At Compositive Primary, we believe learning happens best when students construct their own understandings. With teacher support, students design their own learning within an inquiry arc which may include ways to solve math problems, creative writing pieces, engineering designs, informational research, and artistic expression.
At the end of the inquiry arc, students reflect on their learning and consider how to apply knowledge to their lives and to be changemakers in our world. This arc allows students to cultivate their own interests and develop a deep understanding of material, which remains with them over time.
By engaging in open-ended inquiry projects, students define problems, set goals, and learn time-management techniques in an atmosphere that celebrates questions and collaboration. An inquiry-based program addresses children's range of abilities by using differentiated projects and fostering open communication.
Each inquiry arc includes a celebration of learning — a chance for students to share their new understandings with classmates, parents, and community members. This may consist of theatrical performances, student-made documentaries, student-made books or displays, or actual physical creations that showcase the learning from a particular unit of study. These celebrations provide opportunities for learners to exhibit their work and share their learning with an authentic audience.
While we understand the importance of sharing and celebrating learning, we also challenge our students to engage their learning outside of their classrooms. Each inquiry arc culminates with students asking themselves how they can make a difference in the school community, the surrounding community, or the world at large. These larger projects encourage students from a young age to see themselves as changemakers who engage and serve their local and global communities.
To ensure quality work, ongoing documentation and reflection are essential to the learning process. Students and teachers collaborate by discussing specific artifacts (pieces of writing, images of work, transcripts of conversations, videos of collaborations, and more) and critiquing their work throughout the inquiry arc. This iterative process allows students to grow as thinkers and innovators, and it helps them develop skills such as the ability to research, synthesize information, collaborate, communicate their ideas and findings, and persevere through challenges.
We know that each student has their own learning and emotional needs, and we are prepared to continuously create inclusive learning environments that support children through rigorous instruction, engaging materials, exciting provocations, and a joyful community.