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Program of Inquiry

The International Baccalaureate Organization provides a framework for teachers to use when developing a Program of Inquiry for learners. The framework outlines transdisciplinary themes, key concepts, approaches to learning, and learner profile attributes.

Teachers use the framework to develop Units of Inquiry that are customized to their school setting and students. Southlands teachers have worked collaboratively to create the Program of Inquiry below.

If your child is in a combined class this year, they will cover some central ideas from one grade and some central ideas from the other. We ensure all six transdisciplinary themes are covered during the year and we adapt the units to fit the interests and abilities of the students in the class. Inquiry based learning focuses on skills and concepts, rather than specific facts and ideas, so there is no disadvantage to your childʼs learning if central ideas planned for one grade are covered in a different grade, as will be the case for combined classes. Your childʼs teacher will ensure the five approaches to learning (thinking, social, communication, self- management, and research) and the seven key concepts (form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, and responsibility) are explored during the year.

2022 - 2023 Programme of Inquiry

Right now (October 2022), students are inquiring into:


Who We Are: Exploring our identity helps us understand who we are.

  • recognizable features that can be observed
  • the unique combination of characteristics that form our identity
  • ways families are similar and different

Grade 1/2 and 2/3

Who We Are: Traditions and celebrations unify communities.

  • ways people celebrate different cultural events
  • similarities & differences between celebrations around the world
  • deciding on the value of what to celebrate

Grade 3/4

Who We Are: Strong communities result from connection and shared values.

  • who we are and how we contribute to our community
  • diversity and commonality within and beyond our community
  • ways Indigenous societies value the well-being of the self, the land, spirits, and ancestors

Grade 5/6

Where We Are in Place and Time: Values drive public policy.

  • types and purposes of public policy
  • government policies that affect minorities
  • how value systems are shaped

Grade 6/7

Where We Are in Place and Time: Advances in science and technology enable exploration and discovery.

  • scale, structure, and age of the universe
  • position, motion, and components of our solar system in our galaxy
  • technological advances required for exploration

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