The purpose of this study is to interrogate a ‘working’ strategy established to improve and sustain learner performance by two Life Sciences and two Physical Sciences teachers of two best-performing high schools in the North West province of South Africa. The schools in this study have had a pass rate of over 90% for seven consecutive years in Physical and Life Sciences. Ausubel’s (1963) constructs of Meaningful Reception Learning theory provided the conceptual framework for this study. The study was purely qualitative, employing an exploratory case-study approach. Purposive sampling was adopted to identify participants and research sites for the study. Data was generated through interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. The data were thematically analysed using open coding, axial coding and selective coding. Results of the study demonstrate that the aha! moment originated from the use of role-playing as a teaching strategy. Recommendations for policy and further research are suggested.