Uptown International School will use inquiry-based learning from Early Years 1 (3 year olds) through Grade 12. The school intends to apply for International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Candidacy at the earliest opportunity as this is the most internationally recognised and successful inquiry-based learning programme. Inquiry-based learning is a mode of teaching and learning which is student-centred and encourages students to: 
  • Build new knowledge and schools based on what they already know and can do
  • Be curious and to ask questions
  • Discover how to answer many of their own questions through asking good questions, reading, experimenting
  • Be aware that they are learning and that subjects are interconnected
  • Reflect on their learning so that they can see their own progress and be proud of that
  • Act on what they have learned

 Inquiry-based Learning: From Teacher-guided to Student-driven Video

It is different than the traditional teacher-centred classroom where students primarily sit in rows, listen to the teacher, read a book, memorise information, and then repeat this information on an example. The traditional classroom discourages questions and exploration in favour of repeating information for the reward of a grade. Inquiry-based education is very different.

Research indicates that students learn best when they are able to make connections between prior and new knowledge and skills. Every student brings prior learning into the classroom and inquiry-based classrooms work to allow students to use that in order to learn more.

All children are innately curious. They ask questions, explore their surroundings, use their senses of hearing, taste, touch, seeing, and smelling to learn, and conduct experiments. Inquiry-based education builds and encourages this to continue so that students can draw conclusions and develop new questions and experiments based on this new knowledge and understanding, developing new skills in the process. Students learn best when they experience the interconnections between subjects so that they understand that language allows communication across all subject areas, that math is a form of communication, and that our world is the result of language, mathematics, sciences, and social sciences. Music, visual and performing arts, and physical education are connected to all other subjects as they involve and are forms of communication, science, mathematics, and social sciences.

Students should be aware of what they are learning and reflect on how they have grown. This is often done with a portfolio so students can see their progress, as can their teachers and parents. They should be take pride in their learning. Students are encouraged to act on what they have learned so that it is applied and can be used to build further knowledge and skills.

Inquiry-based learning is used in many modern education systems around the world. In addition, there are many helpful articles online that can help in furthering understanding about this mode of teaching and learning.