The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of giving children greater involvement in their learning. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point.
In designing the curriculum, teachers and learners use a prime learning challenge, expressed as a question, as the suggested starting point. Using the information gained from pre-learning tasks, and the school's context, a series of subsidiary challenges is 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. Well planned pre-learning tasks should help establish what learners already know; what misconceptions they may have and what really interests them. Teachers should take account of the outcomes from the pre-learning tasks to plan the subsidiary learning challenges for each major area of study.
Continuity and progression in the curriculum will be built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within subject disciplines. These are broken into year group expectations.
The ‘Essential Knowledge, Skills and Understanding' matrices within the Learning Challenge Curriculum guarantee that the learners' essential skills are being developed, alongside National Curriculum requirements.
There is an expectation that teachers apply English, mathematics and Computing skills where possible and appropriate.
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. The idea is that learners present their learning back. Initially learners may require a great deal of direction.