Investigations is a play-based curriculum pedagogy based on the work of Kathy Walker (see http://www.earlylife.com.au).
Four mornings a week students are involved in creatively and independently investigating a wide range of skills and experiences in rich learning areas around their room, for example, exploring the properties of materials in the sensory area. Students build oral language, vocabulary and social skills through their interactions with learning areas and each other.
At the beginning of Investigations, students and teachers tune into learning by conducting many different activities to prepare for the day such as discussing the date and weather, marking the roll, practising key skills such as phonic sounds and counting. During the session, teachers work with students to personalize the learning making links to Literacy and Numeracy goals and other curriculum areas such as Inquiry and Science. Teachers provide provocations to challenge students thinking, introduce concepts and tools, for example placing a tape measure in the creative area or a book of recipes in the cafe.
Students take on three different roles during Investigations. Focus children choose their area first and work with the teacher. The Photographer documents the learning on a tablet and the Reporter reports on the learning during the session. These students share their learning during reflection at the end of the session.
Throughout the day, experiences in Investigations link to key curriculum areas, such as using our tower to measure in mathematics or writing a procedure for an object we've created during writing.