Integrated Curriculum - Inquiry

The basis for the development within our Integrated curriculum plan is the Inquiry process.

“Inquiry involves students forming their own questions about a topic and having time to explore the answers.
The students are both problem posers and problem solvers within inquiry learning. Inquiry Learning encourages learners to examine the complexity of the world and form concepts and generalizations instead of being told simple answers to complex problems.

The inquiry approach to learning is based on the belief that students are powerful learners who must be actively engaged in the process of investigating, processing, organising, synthesising, refining and extending their knowledge within a topic. In other words this process is highly influenced by the theory of constructivism (see Bruner, 1986, Fosnot, 1996). In a nutshell, the inquiry process involves:

  • planned, direct and vicarious experiences that provide opportunities for students to pose questions and gather information.
  • activities that help students organise new information and use skills in a way that assist them to form concepts and generalizations about their world
  • opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learnt applying the knowledge, skills and values to other contexts.”

Taken from - Jeni Wilson and Kath Murdoch - What is Inquiry Learning? Reference: Adapted from Focus on Inquiry (2003) Jeni Wilson and Lesley Wing Jan and Invitation and Inspirations (working title only) Moss et al. Curriculum Corporation, Victoria.

At St Michael’s we have developed a Two Year Integrated Curriculum Cycle that focuses on ‘Rich Concepts or Big Picture Ideas’ that we believe are an important part of our school and community culture, as well as important concepts for effective interaction within contemporary society.

The units include content, knowledge and skill development from a wide range of domains such as Interpersonal Development, Communication, Thinking, Personal Learning, Civics and Citizenship, Humanities including History, Geography and Economics, Science and Design Creativity and Technology.

Teachers endeavour to link units to the domains of English and Mathematics to enable children to become immersed in a stimulating and comprehensive environment. There are ranges of perspectives that are applied to the development of units of work. This enables children to develop a greater range of understandings.