Botany Downs School Staff Meeting
25 August 2009


Student understanding of our inquiry model

Fertile Questions (Big/Essential/Rich)

  • examples - analyse
Which is preferable - to be a house pet or a wild animal?
Are children short adults?
What would you find if you dug a hole into the centre of the earth?
Does competition make us better?
Why is the sky blue?
What should we wear?
Which is the best season?
Is technology making our lives better?
Where is the best place to live?
What makes a good learner?
Should school be compulsory?
Are we saving or destroying the world we live in?

  • characteristics
Open – requires that the researcher take a position
Rich – requires deep and extensive research
Connected – to the the students and the learning area
Interesting – to students and teachers
Practical – can be coped with in the context of time, material and other constraints

Inquiry theme 2010

  • considerations - can be adapted for all levels, authentic, relevant, learning area,worthwhile, engaging
  • in small groups come up with 1-3 suggestions for fertile questions
  • share with whole group
  • record ideas for Think Tank

  • Can a class of children change THEIR world or Can a class of children change THE world.
  • If NZ was the size of a classroom what would it look like?
  • If we had to save NZ and were given a room the size of a classroom to save everything, what would we save?
  • What do we treasure? (Class, school, community, world)
  • Can one person make a difference?
  • Why should I get off the sofa?
  • Howick-Pakuranga is a great place to live.
  • Are summer holidays too long?
  • Botany Downs School is the best school. (connect to other schools for comparison)
  • What makes Earth unique?
  • Coastlines have an important place in our ecosystems.
  • What do I need to do to become a super learner?
  • Where is our place in space?
  • Do we care for our world?
  • Is NZ a clean green place to live in. OR Is NZ an ideal place to live.
  • Does ocean life have rights?
  • Is technology making our lives better?

Points to consider:
  • Seniors have learned about being a good learner for the previous two years.
  • Seniors are going to Kawau Island for camp at beginning of Term 2 2010.
  • Some options for visiting with an ocean theme.
  • Younger students don't always have an awareness of the area they live in, may not be interested in this theme