Inquiry and Culture
At the heart of our curriculum are the Inquiries that children undertake each term. Each Inquiry starts with a question such as ‘What responsibility do we have to the planet?’ or ‘How can we make a difference?’. The questions are deliberately big and open-ended allowing the children, through the Inquiry, to offer different opinions about the best way to answer these questions.
Then comes the WOW Day which is a whole day when children take part in a range of learning opportunities designed to ignite their interest for the upcoming Inquiry. WOW days are varied and can include 'Alien Invasions' in the local wood as part of a 'Space' Inquiry or educational visits to places like Warwick Castle or the Living Rainforest. Whatever WOW Days involve, they are always fun and provide a great opportunity for children to be enthused about their learning.
Teachers plan a series of skills-based learning opportunities from different curriculum areas such as English, Science or Art. These opportunities are all linked to the Inquiry question and give children the background knowledge they need to develop their learning. We ensure that the relevant objectives from the National Curriculum are covered and each child's progress is assessed against these objectives. Lessons also ensure that children understand the different social, moral and cultural contexts that exist both within their direct experience and also in the wider world.
Once children have developed their background knowledge, they are given the opportunity to decide how they would like to take their learning further. Children decide on questions they would like to ask and then work either independently or in groups on their Independent Inquiry. Independent Inquiry is the child-led part of our curriculum - children decide what they want to know, how they are going to find out, and how they are going to present their learning. This part of the Inquiry is a great opportunity for children to learn independently; they are encouraged to make mistakes, ask questions and use a range of resources to find out what they want to know. We find it develops both independence and resilience as children are keen to use their own styles to answer their questions. The children are then given the chance to present their work which must provide an answer to the original Inquiry question plus answers to the children’s own questions.
Our Inquiry Curriculum encompasses the vast majority of what the children need to learn but there are instances where some learning does not fit neatly into the Inquiries. In these instances, time is set aside for discrete lessons where Learning Intentions are taught separately.
Below is an overview of our inquiries from Year 1 to Year 6.