The learning Challenge Curriculum

 

We recently set about changing our curriculum to ensure we had a broad and balanced curriculum that was creative and which often incorporated more than one subject into each lesson.

We decided to follow the learning challenge approach which puts an emphasis on pupils having a say in what they learn and encourages learners to work using a question as a starting point so that pupils’ thinking and reasoning skills are developed across all subjects. It ensures pupils are much more conscious of their thinking and learning and that they think more about which aspects of the task will present difficulty so that they can develop problem solving skills. It ensures pupils reflect more on how they have completed tasks set and also ensures staff question pupils about their thinking.

In designing the curriculum, teachers and learners are using a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question as the starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks a series of subsidiary challenges are then planned. Each subsidiary learning challenge is also expressed as a question.

Pre-learning tasks ensure that learners are directly involved in the planning process as they help to bring out what learners know, what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them.

Each Learning Challenge has a suggested ‘wow’ at the beginning of the challenge to engage the learners. The ‘wow’ could be trips to a local farm, train station or a chocolate factory. They could have visitors come into school from Father Christmas, emergency services or a story teller. They could experience a Victorian school day or take part in African drumming / dancing. It could be handling tropical animals or hatching chickens!

 The curriculum is broken into year group expectations and has additional challenges for able learners.

In addition, there is an expectation that teachers apply English,mathematics and ICT skills where it is approparite to do so.

Time for learners to reflect or review their learning is central to the whole process. This is in keeping with the ‘Learning to Learn’ principles where reflection is seen as a very important part of individuals’ learning. The learners will present their learning back to the rest of the class or another appropriate audience- making the most of their oracy and ICT skills to do so.

The scheme of work has been created to help us deliver a very exciting and challenging history, geography and science curriculum based on the learning challenge concept. The scheme of work has been developed so as to ensure that we have full coverage of the National Curriculum. It follows the programmes of study for each key stage very carefully and provides the right balance between different aspects of history, geograhy and science.

There has been an attempt to link either creative or expressive arts into each learning challenge so that there is a breadth and balance in the coverage as a whole.

Art, DT, music and dance knowledge, skills and understanding have been weaved into the scheme which ensures that we have progression and continuity in these subject areas too.

Finally, every attempt has been made to bring science, history or geography to life by taking starting points from the children’s interests. In this way it is hoped that the foundation curriculum will be viewed as exciting and interesting as well as fun.

You can view our new currciulm on our website (www.leominsterprimaryschool.co.uk)