The Inquiry curriculum aims to give a level of ownership and responsibility to students, as well as fire up their imagination in creative ways as they investigate the questions they have about the world around them. They are encouraged to ‘take action’ that makes a difference to the lives of others around them, using what they have discovered in their investigations. Learning in this area capitalises on the students’ experiences and allows them to develop their personal learning styles and thinking skills.
Integrated Inquiry units of work allow students to investigate shared topics or questions over a period of time. A number of key Learning Areas are best taught within these units of work. These include Health, Civics and Citizenship, Humanities, Science and Design, Creativity and Technology, (DCT). For instance, children may be involved in an Environmental Sustainability unit to find out ways of making a difference to their local area and use skills and concepts linked to Civics & Citizenship, Science, Humanities and Health.
Essentially, Health includes knowledge about the human body and the developmental changes that occur throughout the human lifespan. At the different levels, we endeavour to lead students to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, personal health and physical activity. Students also identify the potential dangers in particular situations and behaviours and how to take action to minimise these harms.
Civics and Citizenship
The major aim of Civics and Citizenship is to provide students with knowledge, skills and opportunities to understand and take up their responsibilities as citizens of Australia. They learn about Australia’s history, democratic process and the various cultural groups that make up our national identity. Students at OLHC participate in key national events, such as ANZAC and Remembrance Day, as well as raise the Australian Flag and sing the national anthem on a weekly basis.
‘Humanities involve the study of human societies and environments, people and their cultures in the past and present.’ (AusVels) For the children it includes such areas as History, Geography and Economics. In this area of learning children are involved in activities that allow them to identify physical and economical features of Australia and Australia’s role in the global community.
Science allows children to develop their knowledge and understanding of such things as living and non living things, chemical changes, energy and force and Earth and space. At each level, students develop skills in questioning, predicting, planning, conducting, processing, analysing, evaluating and communicating.
Design, Creativity and Technology
Students are given opportunities to explore a variety of materials and learn important problem-solving strategies. They engage in designing, creating and evaluating a particular design brief.