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Cranbourne East Primary School

Inquiry Learning

“Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand”

The curriculum at Cranbourne East Primary School is based on the AusVELS (Australian Curriculum for Victoria), which is expected of all government schools in Victoria. Students are highly engaged in an ‘inquiry-based’ curriculum for investigating the world around them. Inquiry Learning is all about building lifelong learners. It is focused on giving children the skills and abilities to be able to increasingly take control of their own learning and to give them time to study, learn and think more deeply.

We all find learning fun when we are interested in what we are learning about! It is just as important for children. You know how excited they can be when they find something that interests them. Our job as teachers is to ‘tap in’ to that and provide learning experiences that are tailored to interests, are exciting, challenging and promote thinking about the world around us. Your children have a natural ability to tap into information through technologies. Children need to be able to organise and process this information and work out what is valuable for them to learn. Inquiry Learning is an effective platform to begin the learning journey. The process in simple form is:

  • Inquiry puts the child at the centre of the learning
  • The teacher is the facilitator and manager of learning
  • Topics are chosen based on interest. Child input is a vital component
  • Brainstorming about the topic happens at this stage. This includes a ‘Wow’ activity or engagement activity
  • A ‘Big’ question is posed about the topic, for example ‘How do animals in the wild survive?’ This is supported by other questions supporting the ‘Big’ question
  • Children are taught research skills to assist them in finding the answers – ‘Finding Out’
  • Children are taught ways to organise their learning. – ‘Sorting’
  • Children are given opportunities to present what they have learned. This can include presenting posters, power point displays, movies and short talks
  • At the end of the process children are involved in a whole class/area level activity called ‘Authentic Action’ which allows children to  publicly display what they have learned