Learning Challenge Curriculum
At Suttons we believe the ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’ enables teaching staff with the opportunity to develop a flexible, yet individual programme for your child’s learning.
What are the main principles?
- The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of giving children greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point.
- In designing the curriculum, teachers and learners are using a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the suggested starting point. Using the information gained from children’s ages and stages, their interests, pre-learning tasks (which may consist of ‘mind mapping’ activities) and the school’s context, a series of subsidiary challenges is then planned. Each subsidiary learning challenge is also expressed as a question.
- The subsidiary learning challenge is normally expected to last for one week, but this does not need to be the case.
How do the Pre-Learning Tasks Work?
- Pre-learning tasks ensure that learners are directly involved in the planning process. Well planned pre-learning tasks help to bring out what learners already know, what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them.
- Teachers take account of the outcomes from pre-learning tasks to plan the subsidiary learning challenges for each area of learning. It helps teachers recognise what transferable skills learners have already developed that could be used to initiate new learning with a level of confidence.
How do we ensure that pupils are improving their knowledge and understanding and developing appropriate skills?
- Continuity and progression in the curriculum will be built around a set of matrices known as essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within subject disciplines. These are broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners. The ‘Key Skills and Essential Knowledge and Understanding’ matrices within the Learning Challenge Curriculum will allow school to guarantee that the learners’ essential skills are being developed, alongside National Curriculum requirements (where appropriate), whilst allowing individual schools to have a great deal of autonomy with their methodology.
How are learners presented with opportunities to reflect on their learning?
- 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 programme.
- Within the Learning Challenge Curriculum it is suggested that the final subsidiary learning challenge is handed over for learners to reflect on their learning. The idea is that learners present their learning back to the rest of the class making the most of their oracy and ICT skills to do so. Initially learners may require a great deal of direction so the reflection time may need to be presented in the form of a question which helps them to review their work.
- Although reflection is seen as a concluding part of the prime learning challenge it is hoped that that there will be continual opportunities for learners to reflect frequently, especially as each subsidiary learning challenge comes to an end. Ideally, there should be a good deal of learner autonomy evident during reflection time.