Inquiry Learning at Waimauku School
Learning belief statement
Waimauku School strives to create a positive values based learning culture that ensures success in the technological society of current and future environments.  An inquiry or questioning approach to learning places the student at the centre of the experience, giving them the opportunity to make decisions about the context, content and pathway of the learning.  It encourages student engagement, makes the purpose and value of inquiry skills evident and challenges students to think at higher levels.   Inquiry learning is an important process that all children will experience and develop throughout their journey through the school.  It is a process that can be used to deliver a range of curriculum areas such as technology, social science and the humanities. However, the aim is to ensure that inquiry learning is part of the school’s pedagogy and all curriculum areas will be taught using the inquiry learning model wherever possible.   The children will have the support of the Waimauku School inquiry model to guide them through the key components of inquiry learning. The inquiry model allows the children to wonder, question and reflect on what they learnt at any stage of the process.   Inquiry learning at Waimauku is concept driven rather than content driven. Concept driven inquiry allows children to focus on and wonder about the ‘big ideas’ that have the ability to transcend time, place and situation and give children opportunities to make connections, organise ideas and make sense of the world around them.   A variety of tools will be used to facilitate deeper thinking and allow learners to include various viewpoints. Tools such as Blooms Taxonomy, De Bono’s Thinking Hats as well as a variety of of graphic organiser and mind maps to support learning.     Learning through an inquiry approach provides opportunities for students to develop a range of skills:  
  • Thinking, creating and communicating skills
    • making connections between ideas
    • interpreting and making meaning
    • asking rich questions
    • thinking critically about ideas and information
    • checking for relevancy, bias and accuracy
    • forming opinions based on evidence
    • drawing conclusions
    • conveying ideas, opinions or messages to an audience
 
  • Strategic problem solving skills
    • developing and following a plan
    • identify challenges and problems
    • applying an inquiry process
    • selecting appropriate strategies
    • making decisions
    • innovating on the ideas of others
    • transferal of knowledge and skills
    • managing time constraints
 
  • Attitudes, qualities and dispositions of powerful learners
    • understand and demonstrate the school values
    • being imaginative and creative
    • being resilient self-managers, focused and persevering
    • being rational evaluators, analysers and evidence seekers
    • being empathetic, cooperative and collaborative
    • being inquisitive, questioning and flexible thinkers
    • being reflective goal setters, revisers and self-assessors who learn from mistakes