Thanks for joining in Helen. You made me smile when you said you were trying to get your head around FOSIL as I know what you mean. I remember saying to Darryl at the beginning of my journey that I would never be able to talk about FOSIL the way that he did and he was right when he said that it just takes practice. Do not be afraid to talk about it and if you don’t know the answer to any question come back here and ask.
I agree within an A-Level and GCSE school they are very exam focused, however there are pockets of inquiry happening lower down the school. Year 7, 8 and especially 9 generally have some kind of research project that you can work your way into. It is just finding those teachers and being able to engage with them that is the hard part. What is great about this website is that you can take along some of the ready-made inquiry journals to help you explain how you can support them. Yes the HPQ and EPQ are ripe for the inquiry process and again lots here to ready to use. I am not sure if you have found this resource yet but here is the link: https://fosil.org.uk/resources/?fosil_title=EPQ (and the EPQ topic).
I too am not a teacher like many of us here. This does not mean that we can’t do it – we just have to find a way that works for us. I have asked teachers for feedback and even for observations… It can be tough but a good way to learn. I also did an Online Level 3 teacher training course over lockdown which has helped too.