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Inquiry Based Learning

At Abernant we have started to implement an inquiry-based approach to how we teach our modules. 


What is an Inquiry-Based Approach

Inquiry-based learning is a process of learning that engages the pupils by creating real-world connections through high-level questioning and exploration. The inquiry-based learning approach encourages learners to engage in experiential learning and problem-based learning. Our inquiry approach is designed to make the exploration of the curriculum an active process of investigation where they are making conceptual connections across a range of contexts.


Benefits of an Inquiry-Based Approach

As part of the new curriculum 2020, we are ensuring our pupils are provided with opportunities to be; Ambitious, Capable Learners, Enterprising, Creative Contributors, Ethical, Informed Citizens and Healthy, Confident Individuals. This is supported through the inquiry approach:

  • We provoke, model and celebrate curiosity.
  • It involves the pupils in some decisions about their learning.
  • Helps learners to make connections in their learning.
  • It provides a real-life context for children to apply their skills and solve problems.
  • Modules are designed to ensure that children are deepening their conceptual understanding through different contexts.


How Inquiry-Based Approach Works

Each term, there is an overarching module that the whole school follows. However, the inquiry within each class will be focused on different concepts and is planned with our pupils to include their interests and talents (Article 29). Each inquiry will look slightly different in each class and how they are approached and planned for differs from Nursery to Year 6.


Inquiry and Foundation Learning

Inquiries with this stage of learning are much shorter, there are two types of inquiry that teachers plan for:

  • Guided inquiry – teachers set up the classroom to provoke thinking and interest that can lead to an inquiry.
  • Responsive inquiry – teachers follow the interests and wonderings that may occur and come from our pupils.

Within both inquiry types, our pupils are guided through questioning and play-based learning to explore and make meaning of their world. Please see the infographic attached below for more information on the inquiry cycle for our Foundation learners.


Inquiry and The Wonder Curriculum

Inquiries will become more structured as our pupils’ conceptual understanding and cognitive abilities develop. The class teacher will use observations and assessments to ensure the most appropriate inquiry is planned for their class. They will also deploy a range of pedagogical approaches to support the learning of their pupils. The structure of inquiry is cyclical, each stage is revisited to deepen understanding and help our pupils make connections. Please see the infographic attached below for more information on the inquiry cycle for our The Wonder Curriculum.