Our international English curriculum school has recently adopted the High Performance Learning philosophy and we are working towards their World Class School Award. (https://www.highperformancelearning.co.uk/). One of the seven pillars of HPL is ‘Enquiry Based Learning’ which has given us an opportunity to explore this by using FOSIL (and Inquiry!). It will be an exciting and interesting journey and one which I will document here as we go. I am taking small steps at this early stage so have started to look at how we use the Primary students’ fortnightly 50 minute library lessons to begin to develop skills and ways of thinking about how the library can help them to find out for themselves. We are using one picturebook – The Book Tree by Paul Czajak and Rashin Kheirjeh (published by Barefoot Books) – to start our discussions and posing the question ‘What would the world be like without any books?’. With some trepidation and hesitation, I am attaching the first draft of our overviews and would welcome any thoughts, feedback, criticism and ideas! I don’t quite feel like I’ve quite got to the point, but I hope with some more thought that it might develop further.
This is a fascinating glimpse into how you are positioning the systematic and progressive development of engaged and empowered inquirers over the course of six years, which lays a strong foundation for secondary school, and this is exactly the kind of deep thinking combined with visionary planning that we need.
Your emphasis on questioning in all Years reminds me of the following two quotations, which, if kept clearly in mind, guide us well in our work with our students:
To question means to lay open, to place in the open. Only a person who has questions can have [real understanding] (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 1994, p. 365).
Given particular subject matter or a particular concept, it is easy to ask trivial questions. … It is also easy to ask impossibly difficult questions. The trick is to find the medium questions that can be answered and that take you somewhere (Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education, 1960, p. 40).
Being given permission to have/ ask questions, and then being willing and increasingly able to explore answers to the most fruitful of those questions, is essential for learning, and is the work of a lifetime.
To clarify, students in Years 1-6 have one 50-minute library lesson every 2 weeks? Is this for the whole academic year? Have they started yet? Have you given any thought yet to what the respective culminating products in Express might be, given the rich possibilities that you have created?
I am looking forward to an opportunity to discuss this in greater detail.