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Evidence set 1: Inquiry Program

Context:

The Inquiry program is one unit of inquiry from a total of 6 for the year. The Inquiry program
was taught over 6 weeks in term 3 at Sacred Heart Primary School. I created and developed
the program following the ‘central idea’ and the ‘lines of Inquiry’ set by the school. The
program was designed to be true to the nature of inquiry, therefore, it is designed to be
incorporated into all Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum. The program was created
to be implemented in both year 1 and year 2 classrooms to meet the needs of all students
within the Stage.

Standards Achieved: 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 5.1, 7.1

Achieving the Standards:

Standard 1

This Inquiry program demonstrates my knowledge and understanding of the students in my


class and how they learn. As not all students have the same physical, social and intellectual
development and characteristics, the program begins with a diagnostic assessment to
determine each students starting point in their learning experience. This informed my
understanding of the students in my class (standards 1.1 & 1.2) and where to take them
next. By knowing where my students are beginning from, I can differentiate the activities and
the learning objectives to accommodate to each student’s learning needs (Standards 1.1,
1.2 & 1.5). The Inquiry program includes activities that cater to many different learning styles
and learning areas. The central idea of the program is that physical, environmental and
cognitive factors allow us to grow and change. In order to help students learn this concept,
the program integrates physical activities, such as the Rock & Water activities, while also
exploring the environment around us, including the school’s compost system and
furthermore, by researching the brain. Through my research of how students learn, I
implemented Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, which provided the students multiple
approaches to learning about the central idea (standards 1.2). Additionally, the program
differentiates by allowing students to work at their own pace, work in groups that promote
learning and demonstrate their learning in an open-ended capacity (standards 1.1, 1.2 &
1.5).

Standard 2
The learning experiences and their sequence within the unit were carefully selected to
ensure each student begins building their learning from a place that is appropriate to them,
whilst providing effective scaffolding to support students to reach the overall learning
objective. The program follows a natural progression from the fundamental needs of living
things to grow, to thinking more critically about other physical, environmental and cognitive
factors that help living things grow and thrive (standard 2.2). I have demonstrated extensive
knowledge and understanding in the area by researching the parts of the brain responsible
for memories, emotion and thoughts (standard 2.1). Once I confidently knew the content, I
demonstrated my ability to teach the content through hands-on learning, critical thinking and
researching (standard 2.1) The students developed I wonder questions about the brain and
had to figure out ways to answer their I wonder questions. This demonstrates my ability to
apply knowledge of the content into engaging teaching activities. (2.1)

In order to engage students in their learning and extend their understanding of the world
around them, it is essential I implemented valuable and reliable assessment opportunities in
the program. The program has three stages of assessment, which helped to guide the
students’ learning: diagnostic, formative and summative assessment. The program’s
assessment demonstrates a clear knowledge of the curriculum and assessment outcomes
(standard 2.3). To provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their
understanding of the content, I assessed student understanding through our reveal poster,
which informed me of the students who are able to transfer their understanding to all aspects
of their learning. I will use the reliable assessment data gathered throughout the Inquiry
program for reporting requirements (standard 2.3)

Standard 3
When planning, structuring and sequencing this program, I started at the central idea and
the outcomes of the program and worked backwards to ensure the activities were
meaningful to the overall objective of the program. For the activities to be engaging and
meaningful for the students, I had to use relevant teaching strategies to facilitate the
students’ learning through problem-solving, research, communication and critical thinking
(standards 3.2 & 3.3). I carefully selected and used resources which were going to expose
students to new ideas and think creatively, such as with the book, The Dot by Peter
Reynolds (standard 3.4). When planning for effective teaching and learning, I had to think
about not only how to teach the content but to teach the skills necessary to have a complete
understanding of the central idea.

Standard 5
Teaching the content is not valuable unless the students are understanding it. Ongoing
assessments allowed me to accurately gauge each student’s level of understanding of the
skills and content taught throughout the program (standard 5.1). By using informal diagnostic
and formative assessment strategies I examined student understanding, which informed my
instruction and teaching methods. Additionally, the summative assessment provided me with
data informing me of the level of understanding the students reached when the program
ceased. This data will be used to evaluate the program, as well as, inform me when
reporting.

Standard 7:
In order to meet the needs of all students and to ensure they are engaged, teachers must
make and use a range of resources. Teachers must recognise the work of others through
showing credit to the creators of material used in the classroom (standard 7.1). The Inquiry
program uses a range of materials I sourced from others. To provide credit to the original
creator of the resource, I referenced where I obtained the resources from.

Reflection:
The Inquiry program aimed to provide the students in Stage One the opportunity to discover
that physical, environmental and cognitive factors allow us to grow and change. The
program followed a line of inquiry that focused on teaching students to use and foster a
growth mindset in their daily life. Through ongoing formative assessments and the
summative assessments, I was able to clearly identify student growth in this area. The
students began incorporating positive affirmations and positive self-talk to encourage
themselves when facing difficulties.

This program provided my colleagues with a clear and sequential pathway to teaching their
students about growth and change through a growth mindset. This was evident in the
displays in their classrooms and feedback during stage meetings.

As teachers, we must learn from all of our experiences at school in order to become more
effective teachers. Upon reflection, I am proud of the program’s flexible structure. It has a
range of activities, questions and resources, however, it doesn’t have a strict format that
must be followed. This provided the students in my class, and the classes of my Stage One
colleagues, the freedom to take different lines of inquiry in their exploration of growth
mindsets. In future, I would make more connections between all learning areas that provide
students with a holistic understanding of the central idea.