How We Work
Our vision is that young people should be given every opportunity for character development; we believe that building capacity within a school is as important as introducing external programmes.
We help schools to install capacity by:
- Reviewing a school’s current curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular provision, providing professional insights and highlighting different opportunities and savings to allow the school to create a comprehensive programme of character development activities that meet Ofsted criteria.
- Promoting the benefits of character development activities in schools to students, parents/carers and teachers.
- Supplying evidence of tangible outcomes and lasting impact which the school can learn from and which will allow them to take responsibility for delivering structured character development programmes going forward.
- Awarding grants to organisations (schools, academy trusts, other educational bodies) that have applied to, or have been working in partnership with, the Trust. These grants may be in the form of: a bursary to the organisation to enhance its existing character development provision, or direct funding to cover costs for a specific character development project.
The Charity is organised so that the Trustees meet at least three times a year, when they take strategic decisions to award and review grants.
We believe that a comprehensive programme of character development will typically include a blend of outdoor education, role model presentations, pupil to pupil supervision, curriculum trips, cultural tours, sports fixtures, enterprise training, careers talks, music camps and personal development expeditions overseas.
Menu of Activities
Trips & Visitors:
Role Model Assemblies and Class Talks
Aspirational talks, workshops and assemblies designed to motivate and inspire young people to widen their ambitions, delivered free of charge from a network of volunteers who are expert in their field.
Emotional Health & Resilience
The Challenger Trust work in close collaboration with the Icarus Trust, a charity which addresses emotional resilience, mental health wellbeing and provides social support.
Pupil to Pupil Responsibility
Students are trained how to become leaders amongst their peers. An example of this is Leadership in the Lunch Queue, which gives young people the chance to take control of lunch queues to help maintain order and build their own confidence, while giving teachers back the time that had been devoted to lunch time supervision.
Creating a lasting relationship between schools and working farms, with pupils dedicated to providing real-life help for local farmers, while learning the valuable concept of ‘from farm to fork’.
The UK’s countryside teems with wildlife and a natural beauty that provides a perfect environment for pupils to participate in unique and exciting exploration and activities.
Community Service helps to build links between schools and the local community.
Sports & athletic events
The scope for sports and athletics events is wide, ranging from individual sporting classes and activities, to inter-school fixtures and large scale events which bring pupils from different schools and areas together to learn and play sports collectively.
A broad range of activities from school-specific workshops and drama classes to cross-school events where young people are brought together to learn through the medium of performing arts.
Music programmes can be created that are tailored to the requirements of the school and interests of pupils, to encourage education through the means of music in its many forms.
Workshops are valuable tools for strengthening and emphasising topic-based learning, with a hands-on approach to encourage pupil participation and stimulate interest.
The history and beauty of UK culture can be understood and appreciated by visits to local monuments of interest: bringing history to life.
Bush Craft and Survival
Pupils of any age can learn basic bush craft and ‘survival’ techniques within school grounds or as an off-site activity. They gain an understanding of nature and the environment while participate in shelter-building and fire-lighting, learning the dual importance of fires and how to administer first aid ‘in the bush’.
Museums & art galleries
Traditional educational trips to museum and art galleries continue to be a valuable way to encourage pupils’ interest in specific subject areas or topic themes.
Pupils can enjoy a stimulating ‘outside the classroom’ experience of a residential trip with a curriculum-focus, which can be tailored to a particular area of study.
Big Events Days
These days are specially designed personal development programmes on a large scale, with the potential to bring thousands of pupils together across academy trusts or clusters. The Big Event Days help pupils to reach their potential outside the formal classroom environment; they focus on building confidence and self-esteem, and developing life-long skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. The Days all have a very different focus, to give pupils exposure to a variety of activities which will inspire them to achieve, eg Athletics, Performing Arts, Bush Craft and STEM.
Career fair-style events
Professionals from a range of sectors come together to interest and inspire students to understand their career options, and to gain valuable guidance in their future employment choices.
Companies with active apprenticeship schemes give advice to students on the range of apprenticeships available, the benefits of the schemes and how they can apply.
Guided visits to top UK universities make higher education more accessible to students from every background and aspires young people to aim high.
Staff Training for programme delivery
Teachers are trained by specialists to develop the skills required to effectively deliver certain character development activities going forward.
A six-day skiing and developmental leadership expedition that includes ski tuition in the mornings and command tasks in the afternoons, such as dog mushing, igloo building and snow-shoes trekking. In this beautiful and little visited country, pupils learn to ski as well as developing their team-working, leadership and communication skills. Confidence will be boosted as they navigate through this exhilarating expedition and conquer challenges together en-route.
The ideal environment for leadership, resilience and character-building. During the 2-week trip students will be responsible for key parts of their itinerary. They will work together, consider their team’s strengths and weaknesses and be sensitive towards cultural difference.
The expedition develops valuable life and leadership skills, as well as increasing motivation and building emotional resilience.
A two-location adventure trip, in the Italian Alps and the Ardèche, South of France. Pursuits include white water rafting, rock climbing, abseiling and canoeing. Teamwork, communication and confidence will be developed and enhanced during this exhilarating expedition.
UK & European expeditions
Younger learners start their expedition journey with shorter-duration programmes within the UK and Europe, such as the Brecon Beacons programme where pupils can challenge themselves during the day on the climbing wall and high ropes course, learn bush craft skills at a remote wild camp, and enjoy evening team bonding games around the campfire.
Character Measurement System:
Underpinning a successful character development programme is the means for schools and pupils to acknowledge this development. Each school is encouraged to install a bespoke Character Measurement System on which pupils witness their own progress and outcomes by recording the attributes they have developed during participation in character development activities. Pupils record when they have developed a character attribute, and work towards reaching a certain level of attainment, where they will be awarded the Challenger Diploma.
Key to the Challenger Trust programme is ensuring that pupils with financial challenges are not excluded from participating in activities. The higher-cost expeditions that we recommend are designed to be fully funded by students through the help of enterprise and sponsorship. Pupils engaging in Challenger Enterprise are motivated to take part in all aspects of fundraising and running a business, developing real-life skills that they require in adult working life while raising funds to subsidise the cost of their own trip.
Enterprise activities are varied and ranging in complexity to suit the needs of each age group. Pupils can engage in group enterprise activities such as bake sales, cinema nights, weekly tuck shops and football tournaments, or undertake their own activities at home, eg washing cars and other household chores for family and neighbours.