The creation of the inquiry model
In 2020 a group of teachers came together to develop a school wide inquiry model. We looked at a variety of cycles and identified the features we wanted in our own model. We took inspiration from our local environment and the Air Base next door when naming the different stages of our inquiry cycle.
What is inquiry?
Inquiry is a cycle which involves questioning, investigating, researching, exploring and presenting the children’s learning around a new topic. Inquiry involves hands-on and engaging learning through science, technology, social studies and the arts. As children go through this model they are scaffolded to take on and explore their own learning. Children love the opportunity to present and share their learning with their class, whānau and wider community.
Before we even start our inquiry student voice and the curriculum are all considered to develop an overarching topic for the term. During the first weeks of term students are explicitly exposed to a variety of subtopics related to Science, Technology, History, Social Sciences and the Arts. Teachers provide multiple opportunities for students to identify and explore an area they want to learn more about. Through deliberate acts of teaching we expand on the students prior knowledge and interests.
The navigate stage involves the students researching and gathering information around their chosen topic. Teachers work alongside students to learn the necessary research skills in order to develop something to share. Within the navigate phase, teachers provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning.
The take off stage empowers students to showcase their learning with their class, whānau and wider community. After celebrating their learning, students reflect on their inquiry journey and think about where to next and what this might mean for us in the future.