Our Enquiry-Based Curriculum
This year at Farnborough Grange, 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. 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.
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:
What have been the best things about your learning enquiry this half term?
What piece of learning were you most proud of?
Did anyone come into school to help you with your learning? – What did you learn from their visit?
Did you visit anywhere to help make your learning more exciting?
Is there anything that you would want to change if you did this learning enquiry again?
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. We have members of staff who have attended training on embedding elements of a ‘Harmony’ curriculum into the learning enquiries. The aim is to enable the children to look at the world around them through different eyes, to study the geometry of animals, fish, plants, planets, the human body and even the tiniest shrimp. This awe and wonder is inspiring and develops a deep interest in the children for everything around them. It provides them with the foundation needed to have a good understanding of how to look after our world and make changes that make improvements and are sustainable.
Our aim is to develop the children’s natural curiosity, deepen their understanding and develop their passions. 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.