Learning Challenge Curriculum Policy

Revision History

Version Date Comments Review Date
5 Autumn 2016 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2018
4 Autumn 2013 No Amendments, approved and issued Autumn 2015
3 September 2011 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2013
2 September 2008 Amended, approved and issued September 2010
1 July 2008 First draft


The Learning Challenge Curriculum covers History, Geography, Art and Design & Technology.  The four subject areas are taught through topics linked to a separate skills ladder in each subject.
1. History
1a      Rationale

The aim of history teaching is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past regardless of race, creed, gender or ability. The children are taught a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. Thus they learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in multicultural Britain. Children are taught to understand how events in the past have influenced lives today and taught to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.

1b     Aims/Objectives

The aims of history are:

  • to foster in children an interest in the past and to develop an understanding that enables them to enjoy all that history has to offer;
  • to enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time;
  • to develop a sense of chronology;
  • to understand how Britain is part of a wider European culture and to study some aspects of European history;
  • to have some knowledge and understanding of historical development in the wider world;
  • to help children understand society and their place within it, so that they develop a sense of their cultural heritage;
  • to develop in children the skills of enquiry, investigation, analysis, evaluation and presentation.

2. Geography

2a      Rationale

Geography teaches an understanding of places and environment.  Children learn through geography about their local area and can compare this to other regions in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, gaining an insight into other cultures and the importance of sustainable development.

2b     Aims/Objectives

  • to enable children to gain knowledge and understanding of places in the world;
  • to increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country;
  • to allow children to learn graphic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
  • to enable children to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level;
  • to encourage in children a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
  • to develop a variety of other skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, computing, investigation and how to present their conclusions in the most appropriate way.

3. Art

3a      Rationale

The aim of teaching art and design at St John’s C of E Primary School is to stimulate all pupils’ creativity and imagination by providing visual, tactile and sensory experiences, enabling them to understand and respond to the world around them. They learn how to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes.  They learn how to make judgments and aesthetic decisions whilst exploring the work of artists and designers.

3b    Aims/Objectives

  • to enable children to record from first hand experience and from imagination, and to select

their own ideas to use in their work;

  • to develop creativity and imagination through a range of activities;
  • to improve the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques;
  • to increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art and design in different

times and cultures;

  • to develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials;
  • to foster an enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, crafts people and designers.

4. Design & Technology
4a      Rationale

Design & Technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world.  It encourages creative problem solving, both individually and as a team, enabling children to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas by making products.  Through the study of design technology they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues.  Children are encouraged to reflect upon and evaluate present and past design and its uses and impacts.

4b     Aims/Objectives

  • to develop imaginative thinking to enable children to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making;
  • to enable children to talk about how things work, draw and model their ideas;
  • to encourage children to select appropriate tools and techniques for making a product whilst following safe procedures;
  • to explore attitudes towards the made world and how we live and work within it;
  • to develop an understanding of technical processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society;
  • to foster an enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making.

Applicable to all subject areas within Learning Challenge Curriculum:


The school uses a variety of teaching methods and learning to develop all children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.  This is done through a mixture of whole class teaching and individual activities.

There are children of differing ability in all classes at St John’s so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.  We achieve this through a range of strategies.  In some lessons this is through differentiated group work while in other lessons we ask children to work from the same starting point before moving on to develop their ideas.  Classroom assistants may support some children either individually or in small groups.

Special Needs and Gifted & Talented

  • We teach art and design to all children, whatever their ability, as part of our broad and balanced education at St John’s.
  • In all classes there are widely different abilities in art and design, including children who may have special needs, so we take into account the targets set for children with Individual Pupil Passports.
  • All children needing special provision will be taught in a manner appropriate to their needs, including gifted and talented pupils. Learning opportunities are provided for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.


The skills ladder for history, geography, art and design & technology are used as the basis for Learning Challenge Curriculum planning.  Children of all abilities are given opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and planned progression is built into the scheme of work so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.

Staff are expected to complete a medium term plan for each topic prior to teaching, which will outline the teaching sequence, skills coverage, pupils outcomes and resources.  From this medium term planning, a more detailed, weekly lesson plan is completed. This should include cross-curricular links and as many WOW sessions as possible.

Creative work in the Early Years is related to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELG) which underpin curriculum planning for children aged three to five.  A range of experiences is provided to encourage children to make links between one area of learning and another.


The creative curriculum follows a three year programme from Early Years to Key Stage 2.  See appendix 1.


Resources for creative curriculum are kept in the central storage areas in clearly labelled boxes.  Art and D&T resources are kept in the art and D&T storeroom.  The library contains a supply of topic books for research.

Health & Safety

Class teachers are encouraged to enrich the Learning Challenge Curriculum with visits and visitors.  Appropriate risk assessments will be made before visits by the children take place and visitors will be made aware of the school’s own Health and Safety policy.


The monitoring of standards of children’s work and the quality of teaching is the responsibility of the subject leader.  The leader supports colleagues, keeps informed about current developments, gives the Headteacher an annual report and identifies strengths, weaknesses and areas for development.

.pdf of Learning Challenge Curriculum Long Term Plan (3 year rolling programme)

Learning Challenge Curriculum Policy Version 5 Autumn 2016