Learning Practices



At St Mary’s we have a strong emphasis on Inquiry-based learning practices. This approach has the student centered around the learning process and asks them to engage with an idea or topic in an active way. Our overarching goal for students by using this Teacher led inquiry-based approach is for students to make meaning of what they are learning about and to understand how a concept works in a real-world context.

We learn about different topics, students explore resources, ask questions and share ideas and the teacher helps students apply new concepts to different contexts. This type of pedagogy allows students to discover knowledge for themselves by exploring, experiencing and discussing as they go.



Our P-2 students participate in a weekly Discovery session where students used play based learning and student-led extended projects to help develop their love of creativity, curiousness and problem solving skills.

What is Discovery Based Inquiry Learning?

Discovery Learning is an approach, not a program. It is an approach that:

  • values the natural curiosity and individuality of young children
  • values the prior knowledge, interests and experiences that young children bring with them to school
  • builds new experiences as a springboard for extending children’s curiosity and scaffolding further learning
  • is focused on developing children’s capacities as thinkers and learners.

Discovery is a time for learning. It’s a time where students can make decisions about their own learning and develop their learner skills and dispositions.

Discovery gives students the opportunity to explore, discover, create, imagine, take risks, problem solve, develop communication and social skills.

Discovery is the opportunity for teachers to do the most personalised kind of teaching!

Discovery sessions are then used as seeds to develop purposeful writing for students and engage them in ‘finding out’ more about what interests them.