At Our Lady of Lourdes we are passionate about enquiry-led learning and have therefore been developing an enquiry-led curriculum with an emphasis on mastery of the subjects. This means that the children are following a line-of-enquiry in order to answer a specific question, for example, 'What is snow?'. Enquiries may have a specific subject focus such as Science or History but provide rich cross-curricular opportunities within them.
All enquiries start with a 'Wow' experience to engage the children and end with a challenge. The children then work through three stages:
Try it - This is where they are immersed in the required skills and knowledge needed to complete the challenge;
Use it - The children are then given the opportunity to have a go at applying the skills and knowledge they have learned in different activities;
Prove it - Finally the children put everything together to complete the challenge.
As the challenge is shared with the children at the beginning of an enquiry, their learning is always purposeful and with clear direction. Our enquiry challenges have been carefully chosen to ensure breadth across the school and so that they are particularly relevant to the children at Our Lady of Lourdes.
Every enquiry starts with a 'wow'. This is to engage and excite the children as well as providing them with a rich life experience. The 'wow' may involve a trip out of school, visitors coming into school, or an activity set up by the class teacher. Examples of 'wow's' include Year 5 visiting Bristol Zoo as part of the enquiry 'Can I help to save the Amazon Rainforest?', Year 3 learning magic tricks as part of their enquiry 'What is the place between?', Years 1 and 2 taking part in a rocket workshop as part of their enquiry 'How do astronauts travel into space?' and Year 6 being visited by Bombardier Evans as part of their enquiry 'How were the people of Britain affected by World War One'
Try It !
At the 'Try It' stage, the children are immersed in the skills and knowledge they will need to achieve the challenge. This may involve the teacher modelling certain skills and then teaching the specific knowledge the children need.
The children are then given the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge into practice during the 'Use It' phase of the enquiry; this is a trial run of the challenge and allows the children to make any changes before the final thing.
The 'Prove It!' is the culmination of the enquiry and what the children have been working towards for the duration and comes in the form of a challenge which is shared with them at the start of the enquiry. It provides the children with the opportunity to use all the skills and knowledge they have acquired to achieve something real and rewarding. The 'Prove It!' should also lead to the children being able to answer their enquiry question for example, ' How can we send a Christmas card home?', 'Why and how did Ancient Egyptians make mummies?' and 'How do offspring inherit characteristics?'