At Hillside we want our pupils to foster a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge- building the foundations for lifelong learning. We want our children to be inquisitive, to ask questions and develop an enquiring mind. We want them to explore and take risks.
Our Foundation subjects are taught through a thematic Learning Challenge approach. The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work, resulting in a more meaningful curriculum which promotes high standards. The New curriculum tells teachers what to teach. The Learning Challenge approach focuses our teachers on the way they want to deliver it.
The key drivers of our approach are:
- Planned around the distinctive needs of our children
- Allows writing to be meaningfully embedded Cross-curricular (where meaningful)
- Outcome driven to raise standards
- Interesting for the teacher as well as children
- Integrates empowering learning (‘learn to learn’)
- Enquiry based to promote curiosity
- Embeds the application of basic skills
The design of our Learning Challenge curriculum is based around a series of prime and subsidiary learning challenges – all expressed as questions. To begin, Pre Learning activities, tasks are used to ensure that learners are building on their prior knowledge and are fully involved in the planning process granting them ownership of their learning. To ensure that learners are ‘hooked’ by the theme they are exploring, we plan for a powerful stimulus that grabs the learner- often this is an off-site educational trip. A critical part of our learning challenge approach is ensuring that children understand what they are working towards, i.e. knowing the bigger picture. Careful reflection and reviews of learning help to cement the learning.