Inquiry learning

At William Ruthven Primary School, students are engaged in learning about significant issues and rich concepts through inquiry learning. We believe that students learn most effectively when the context of their learning is authentic, and inquiry-based learning enables us to bring the real world into the classroom. It provides opportunities for our students to develop and apply their understanding about their world.


An inquiry-based approach to curriculum allows our students to explore, gather, process, refine and present information about concepts they are investigating. In developing their ideas about the way the world works, our students explore, organise and represent their understanding and relate their knowledge and skills to real-life contexts.


At the end of an inquiry unit, students celebrate their achievements and act on their new understanding. This action is determined by each year level and provides students with a chance to share their new knowledge and take positive action - either locally or globally.


The staff at William Ruthven Primary School have developed a conceptual scope and sequence for the school’s inquiry curriculum using the Victorian Curriculum. The scope and sequence ensures:

  • coverage of the Victorian Curriculum thereby eliminating any possible ‘gaps’ in curriculum provision
  • key understandings accurately reflect the intent of the Victorian Curriculum
  • a spiral-based approach to curriculum planning and delivery with key concepts being built sequentially over the seven years of primary schooling.

The school’s inquiry-based curriculum explores the following big concept ideas while addressing the various learning areas and general capabilities of the Victorian Curriculum from Prep – Year 6:


1. People and relationships

2. Design and innovation

3. Community and resources

4. Creativity and performance

5. Rights and responsibilities

6. Societies and change

7. Health and wellbeing


8.Sustainability and environment

9. Time and continuity

10. Identity and culture