At St Martin de Porres school, Kath Murdoch’s Integrated Inquiry model, in which a sequence of activities and experiences is developed to build on and challenge students perceptions, forms the basis of inquiry.
“This sequence is inquiry-based in that it begins with students’ prior knowledge and experience and moves through a deliberate process wherein that knowledge is extended, challenged and refined.”
Kath Murdoch, Classroom Connections, (1998, p.5)
This model encourages the grouping of activities and learning experiences under the following broad headings: Tuning in: Finding out: Sorting out: Going further; Making conclusions: Taking action. The teacher makes deliberate links between planning and practice and uses a wide range of strategies to help learners build the connections and develop understandings, skills and values.
Links are also established between literacy, numeracy, technology, the arts and general learning about the world. A set of Throughlines (big-picture ideas) have been developed and are used to guide planning. Under the umbrella of rich concepts/big ideas, the students are encouraged to generate and design the questions they want to investigate and subsequently investigate in an active way.
Units of work have been across three areas of the school P-2, 3-4 and 5-6 in a two year cycle. Each unit of work’s broad planning reflect the big question, throughlines, abstract, host curriculum areas and related areas. Professional learning teams then further develop these units using school based proformas.