The Learning Challenge Networks

In-depth process for staff to train together and collaborate with others in the network

Guiding your students through the Learning Pit

The Learning Challenge (often referred to as the Learning Pit) was created by James Nottingham, co-founder and Executive Director of Challenging Learning. It has grown to be one of the most popular and compelling heuristics of the last 20 years.

The Learning Challenge Network is a process for 2 members of staff per school, pre-school or college to train together and to collaborate with others in the network. Members report gains in professional satisfaction and inspiration; their students show improved progress and attitudes; and parents report an ever-improving attitude towards education.

With well-established networks across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Australia, we currently only have vacancies in our networks in Leeds, UK and Northumberland, UK. If you would like to be considered for one of these two then you are welcome to complete the initial contact form at the bottom of the page. As other vacancies become available, we will post details on this page and on our social media.

Joining our networks will give you enhanced opportunities to collaborate with experts in their field, network with others in the region, and embed principles and practices that make a significant difference to students’ language for learning, resilience, growth mindset and ability to engage in thoughtful enquiry.


Those who are already part of our worldwide network show gains in professional satisfaction and inspiration; their pupils show improved progress and attitudes and parents are now increasingly involved in their children’s learning.



The actions evidenced in classrooms in other countries involved in the Learning Challenge Network include:

  • Staff improve their use of feedback and approach to questioning
  • Pupils use dialogue more effectively to describe and reflect upon their learning
  • Learning communities are grown organically, thereby creating a sense of ownership and development
  • Staff use action learning cycles to deepen and sustain learning outcomes for all
  • Video evidence is used to allow a wider group to collaborate together in professional development and learning

A subscription to the Learning Challenge Network includes:

  • 2 members of staff (with teaching commitment) per school trained and coached over the year
  • 3 full day training sessions per year with experienced and high-quality Learning Challenge trainers
  • Complimentary Challenging Learning books for each school
  • 1 session of in-classroom coaching for each teacher by senior Challenging Learning staff experienced in the Learning Challenge approach and philosophy
  • 1 session of video coaching for each teacher by highly skilled Learning Challenge coaches and trainers
  • Progress report to the Headteacher
  • Networking opportunities with other Learning Challenge Network teachers - 3 times per year at training events, online networking and a communication forum
  • Termly newsletter to share practice
  • Links with international Challenging Learning associate schools/preschools
  • Access to some Learning Challenge resources
  • Email/online/phone support
  • Learning Challenge Level 1 CPD certificate
  • Opportunity to progress to Learning Challenge Level 2 in year 2
  • Only 10 schools in each region will be accommodated per year to maximise the impact for those involved and ensure that training, coaching and mentoring is always of the highest standard


Your role in the Learning Challenge Network:

  • Try out a minimum of 6 Learning Challenge lessons or activities per teacher in school over the year
  • Video at least one lesson for self-reflection, peer coaching and professional feedback
  • Write one blog/short reflection on something you have tried out and what the impact was
  • Collect evidence of positive impact in your classroom (photos, observations, learning language and behaviour changes, etc.)
  • Host an average of 3 visits per year of small groups of international visitors interested in observing and talking to you about the Learning Challenge working in your setting
  • Be reflective regarding practice in preparation for the following training/coaching sessions


Register your interest in joining one of our networks

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