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Thirsk School

& Sixth Form College

    Challenge Based Learning

    What do we learn about?

    • To ensure our new Y7 develop (or maintain) the right attitude to learning, are resilient in the face of challenge and can learn effectively with reduced supervision, we run a Y7 Challenge Based Learning Course for one year with the equivalent on one lesson per week
    • A variety of topics are studied – at the beginning of the year, the topic is dictated by the teacher but, as the course progresses, students are encouraged to pursue their own areas of interest
    • Each term is arranged into three parts: The Big Idea, The Big Question & The Big Challenge
    • An example of a Term One topic is: The Big Idea: War, The Big Question: How does war impact on society? & The Big Challenge: Tell the story of war and its impact on society
    • Challenge Based Learning is designed to help students develop crucial skills such as: teamwork, creativity, independence, problem solving, endurance and communication
    • Whole-class teacher input is reduced throughout the year (although there will always be a teacher present!) to ensure students are taking full responsibility for their learning which we are sure will impact on their learning in other subjects too
    • A range of subject specialist teachers take responsibility for Challenge Based Learning to ensure a wide range of expertise is on-hand during the cross-curricular projects

    How is students’ learning assessed?

    • Students must present their challenge project at the end of each term
    • Students are encouraged to self- and peer-assess regularly throughout the course
    • Students set their own targets following assessment based on the school’s Attitude to Learning Scale
    • Teachers assess students participation and performance in Challenge Based Learning at the end of each term also based on the Attitude to Learning Scale
    • To see a copy of our Attitude to Learning Scale, please click here.

    How can students learn beyond the classroom?

    • Continue with research for their challenge project
    • Ask questions of friends, relatives and family members
    • Visit relevant places such as museums, libraries etc
    • Collect resources to bring in to their lessons
    • The sky’s the limit with their project so we encourage students to engage in developing their project beyond the classroom as much as they possibly can

    Who teaches in this subject area?

    Mrs J Dickinson – Assistant Headteacher and Teacher of MFL

    Mrs L Dickson – Head of Music

    Mr O Pierce Williams - Teacher of Music