Learning Challenge Curriculum

What is the learning challenge curriculum?

The learning challenge curriculum has been designed to link together critical elements in:The Challenge Curr Venn

What is the underlying pedagogy?

Teaching and learning

  • Built around a questioning and enquiry approach; helping to hook children into learning.
  • Incorporates curiosity into the teaching sequences.
  • Incorporates challenge and differentiation.


  • Incorporating’ thinking about thinking and learning’.



  • Allows you to demonstrate statutory coverage.
  • Ensures an incremental approach to skill development.
  • Driven by driving standards in all subjects.
  • Supported differentiation.
  • Weaves together subject specific skills; the basics and genre features in writing.


  • Assessment pro-actively built into the planning process.
  • Skill progression used to ensure clarity of levelling in all subjects.
  • Allows assessment to be used to make a difference to what actually happens in the classroom.


The Learning Challenge Learning Journey


What might children be interested in?

What do they already know?

Do they have any misconceptions?

How might they prefer to learn?

Big PictureHow will you share the big picture?How will you visually represent the learning journey?Will there be any surprises?

How will you include children’s questions?

ApplicationHow will non-negotiables be applied?Links to specific genre/s?Maths & ICT links?

Reflect, review & evaluate

How will you build in?

What difference will it make?

Do you reflect on

‘the what’ and ‘the how’?

Learning road


What do you know about the context of your children?

What do you know about the interests

& motivations of your children?

Starting PointWhat will get the children hooked?What will fire them up? (May be the wow! Wow!What will hook children?What will they remember?How will they link it to learning?


What is the outcome for the unit?

What are children working towards?

Does it add meaning and value?

What drives the learning challenge approach?

  • Planned around the distinctive needs your children
  • Enquiry based to promote curiosity
  • Outcomes driven to raise standards
  • Embeds the application of basic skills
  • Allows writing to be meaningfully embedded
  • Cross-curricular (where meaningful)
  • Interesting for the teacher as well as children
  • Integrates empowering learning (‘learn to learn’)
  • Underpinned by latest thinking about quality learning and brain-based learning


There is a ’Big Question’, which lasts for a longer period of time (usually a half-term). Each week there are separate questions (called learning challenges), which build up to answer the ‘Big Question’. The teacher and children work together to create the learning challenges. Such questions could be:

Are all wolves bad?

Could I be eaten by a dinosaur?

How can Usain Bolt move so quickly?

Will you ever see the water you drink again?

Where would you choose to build a city?

Pre-learning tasks help bring out what learners already know, what misconceptions they may have, and what really interests them. Teachers use this as a basis for their planning.

Progression in the curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within each subject. These are broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners. English, Mathematics and ICT skills are applied where it is appropriate to do so.

Time for children to reflect upon or review their learning is central to the whole process. The idea is that learners present their learning to the rest of the class, using speaking & listening and ICT skills to do so.

Learning challenges are shared with parents and they are asked to contribute when and where they can (either through homework, visiting school to share information or sending in resources).

Visits and visitors are imperative to answering our weekly learning challenges. Learning challenge planning will differ from year to year depending upon the interests of the children and staff, although covering the main skills, knowledge and understanding for the year group.