A major focus at Lara Primary School is to ensure that our curriculum is real, rigorous, relevant and rich and we believe the implementation of a successful inquiry-based learning model will helps achieve this.
Inquiry-based learning is not just asking questions, but it is a way of converting data and information into useful knowledge. Inquiry-based learning is more than just asking a student what he or she wants to know, it is about triggering curiosity. The aim is to create learning environments that cultivate this curiosity and grow our Lara Primary School students into capable and creative inquirers.
A simple way of describing the steps of inquiry cycle would be:
students begin to develop questions that they are hungry to answer around a certain topic that has been introduced by the teacher. They begin to establish what they expect to find out and question why it is important
staff assist to begin questioning students on how they will gather new information around their question(s). Some of these include; What do I need to do and where do I need to go to get it? How will I document what I find out? What will help me learn more?
work independently by researching, exploring and processing information about the topic using time in class and at home
present what they have learnt as a result of the Inquiry cycle. These could include exhibitions to the school or community, making models, performances, action projects, publishing pieces of writing
act on what they have learnt and make links to their daily lives. They begin to question what they might do with this new information
reflect on the process itself and determine what worked and what did not (students think about how they learnt, not just what they learned).
The inquiry-based model also allows for more ‘student voice’. We have come to understand that students have unique perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling, and should have the opportunity to actively shape their own education. The inquiry-based learning process ultimately supports students to be active contributors to their own learning.
From Prep to Year 6, we have developed a two year cycle of integrated through lines that incorporate key concepts for students to explore with increasing sophistication as they move through the school.
Our through lines are:
Me, Myself and I
The World Around Us
How Things Work
Students spend about six months exploring each topic, and return to the topic at a more complex level each two years. It’s an engaging way to approach learning about science, humanities (including history and geography), and technology.