Programme of Inquiry

Interweaving in the National Curriculum for Mathematics and English and the LDBS curriculum for RE is our Programme of Inquiry.  This programme of inquiry is based around six transdisciplinary themes which:

  • have global significant for all student in all cultures
  • offer students the opportunity to explore the commonalities of human experience
  • are supported by knowledge and concepts from traditional subject aresas, but utilize them in ways which transcend the confines of these subjects
  • are revisited through the students' yeas of schooling so that the end result is immersion in broad-ranging, in-depth, articulated curriculum content
Transdisciplinary Theme Detail

Sharing the planet

Inquiry into the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

How the world works

Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interactions between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies how humans use their understanding for scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and the environment.

Who we are

Inquiry into the nature of the self; belief and values; person; physical; mental; social and spiritual health human relationships including families; friends; communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where we are in time & place

Inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes ad journeys; the discoveries explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and interconnectedness of individuals and civilisations from local and global perspective.

How we express ourselves

Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the way in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How we organise ourselves

Inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; societal decision making; economic activies and their impact on humnkind and the environment.


In addition there is also a committment to a concept driven curriculum for the following reasons:

  • transdisciplinary concepts increase coherence across the curriculum
  • A concept-driven curriclum helps the learner to construct meaning through the transfer of knowledge

The concepts that are central to the curriculum are presented in the form of key questions.  It is these questions which when used by the teacher and students, that shape the unit giving it direction and purpose.  When viewed as a set of questions, the concepts form a research tool that is both manaegable and open-ended.  They place no limits on the breadth of knowledge and therefore provide access to every student.  The questions should not be interpreted as restrictive, but represent an approach to a way of thinking and teaching and learning. 

A set of eight concepts are used.  These are presented below as a key concept question, a definition, a rationale and examples of related concepts.

Concept Key question Definition Rational Examples of related concepts
Form What is it like? The understanding that everything has a form with recognisable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorised. The ability to observe, identify, describe and categorise is fundamental to human learning within and across all disciplines Properties, structure, similarities, differences, pattern
Function How does it work? The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or way of behaving that can be investigated. The ability to analyse function, role, behaviour and the way in which things work is fundamental to learning within and across all disciplines. Behaviour, communication, pattern, role, systems
Causation Why is it like it is? The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work and that actions have consequences. Prompting students to ask 'why?' and to help them to recognise that actions and events have reasons and consequences.  Tha analysis of causal relationships is significant within and across all disciplines Consequences, sequences, pattern, impact
Change How is it changing? The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another.  It is universal and inevitable. This is a universal feature of all existence, but also has particular relevance to students developing international-mindedness who are gorwing up in a world of change at a local and global level. Adaption, growth, cycles, sequences, transformation
Connection How is it connected to other things? The understanding that we live in a world with interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others. The importance of appreciating that nothing exists in a vacuum but rather as an element in a system; that relationships within and among systems are often complex.  That we must consider the impact of our actions on others whether at the immediate, personal level or level of far-reaching decisions affecting environment and communities. Systems, relationships, networks, homeostasis, interdependence
Perspective What are the points of view? The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives: different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary To develop in students the disposition towards rejecting simplistic, biased interpretations, towards seeking and considering the points of views of other and towards developing defnesible interpretations Subjectivity, truth, belief, opinion, prejudice
Responsibility What is our responsibility? The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings and the actions they take as a result do make a difference. To develop in students the disposition towards identifying and assuming responsibility and towards taking socially responsible action.   Rights, citizenship, values, justice, initiative
Reflection How do we know? The understanding that there are different ways ofknowing and that it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered. It challenges students to examine their evidence, methods and conclusions.  It encourages them to be rigorous in examining evidence for potential bias or other inaccuracy. Review, interpretation, evidence, responsiblity, behaviour


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