The inquiry approach to learning is based on the belief that students are powerful learners who must be actively engaged in the process of investigating, processing, organising, synthesising, refining and extending their knowledge within a topic. In a nutshell, the inquiry process involves:
• Planned, direct and rich experiences that provide opportunities for students to pose questions and gather information.
• Activities that help students organise new information and use skills in a way that assists them to form concepts and generalizations about their world
• Opportunities for students to work independently and cooperatively and demonstrate what they have learnt applying the knowledge, skills and values to other contexts.
The inquiry process has the potential to develop skills and dispositions for lifelong learning, for example, independence, thinking skills, confidence, decision making, cooperative learning and other life skills. We can integrate different subject areas, information technology and global issues.
At St. Patrick’s we have developed ‘through lines’ that each level studies in a yearly cycle. The broad concepts and key ideas covered are as follows:
Content for our Inquiry units is drawn from the Victorian Curriculum. When planning units of work teachers check the following areas to ensure that these critical components of the curriculum are being covered across the school.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and Sustainability
Learning areas and Capabilities
Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Intercultural, Personal and Social
Civics and Citizenship
Economics and Business
Design and Technologies