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At St Catherine of Siena, we use an inquiry-based approach to support students to learn skills and knowledge across a broad range of learning domains and capabilities, including The Humanities, Science and Health.

During inquiry based learning, we emphasise the student’s role in the learning process and ask them to engage with an idea or topic in an active way, rather than by sitting and listening to a teacher.  Inquiry is a way of teaching which encourages the children to engage with, question and explore the world around them. 

Our Inquiry Approach consists of three phases:

Building Phase: Students are introduced to the large concepts and key ideas with a provocation that excites them about the learning ahead; Teachers gather pre-assessment data about what students already know, want to know and need to know to inform the planning of the unit

Investigating Phase: Teachers explicitly teach (and assess) key curriculum content knowledge and skills through a variety of hands-on, multi-sensory learning experiences and investigations.

Personalising Phase: Pathways for individual, small group and whole-class further learning and action are designed and implemented.

Our inquiry units are formed around our six big concepts:

Wellbeing, Community, Systems & Innovation, Citizenship & Justice, History & Identity, Stewardship (and Entrepreneurship for Levels 5 & 6)

These concepts allow for rich, interdisciplinary learning that also emphasises thinking, personal and social learning skills, and the intercultural and ethical capabilities, as outlined in the Victorian Curriculum.  Classes undertake three inquiries each year.


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