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F3 Inquiry Skills: 2022

Resources to support the F3 Inquiry Skills Project


What is inquiry, and why?

Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. As such, it is a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created. 1

What does this process (series of actions) and stance (attitude) look like?

The process:

                The FOSIL Cycle of Inquiry

The stance:

Being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world…

The Inquiry

Your mini-inquiry will be based around the question:

"Should Oakham become a smart town?"

These are the stages you will work through as you carry it out:

What is a smart town or city? Why might it be a good or bad idea for Oakham to become one?

How will we decide whether it is a good idea or not?  What might we need to find out to help us decide?

What does being a smart city involve?  What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?  Should we be really worried about this? What is your answer to the question going to be, and why?

Using the Academic Writing Template, which you have already set up, tell us what your response is to the inquiry question.  Please make sure you save the document.

Reflecting on the project, what have you learned? What new skills have you mastered or improved? What do you still need to work on and how might you do this?

Investigating the Internet of Things

In order to carry out your investigation, you have a choice of material to watch and read.  As you investigate, make notes using the different methods outlined and then consider those in relation to the question.  Make sure you also write down, on the note-taking sheets, details about the source you have used:

Are smart cities sinister? BBC Ideas video accessed via The Day, published 04/07/21

Spy bosses warn of cyber-attacks on smart cities BBC News article by Gordon Corera, published 07/05/21

Smart cities: How data and artificial intelligence could change London BBC News article by Tom Edwards, published 03/02/20

Academic Writing

Using the Academic Writing template allows you to produce work that looks smart; makes it easy for your teacher to identify and helps you to remember why and when you produced it.

Opening the template:

Download a copy of the F3 ISP Template from this guide  - on the right-hand side. 

Immediately, save your document so that none of the work you do gets lost or accidentally deleted:

  • File
  • Save As
  • Browse
  • Choose a sensible location in your workspace - preferably OneDrive
  • Use F3ISP followed by your surname as the file name. If you are a twin, please add an initial.

Setting up an academic document:

  • Turn on the hidden formatting by clicking this button  - in this way you can see where page breaks have been inserted and where new lines of text have begun; 
  • Add detail to the header - double-click in the header > Add name, set and date;
  • Add detail to the footer - double-click in the footer > Add title "F3 Inquiry Skills".  Add page number.

Using the Styles in Word:

There is already some content in the template, including a title, headings, text, an image and sections (in blue) where you should write your responses. Using the Styles in Word helps you create a Table of Contents automatically.

  • Place the cursor within the title, "Should Oakham become a smart city?".  Go to the Styles box at the top of the screen and click on Title.
  • The headings within the template are all of equal importance, so click within each one and choose 'Heading 1" in the Styles box.

Adding a Table of Contents:

The ToC should be on a separate page at the start of your essay, although it can come after the title, so firstly insert a page break between the title and first heading:

  • Insert - Page break
  • Place the cursor back below the title and click on the References tab
  • Click on Table of Contents
  • Choose Automatic Table 1 and watch the magic to happen!

Inserting a citation:

In the template, you will find the opening paragraph below:

According to an article in The Day, smart cities, “use advanced technology to constantly collect data about how people are living, working and travelling. City officials then use the information to run the city more efficiently, save resources and improve the lives of residents” (The Day, 2021).

As this article - the one you read over the summer (hopefully) -  came from a source, even though it was emailed to you, you need to add a citation.  The style we use in school is APA which is a code that, at a basic level, requires an author, a date and a page number:

  • Highlight (The Day, 2021) in the paragraph in your template as this is just a place holder;
  • Click on the References tab at the top of the page;
  • Insert citation;
  • Add new source;
  • This article is from a subscription database which we treat as a website, so choosing that in the menu gives you the fields you need to complete:
    • Corporate author 'The Day' for this article as no named individual author;
    • Webpage = title of the article = Smart cities;
    • Website = The Day;
    • URL can be copied and pasted from the browser (via the link to the article on the right).  As this refers to an individual webpage, it takes the place of the page number in the citation code.

It should look like this:


Inserting, Captioning and Citing an image

Follow the instructions in the slide show below to learn how to do this.


Adding a bibliography:

This shows the range of sources you have consulted and taken ideas from:

  • Insert a page break at the end of your work - Insert > Page break or Ctrl + return/enter - as a bibliography should always have it's own page
  • References tab > Bibliography > Choose the top option - and, hey presto! a bibliography will appear.

Captioning images using the tools in Word

Captioning 1
Captioning 2
Captioning 3
Captioning 4
Captioning 5
Captioning 6
Captioning 7
Captioning 8
Captioning 9

References and Notes

1 Galileo Educational Network. (n.d.). What is Inquiry? Retrieved from Galileo Educational Network – Inspiring a Passionate Commitment to Learning:


Documents to use during these sessions

Link to the article "Smart cities".

Use the F3 ISP Template for this inquiry as it has some content added already.

Use this Academic Writing Template for any school work that you want to look really professional

These FOSIL cycle worksheets will step you through the inquiry.

If you would like to know any more about using the citing and referencing tools in Word, or other aspects of academic writing, have a look at this guide

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