Hunua School

Term 3 Inquiry Focus: Social Sciences

Our Statement:  "Join the race! Make our place a sustainable place!"

Our Question:  "How can we innovate to create AND preserve what we deserve?"


INQUIRY - What is the BIG picture?

We certainly had a lot of really worked up individuals over the ‘sale’ of our school playground and field this week.  This was organised to get our students and community hooked into our Term 3 Inquiry learning and was the beginning of our Inquiry launch.  By preparing a real event to question, have emotive responses, generate deeper thought and in-depth discussions, our students have taken their learning home to discuss with their families, too - which is fantastic! Inquiry learning is all about having real-world issues and authentic contexts to inquire into, question, wonder about and take action on in order to be true change agents!

21st Century learning needs to be relevant and meaningful for children to really get the deep understanding that is required to manage life in a society where things are constantly changing. A prompt or simulation, such as our land being for sale, also helps to build resilience in our students.

Was it a prank? No. Was it a learning experience? YES, absolutely!

So what is our Term 3 Inquiry Question and Statement?

"Join the race! Make our place a sustainable space!” and

"How can we innovate to create AND preserve what we deserve?”

So what is the big picture? What is the planning behind the launch and what is our process?

We have developed our Inquiry Cycle using a four-step process, starting with "Ignite Interest & Intrigue” and ending with "Agency through Action” with time to reflect at the end of each term inquiry.

Inquiry Cycle - Updated 2017.jpg

The aim of this information is to explain our thought-process and communicate how and why it was important for our Inquiry launch to be an authentic learning experience.

So what did our launch look like this week?

Monday: students arrived to school to find the playground and field for sale to build 12 storey apartments in response to the Auckland housing crisis (based on current events and real life contexts). In class, teachers discussed this with students and gathered their ‘wonderings’ and questions. Teachers were able to have really in-depth discussions with our students who felt as deeply about helping people who cannot afford homes at current prices as they felt torn that this meant that our school land would be sacrificed.

Some students even brought their parents to the field and playground after school to show them and discuss their thoughts and opinions.

The phone number on the ‘For Sale’ sign was called a few times but was not a working number - this prompted students and parents to inquire even further...

Tuesday: Students were still under the impression that our playground and field were for sale. Many of our students had discussed the issue with their families on Monday, who also had strong opinions - which is great! Some students had jumped into change agent action and looked into travelling to Wellington to tell the Government that they will not let this happen - TRUE INQUIRY! Before morning tea, each class wrote their WONDERINGS and questions on the bottom court. At morning tea they read each other’s questions, which prompted even more discussion and problem solving from the students.

Tuesday: After morning tea we had an "Emergency School Meeting” on the top court with all of our classes. This is where we revealed that the playground and field had been ‘SOLD’ - to Hunua School! We had a great discussion about this event links with Inquiry and students started thinking about what our Term 3 Inquiry question and statement might be! Our student leaders and two representatives from each class cut the tape, reclaiming our playground and field back! The whole school celebrated by playing on the playground and field for 5 minutes.

Wednesday: After lunch, each class had a ‘Message in a bottle’ delivered to the class and had to unscramble the words to figure out our Inquiry question and statement for the term. It was definitely a fun way to generate problem-solving and teamwork going inside the classrooms and a bit of competition between some classes!

But this is all well and good from a teacher-perspective, what about the students? What did they think? Student Voice:

"Are we going to have any trees?” -Jacob, Purapura

"I think that you did it to get us thinking about Inquiry and the environment” -Willow, Room 4

"I think it was because you wanted us to think about questions like ‘where is Ag Day going to be’ or ‘where are we going to play?’” -Ruby G, Room 4

"If that does happen in the future to a place where you know and you don’t want it to go to someone who doesn’t own the land, we can go and see if we can help change it to get it back” -Riley M, Room 2

"I think you did it to make us think about the benefits of an apartment being built and ask questions about where we would do Ag Day and Cookout” -Ruby H, Room 1

"I thought you did it because you wanted us to know how lucky we were to have so much space” -Maddie, Room 2

"So teachers could get everyone’s brains going thinking of questions” -Jesse, Room 2

"I think you did it so we could identify the problem and then come up with solutions to fix it” - Caleb, Room 1.

Term 2 Inquiry Focus: The Arts

Our Statement: "Creative expression or interpretation - Reading between the lines" 

Our Question: "Who can be an artist?" 



Come along to our TravelWise Inquiry Outcome day where you can have your say and vote on your favourite possible solution to the road safety problems that our students have identified! Our students will have 3D models created to show how our school could be more TravelWise to answer our Inquiry Question:
"What are our paths for change?"


 Inquiry Information Launch: What is Inquiry? 

  Video directed and edited by Alysha Read.







Some very exciting learning and developments are on the horizon for 2017, including the introduction of INQUIRY learning.

Our 2017 Mantra is:


This term our INQUIRY learning is about becoming a TravelWise school with our Inquiry Statement:

"If you want traction, you have to take action!”

With our Inquiry Question:

"What are our paths for change?”

You may be asking what INQUIRY actually is…

Through the process of inquiry, individuals construct much of their understanding of the natural and human-designed worlds. Inquiry implies a "need or want to know" premise. Inquiry is not so much seeking the right answer -- because often there is none -- but rather seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and issues. For educators, inquiry implies emphasis on the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes or habits of mind that will enable individuals to continue the quest for knowledge throughout life. -Concept to Classroom

We also have our Inquiry Cycle to help our students, teachers, parents and school community understand the process we are initiating through our Term One Inquiry to become TRAVELWISE.

We start with the Tuning In part of the cycle and move around to Finding Out, Exploring Alternatives, Going Further, Drawing Conclusions, Taking Action and finish on Reflecting.  

Watch this space!