Our Enquiry Approach

At St John's we are passionate about enquiry-led learning and have therefore been developing an enquiry-led curriculum with an emphasis on the specific knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of the National Curriculum. This means that the children are following a line-of-enquiry in order to answer a specific question, for example, 'What is Skellig?'. 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 are immersed in the required skills and knowledge before embarking on the final challenge. Because the children know their challenge 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 St John's. 



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 photos below show some examples of our wow experiences. 

Immersion: Skills and Knowledge
At the immersion 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 to the children need. The children are then given the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge into practice through directed tasks; these act as a trial run of the challenge and allows the children to respond to feedback. 

The challenge is the culmination of the enquiry and what the children have been working towards for the duration. It provides the children with the opportunity to use all the skills and knowledge they have acquired to achieve something real and rewarding. The challenge should also lead to the children being able to answer their enquiry question for example 'How do you survive in polar regions?', 'What did the Romans do for us?' and 'How do you mend a broken heart?'


When the challenge has been completed it is always celebrated. This might be by sharing the work with the rest of the school and community or making the outcome available online for others to access. We feel it is very important that the children have their hard work acknowledged and also used as inspiration for others.