Hall MeadowPrimary School

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Inquiry concerns a specific approach to learning that helps the child to develop skills and attitudes in response to their own questions. It helps to promote deep thinking, motivation and self-directed learning.

Inquiry is an approach to teaching and learning that challenges the traditional model of teaching that often places the adult as the person who asks most of the questions and the pupils as respondents to these questions.  Our approach to inquiry at Hall Meadow places the child as the lead learner and the teacher as a facilitator of the learning process.  Our aim is to develop an approach to learning that is independent and ultimately self-directed and self-extending.  It is premised on the principle that no one knows their own mind like oneself and is our attempt to hear the voice of the child – to let them have a say in the curriculum that we offer them.  Children are encouraged to pose their own questions linked to their personal areas of interest.  The intention behind inquiry based learning is to allow the children to develop the following:

  • Full engagement in the learning process
  • An appropriate degree of choice about their learning, both from a social cognitive perspective
  • Develop attitudes and skills they will need for future learning and life
  • To develop a solution based approach to learning and life
  • Learn to manage problems that do and do not have a clear solution
  • To learn to deal with challenges to their understanding
  • Learn to manage change

Ways to help at Home

The best way to help your child at home is to encourage them to take full responsibility for the decisions that they make.  It is also crucial that they learn to develop organisational skills that will help them to direct their own learning.  This starts with basic things like carrying their own book bag, being responsible for remembering to hand in homework and filling in their Link Diary as they develop the necessary literacy skills to do so.  If you can get them to arrange and maintain their bedroom (or a designated space for home learning) so it helps them to be organised, then you are onto a winner!

The important thing for inquiry is to allow the child to take control.  Of course they may need some direction or clarification of activities sent home; but ultimately they must make the decisions and they should carry out all tasks themselves.  If you want your child to value education and work hard at school, then it is vital that you overtly demonstrate that you value learning.

Research shows that if parents are overly controlling of what and how the child learns then the child can become excessively reliant on adults and ultimately become de-motivated. Children who are extremely reluctant to complete homework activities may be the result of a lack of confidence and a fear of making decisions for themselves.  The best way to support your child in becoming an active, inquiring and independent learner is to:

  • Provide space and materials for home learning
  • Ensure that your child completes the tasks that are set but try to avoid interfering with the process of doing the activities unless your child requests assistance
  • Negotiate rules about when or where home learning tasks are done
  • Respond to questions about homework
  • Give your child positive and constructive feedback
  • Provide direct instruction when necessary
  • Remember – children who do homework achieve more highly within school than those who do not. 

Inquiry in the Wider World

One strand of inquiry learning at Hall Meadow is Philosophy for Children.  This branch of our work came from our own action research.  From close observation of the children in their learning environment, we found that many of them struggled to ask thoughtful questions.  As a consequence, we now regularly conduct philosophy lessons with the children.  All of the teaching and support staff are trained to teach philosophy.  Our work in this area has allowed us to extend the children’s thinking skills and develop their capacity to discuss ideas.  We have also very successfully used philosophy to broaden the children’s concepts around diversity.

These web links will give you a greater insight into the work that we conduct in this area.

The Thinking Child Website

The Children Thinking Website

Sapere Website

About Us

At Hall Meadow we promote achievement in all areas and from all members of our community. We respect and value each person as unique. We work together to create an active, caring and high quality environment that encourages self-sustaining lifelong learning.

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Teaching & Learning

We are a fully inclusive school, children are always at the centre of everything we do. The curriculum is innovative and provides maximum opportunities for intellectual, social and emotional development. The children study the National Curriculum through themes such as 'Keen to be Green'.

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Contact the School Office

Hall Meadow Primary School

Packer Road
Lake Avenue
Kettering
Northamptonshire
NN15 7RP
Phone : 01536 417627

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