Our Enquiry-Based Curriculum
This year, we are pleased to be embedding our enquiry based learning. This is something that we feel passionate about both to engage and excite the children with their learning, and to develop more fully their understanding of the world around them. Our aim is to develop the children’s natural curiosity, deepen their understanding and develop their passions whilst providing them with the cultural capital that they will need to succeed in later life. Cultural capital can be defined as the essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens.
We believe that a rich and varied curriculum should be one that accounts for the interests of the children, and is used as a vehicle for their learning and skills development in all areas of the curriculum. An example being in Year 1 where the children ask, ‘What is my favourite plant and why?’ their learning in English will involve plant fact files and stories about flowers; in maths they will measure flowers, plant seeds in arrays and weigh soil; in science they will look at germination and the conditions needed to help a seed to grow. By the end of the half term, the children will have developed a knowledge and passion for plants and growing and their English and maths work – linked to the learning - has enabled them to develop skills through real-life learning.
We start each learning enquiry by finding out what the children want to know and what they already know and then develop it from there. At the end of each enquiry we finish with a ‘Great Work’ – this can be in the form of a performance, recital, sharing of knowledge or learning to parents, the community or another year group. During the planning process, we consider the ‘Great Work’ outcome and then map out the pathway to ensuring that this is of a richness and quality that embraces and will showcase the learning. Learning should be memorable and so we embrace opportunities to facilitate this through active learning.
Each half term we evaluate and assess the teaching and learning from the child’s and teachers’ perspectives. We reflect on the children’s responses then adapt and refine the planning in the light of this. We ask each child or group of children questions such as:
We embrace opportunities for the children to experience and tap into the knowledge of professionals – partners in learning – planning in visits when possible. Our curriculum encourages the children to ask and respond to questions about the world around them, becoming more aware of ways in which they can contribute to society and make a difference. Through this, they are better prepared for the next stage in their education and for life in modern Britain.