Ngaio School

Our Place to Learn

Ngaio Inquiry Model


You might sometimes hear your child talk about what they are learning for 'inquiry', and we often share  what the inquiry focus for each term is in our syndicate newsletters. Here is some background information about what Inquiry is, and what it looks like at Ngaio School.


As well as a strong focus on the curriculum areas of English (reading, writing, viewing, presenting, listening and speaking) and mathematics, Ngaio School uses an 'inquiry model' for children to learn the arts, science, social studies, and health. The inquiry model was developed by Ngaio School teachers to frame the process and skills that children develop as they learn.

There is often a main inquiry topic that runs throughout a term. There are also many opportunities for 'mini-inquiries' throughout each term, such as finding out more information about a current event or about a particular topic that has captured children's interest.

The Inquiry model has the NZ Curriculum Key Competencies as its foundation. 

Key Principles

  • The inquiry model at Ngaio is the mode for the teaching and learning of the key competencies.
  • It is the main conduit for the teaching and assessment of the learning areas of Science, Social Studies, Technology and Health.
  • Skill and strategy teaching is underpinned by the literacy programme, through oral language, reading, writing and linked to numeracy.

    In many cases, children will move through the model from discovering new ideas, asking questions about the topic or concepts, organising knowledge, using what they have learnt, sharing this with others, and evaluating their learning. Throughout all inquiry learning children are guided to 'reflect' on their learning, their skills, and their development of the key competencies e.g. "how well did you participate and contribute to your group when you were making your product?" "What could you have done differently?"