Spirals of Enquiry: Developing Independent Learners through Strategic Support


A spiral of enquiry is a process of ‘narrowing the gap’ by working through the 6 phases to scan, focus, develop a hunch, research, tack action and check findings. This process is on-going and focuses on the key foundations of Spirals which are; Intense Moral Purpose and Hard Goals, Curiosity and Mind-set, The Four Key Questions and The 7 Learning Principles of the OECD.


We interviewed all students on roll and sent out questionnaires to parents/carers and staff using the four key questions. Our findings demonstrated that learners wanted to develop their independent skills. The staff team carried out a baseline of independent skills with learners and implemented various independent form activities in college. In the activities learners were able to read with peers, share their interests, create individual goals and create their own breakfast cafe.


During the process pupils were interviewed about the new activities and their thoughts. One pupil said “I like breakfast club the most. I can make toast and hot chocolate by myself; my mum makes it at home. I have met new friends in breakfast club. There are more people to talk to.” Another learner said “I like show and tell because you get to share what you like and make new friends.”

After six weeks all pupils in college revisited the baseline of independent skills sheet to compare results. Overall there were increased results on the pupils’ self-evaluation of their independent skills.

Next Steps

Continue with our aim of developing independent learners through strategic support, by looking into how these independent skills can be transferred into the home. Share expertise with parents and carers to support the whole education of a learner.