Learning Through Inquiry

Inquiry describes a number of teaching and learning processes including:

  • Problem-based learning: learning that starts with a real-world problem to be solved
  • Project-based learning: students research a topic or area and create a project or presentation as a demonstration of their understanding
  • Design-based learning: learning through the working design of a solution to a complex problem


At St. Mark’s, we strive to develop happy, resilient children with a passion for lifelong learning. We aim to engage our students in a rich, relevant curriculum that caters for their needs. We do this by providing students with hands-on opportunities designed to build life-skills including; identifying problems and creating solutions, design and evaluation, developing questioning and reasoning skills, improved communication and co-operation skills while collaborating within and beyond the classroom. The Inquiry-based approach provides students with meaningful learning through shared experiences.


Students at the middle and senior levels develop these skills through play experiences, research, consultation with experts, observations, and trial and error, focusing on a particular topic.


Students in the junior years are given opportunities to develop and enhance their Inquiry skills through play. Role-play, imaginative play, sensory play and investigatory play cultivate students’ logic and reasoning skills, problem-solving ability, imagination, literacy skills and language development.


At St. Mark’s, Inquiry topics are cyclical, based on a two-year calendar. Topics include:


Year A

Term 1: Identify, Wellbeing and Relationships

Term 2: Science and Discovery

Term 3: History, Tradition and Change

Term 4: Design and Innovation


Year B

Term 1: Culture and Community

Term 2: Natural Systems and Environment

Term 3: Science and Discovery

Term 4: Design and Innovation


The Inquiry process supports other curriculum areas by demonstrating the real-world application literacy and numeracy proficiencies while enhancing of oral language and social skill development.