruction (I do) The teacher establishes the purpose of the lesson and models his or her thinking. The purpose is based on the expected learning intentions, which are clearly communicated to students. Teacher modelling should provide students with examples of the thinking (think alouds) and vocabulary required to be successful. 

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Guided Instruction (We do) The teacher strategically uses questions, prompts, and cues to facilitate student understanding. This can be done with small groups that are organised based on instructional needs. During guided instruction, the teacher focuses on releasing partial responsibility to students while providing purposeful scaffolds to support students on the way to achieving independent success.

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Collaborative Learning (You do it together) Students work in collaborative groups to complete the required task. To be productive, the group work must involve students using explicit vocabulary and being individually accountable for their contribution to the task. This phase of instruction will provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their understanding before they apply it independently.

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Independent Learning (You do it) Students apply what they have learnt in class along with their prior knowledge. Many independent learning tasks are used as formative assessments, designed to check for understanding and to identify concepts that may require more explicit instruction. Independent learning tasks are the final phase in the instructional cycle.  This is because our teachers must ensure our students have been sufficiently equipped with the knowledge and strategies they need to not only be successful learners, but to be able to apply that knowledge consistently across the school and through the Australian Curriculum.  Fisher, D. and Frey, N. 2014 Better Learning Through Structured Teaching.

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It is important to remember that the gradual release of responsibility model is not linear. Students will move back and forth between each phase as they master skills, strategies and standards, receiving explicit feedback from their teacher throughout the whole process.


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Last reviewed 06 February 2020
Last updated 06 February 2020