Investigation (Foundation to Year 2)
Kidman Park Primary School implements the Walker Learning Approach, which is a holistic pedagogy for teaching and learning. In the early years (Foundation to Year 2) this includes Investigation four mornings a week. The Australian designed pedagogy is based on decades of research and allows educators to authentically personalise learning in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the individual child. Learning is real, relevant and meaningful for each child which creates an engaging environment. Students are viewed as active participants in their learning as they explore and investigate through a range of hands-on learning experiences.
The Walker Learning Approach allows teachers to personalise and engage students but also includes explicit and formalised instruction. Investigation begins with Tuning In which is formal explicit teaching of fortnightly learning intentions. Every child is a Focus Student once a fortnight which allows the teachers to build positive and trusted relationships with students, get to know their interests and their developmental needs. Focus students have an opportunity to practise and develop their oral language skills in front of the class on their rostered day as the teacher will ask what they hope to achieve and where they would like to investigate for the session.
Students are able to choose from a range of learning experiences including writing, maths, art, science and nature, tinker, sensory, dramatic play, collage, construction and making. During Investigation the teacher will sit with the focus students and build on their learning. Students also take turns at being the Reporter and Photographer. These roles are engaging and are intentional and specific for each child. The tasks can relate to the fortnightly learning intentions and may be used as a springboard in to formal teaching later in the day or they may be intentional learning goals for the specific student. These roles often promote social interactions with peers, extend thinking and problem-solving skills, provide extra opportunities to link learning to curriculum areas, promote the use of technology and build self-esteem.
Investigation then concludes with Reflection where the focus students will answer teacher-led questions to reflect on the learning that has occurred during the session. Students take ownership for their environment and Reset ready for learning throughout the day. Teachers plan every fortnight using a Statement of Intent which begins with students social, cognitive, emotional, language and physical learning intentions, then includes curriculum driven learning intentions with their interests providing a holistic approach to learning.