The curriculum at Roslyn Primary School is developed using an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Students learn and inquire about the world they live in by exploring and investigating ‘big questions’ facilitated by the teachers. At Roslyn Primary School the whole school will have the same inquiry through-line at the same time, with each level having a different ‘big question’ to explore, based on the expected curriculum needs to cover the Victorian Curriculum standards. This allows for a rich sharing of experiences across the school.
In 2017 our ‘big questions’ have been based around science and history.
Inquiry One has a biological science focus on ‘life and living’
Inquiry Two has a history focus on ‘past and present’
Inquiry Three has a physical science focus on ‘energy’
Students explore their inquiry throughout all curriculum areas when there is a natural link.
Why do we use an inquiry-approach to curriculum at Roslyn Primary School?
The benefits of an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning are widely agreed on and include;
– forming creative and critical thinkers which leads to deep understanding
– developing ‘life long’ skills in thinking, questioning and seeking explanations
– going beyond simply finding an answer, but engaging in questioning, reflection and thinking about how, and what they have learned, and the next step in the investigation
– engaging learners in constructing their own understandings, developing solutions to problems, and creating new innovations
– providing learners with the opportunity to reflect on prior knowledge as a starting point for learning
– providing opportunities for learners to reflect on their learning journey
– relating to the real world and having links to the life experiences of learners
– engaging learners socially through a collaborative approach to learning
– providing opportunities for the purposeful use of technology
The inquiry-based approach to learning runs through distinct learning stages. These are tuning-in, finding out, sorting out, going further, reflection, and authentic action.
To celebrate the learning of students our Authentic Action involves students passing on their understandings in an authentic way to the wider community. For example, for the first inquiry in 2015 our grade 3/4 classes invited community members to be involved in planting native plants around the school after a focus on ‘how does it grow?’ Our Prep class were the teachers for a day as they taught students from a local pre-school what they needed to survive after a focus on ‘what do I need?’
To begin our school year, the students at the school work through the ‘Blast Off!’ program, which is a short three week program that sets our students up to be a healthy, safe and successful student. In 2017 we will also introduce an inquiry to finish the year based around Christmas and other celebrations.
We are excited to see where our inquiry learning takes us in the future!