At The Vale Primary Academy, we are very proud of our Challenge X curriculum.

During this year, the school has been working on curriculum development, creating realistic learning contexts through our child-led Challenge X curriculum.  We use moments of shared experience as the engine room for generating genuine excitement and engagement for learning and then to develop this energy as a way of integrating the curriculum and making learning more purposeful and meaningful to children.

Challenge X is a problem solving based approach to teaching and learning, “an approach to the whole curriculum.” In order for children to understand the world in which they live and develop crucial life skills, the teacher facilitates work on real life situations. Although the curriculum is very much directed by the children, who work in focused teams, the teacher, as enabler, provides a context for learning through visionary opportunities, in the form of challenges (challenges, problems and enterprises). This independent learning ensures that your children are immersed in judging situations, problem solving, questioning, presentation and innovation. In order to find a solution to a given problem (challenge), they work in one of three or four enterprise teams.

When planning their work for the challenge, the children have to consider seven essential elements:  

  • Questioning;
  • Innovation;
  • Research;
  • Community Involvement;
  • Environment and Sustainability;
  • Lifestyle;
  • Presentation. 

Planning is very much child led with each team working together in order to find a solution to the challenge they have been set. The children develop their own success criteria, thus identifying the skills needed for the task. The teacher supports, often adding additional problems and challenges in order to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. The application of reading, writing, communication and mathematics skills can be clearly seen within Challenge X’.

This curriculum really is something to be celebrated. Pupils are engaged and enthused; they work together independently and collaboratively, they take on specific roles and responsibilities, question, negotiate and solve problems.