The Cave – A Personal Inquiry – Approaches to Thinking and Understanding

As part of a personal inquiry pupils are not only ‘learning about’ but learning ‘to do’ at a deeper level than surface coverage.
  • Booking Code: TC01
  • Course Providers: Glenda Dudley , Wendy Thomas
  • Course Dates: Please contact us for dates.
  • Course Time: 9:30am - 15:30pm
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Location: School Based

The Cave – A Personal Inquiry – Approaches to Thinking and Understanding

1 day course

‘Thinking and understanding is like a cave. We need to create caves for learners where they can flit around and engage themselves in actively exploring further unknown spaces. By making their own errors and overcoming barriers, the cave enlarges for them.’ David Perkins, 2016

Valuing interests and passion is powerful vehicle for inquiry, both individually and collectively.  As part of a personal inquiry pupils are not only ‘learning about’ but learning ‘to do’ at a deeper level than surface coverage.  Creating the space, context and design for personal inquiry is a challenging task.  However, this is central to the conceptual pedagogy and personal agency reflected in CfW 2022.

This course explores key approaches and options in facilitating quality inquiry for individuals and small groups. Whether you are well on your with Inquiry Based Learning or thinking about having a go, it offers food for thought and practical tips for all.

Course participants will:

  • Identify the factors and logistics specific to their context that enable or inhibit personal inquiry.
  • Consider the age, experience and developmental readiness of learners when designing a personal inquiry so that pupils understand what it means to be a successful inquirer.
  • Understand the phases of a personal or small group inquiry and essential interactions for thinking.
  • Explore different models for small group or personal inquiries and the benefits of each one in practice.
  • Use thinking routines and touch points to shape and guide the inquiry process to its conclusion.
  • Leave ready to go! Undertake a personal or small group inquiry.


Target Audience: Primary Teachers and School Leaders

Course providers
Glenda Dudley
Glenda Dudley has worked in education for more than twenty years, both in the UK and in international contexts in Europe and the Middle East. During her career, Glenda has held posts as a teacher, a Headteacher and was the inaugural Head of Centre of Wales’ largest children’s centre; the Ely and Caerau Children’s Centre.
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Wendy Thomas
Wendy has extensive experience as a teacher, school leader, advisor and inspector. She has worked both in the UK and overseas and prides herself on offering workable, practical solutions to schools facing challenges.
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Course Attendee/s

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