The curriculum areas of Science, Technology and Social Science are all taught through Inquiry Learning at Belfast School. Inquiry Learning is all about encouraging the children to understand what they already know, what they would like to know and then how to find and process that information.
Inquiry learning is a process: it begins with finding out what the children already know, then immersing them in the facts about a topic, e.g., learning about “Healthy Eating”. The children then think about what else they would like to know and they form questions that can be investigated and answered. Following the questions and research the children think about how they could use what they have learnt about Healthy Eating. Could their knowledge be applied to help solve real life problems such as “What type of food should be offered in school canteens and workplace cafeterias”. The children then communicate their idea through posters, emails, letters, reports…
Inquiry learning encourages children to think about how to find and use information and to think about the process of their own learning. We teach thinking strategies and tools to help the children process information, e.g., using Venn diagrams to compare, using thinkers keys and T-charts. Inquiry Learning is integrated into other curriculum areas, reading, writing, maths and art and is connected to real-life situations whenever possible.