The SIJS Curiosity Challenge

A recent headline in a national newspaper struck a chord with all of us at SIJS.  It read…sijs-curiosity-challenge-logo-web-small

‘Children are bored out of their skulls with real life.’

The SIJS Curiosity Challenge is our response to the above headline and is our attempt as a community to kindle children’s curiosity and their awe at the world around us by encouraging families to be adventurers together, to be curious together and to stop and marvel together at the natural world

Launched in September 2016, all pupils and staff at SIJS have an A5 size scrapbook in which they can record their challenge activities.  Challenges are celebrated in class every Friday afternoon and pupils are encouraged to let their imagination run wild with how they record their challenges.  Together, families might choose to write something, draw a picture, add a photo with a detailed caption or stick something in with an explanation: the sky really is the only limit.   

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We have stressed to families the following about Curiosity Challenge activities:

  • They should help children discover the awe and wonder of the natural world
  • They should celebrate each child’s interest in the world
  • They should not cost anything
  • They need to be completed together with families

We have posted 60 challenges on our online pinboard at https://padlet.com/sijs/curiositychallenge  Pupils can choose challenges from the pinboard, which is regularly updated, and may also use 10 ‘wild cards’ over the course of the year, choosing activities which are personal and of interest to them, as well as being in the spirit of the Challenge.

Pupils achieve their bronze award when they have completed 20 challenges, their silver award after 40 challenges and their gold award after 60 challenges.  We have stressed the importance of the Curiosity Challenge not being a race and pupils are only able to complete a maximum of one level of the challenge a term, so to reach the gold award would take at least 3 terms.  Family’s circumstances vary and we recognize that different families will be able to complete a different number of challenges with their child.  Our aspirations for every child are high and we hope that all pupils at SIJS will have achieved their bronze award by the end of the school year.  Our Pupil Council have begun the process of choosing prizes for the bronze, silver and gold awards and pupils who have successfully completed their bronze award this term have been given their very own Curiosity Challenge wristband with the mantra “Let’s get curious!”  Prizes for the silver and gold awards are yet to be decided.

In the words of the inimitable Dorothy Parker: 

“The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.”