Our Enquiry Approach

At St John's we are passionate about enquiry-led learning and have been developing an enquiry-led curriculum with an emphasis on the specific knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of the National Curriculum. The children follow 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 and provide rich cross-curricular opportunities within them. 


All enquiries start with a 'wow' experience to enthuse the children and enquiries finish with a challenge. The children are immersed in the required skills and knowledge before embarking on the final challenge. The children know their challenge at the beginning of an enquiry so their learning is purposeful and has a clear direction. Our enquiry challenges are carefully chosen to ensure development across the school and so that they are relevant to our children at St John's. 

The photos below show some examples of 'wow' experiences our pupils have been involved in. 

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 believe it is important for the children to have their hard work acknowledged and as well as being used as inspiration for others.