Experimenting in Chemistry

Learning has long been regarded as the acquisition of information. However, at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School we firmly believe that learning goes much deeper than simply knowing facts: really successful learners display a range of skills, habits and attitudes that underpin everything they do.

In order to foster these characteristics of outstanding learners, we have developed the Learning@Challoner’s philosophy based on the latest educational research, which underpins everything that goes on at DCGS:


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Our mission is to empower our students to become confident and resourceful learners who enjoy being stretched and who tackle new problems with relish. We want them to be analytical and resilient so that they can learn from their mistakes. We want them to be creative and innovative so that they stand out from the crowd but we also want them to be versatile and empathetic so that they can work effectively in teams.

All the members of the school community have a role to play in the evolution of this vision and in order to achieve this we engage with staff, governors and parents as well as with students. We have a shared responsibility to support the boys in becoming mature young men who excel in their chosen professions and who are committed to lifelong learning. After all, as Arie De Geus, the former CEO of Royal Dutch/Shell puts it: 'The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage'.


Our Learning@Challoner’s philosophy engages and stretches students. The skills and habits of learning are reflected upon regularly both in subject lessons and in PSHE lessons in order to allow students to engage in metacognition (the process of thinking about how they learn and their capabilities).

This is enhanced by our outstanding extra-curricular provision, which caters to all interests. We also organise regular Enrichment Days when students take part in a range of cross-curricular activities which help to develop their skills in a variety of situations.


Our current focus is collaboration. We know that our students enjoy working in groups but we want to develop their awareness of what it is to be a true team player. To this end, we have developed Collaboration@Challoner's based on Meredith Belbin’s research. These principles will be used to guide collaborative group work at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School so that students have experience of taking on all the different team roles that they will come across during their working lives, rather than always taking on the roles which come naturally to them.


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The learning culture at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School extends to the staff too. Teachers are encouraged to engage in research activities and take part in regular formal and informal lesson observations, which help to inform their practice.

Learning reviews are conducted by teams which can also include students and governors. Participation in these processes is an excellent professional development opportunity and the feedback from them is used to shape pedagogy and innovation across the school.

We are keen to involve parents in their sons’ learning and the Challoner’s philosophy. To this end, parents are invited to information evenings, all of which have a Learning@Challoner’s element that is tailored to the needs and demands of each year group.

A Parental Research Group has also been set up in order to engage parents in a dialogue about Learning@Challoner’s and its findings are influential in our development as a learning community.

If you want to learn more about Learning@Challoner’s, please email:

Miss N Kremer (Assistant Headteacher)