Investigations

Our whole school investigations program uses a directed inquiry cycle model. This means that our students are active members in the learning cycle. Directed inquiry enables student voice, their interests and wonderings, to align with the curriculum enabling students to connect with the learning in an authentic way.

The cycle involves a series of learning stages.

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  • 1. Tuning in (Engage)

    This stage aims to:

    • gather students’ questions
    • find out what students’ believe (prior knowledge and misconceptions)
    • introduce and clarify language
    • develop student questions and set goals
    • assist with teacher planning of the Inquiry
  • 2. Finding out (Explore)

    This stage aims to:

    • take students beyond what they already know
    • build answers to the students’ questions
    • gather data (ideally primary, first hand)
    • challenge students’ ideas, beliefs and values
    • enable the student to use skills (eg thinking, communication, cooperation, research skills) and knowledge to collect new information
  • 3. Sorting out (Explain)

    This stage aims to:

    • Sort out, organise, analyse, represent and present information from the Finding Out stage of the unit
    • provide opportunities for the students to use their preferred ways of learning to demonstrate their learning (knowledge, skills and values)
  • 4. Going further (Elaborate)

    This stage aims to:

    • revisit questions and raise new questions
    • extend / broaden experiences and consider other perspectives if appropriate
    • allow students to investigate areas of personal interest.
  • 5. Reflection (Evaluate)

    This stage aims to:

    • provide opportunities for the students to think about their learning: how they learnt, what they learnt and why
    • identify changes in skills, knowledge and values
    • draw conclusions and make connections between ideas

    We run three cycles a year over two years that focus on History, Geography, Earth and Space Science, Biological Science, Physical Science and Chemical Science.

    Each Investigation cycle runs for a total of ten weeks and ends with a whole school showcase evening where students run demonstrations and/or commentary that highlights the knowledge and skills they have acquired over the cycle.

    This celebration has been a standout for all students, teachers and families.

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