NACE Education and Challenge Adviser Hilary Lowe explains the thinking behind this new resource, and suggests a range of approaches for its implementation...

The NACE Challenge Framework is designed to help schools review and plan for improvements in challenge for more able and other learners across all areas of the curriculum and school experience. To facilitate this, the latest round of updates to the Framework and supporting resources includes a new departmental and curriculum review template – available via the Challenge Hub area of our website for all schools working with the NACE Challenge Development Programme.

This new resource should help those leading on a school’s use of the Challenge Framework to engage middle leaders in the review and planning cycle. It provides key aspects from the Challenge Framework self-evaluation template, with which to interrogate provision and practice for more able learners in specific curriculum areas and plan for further developments.

The curriculum review tool will also enable middle leaders, in collaboration the school’s NACE Challenge lead, to gather and synthesise evidence of high-quality provision on a very secure footing – building a strong portfolio for submission if/when the school chooses to apply for NACE Challenge Award accreditation.

The Challenge Framework is already accompanied by detailed guidance to support the coordination of the self-evaluation process. In addition, when making use of the new departmental review template, schools could consider the following approaches:

  • Choose a selection of departments/curriculum areas as “early adopters” of the review tool. These teams then present their findings to other departments, who go on to undertake their own reviews. Joint planning of next steps could take place at relevant meetings of department/curriculum leaders.
  • The Challenge Framework lead works with a few/all departments to support review and development.
  • A head of department/curriculum area asks a colleague to take responsibility for the review; the completed review is then used to inform planning, in the light of whole-school priorities.
  • Departments/curriculum areas undertake peer reviews or triad reviews of provision for more able learners.
  • All departments/areas focus on reviewing provision and practice in a specific strand of the Challenge Framework identified by senior leaders.
  • The Framework is integrated within existing school self-evaluation and development systems and cycles.
Whatever the processes used, the gathering of evidence for planning, evidence of impact and for Challenge Award accreditation should rely on information gathered from all areas of the school, for each of the six key categories (“elements”) of the framework.

Evidence from individual curriculum areas is crucial and the curriculum review template will become an invaluable tool for schools using the Challenge Framework and working towards the Challenge Award.

If your school is already working with the Challenge Framework, log in to access all current NACE Challenge resources.

Not yet working with the Challenge Framework? Find out how the NACE Challenge Development Programme could support your school.
Friday, November 30, 2018