Archive: 2008

  1. A new book, soon to be reviewed

    While Dot and I were at Handford Hall Primary School earlier in December, we bought the book Philosophy With Young Children – a Classroom Handbook by Philip Cam et al.

    It is proving to be an excellent read. A book review will follow soon, once we have finished reading it!

  2. Emails to Head Teachers

    Today we sent out over 60 emails to Head Teachers for the first time from our new website address . The follow up letter will be sent next term to invite them to a free session – reminding some and introducing to others, what philosophy4children is all about!

  3. Philosophy goes International!

    On Wednesday Barbara and I went to Jon Trotter’s school, Handford Hall Primary, in Ipswich. The hall was filled with lots of teachers from Suffolk, a smattering from Norfolk, and some important people like advisers and teacher trainers. There was a great deal of excitement from the teachers who had gone to visit Buranda Primary School in Australia, to see philosophy taking place in the classroom. It reminded me of examples of things that had been happening in Norfolk classrooms about 10 years ago with the Thinking Schools, Thinking Children initiative. However an Ofsted inspector said that in the past couple of years she hadn’t seen any philosophy going on in the Norfolk schools that she had inspected. It seemed impossible – is it that schools felt Ofsted wouldn’t be interested? Helen lamb, a Head Teacher from Woodside Infant and Nursery School, invited her to visit her school in Norfolk where it is alive and well! Brilliant Helen. I bet she will be impressed.

    In our own school I remember the amazing effect philosophy had on all the children. One boy, a selective mute in Reception, said a couple of years later that he began to speak because of philosophy. He said that listening to the others he realised that you didn’t always have to get the answers right. He went on to get Level 5 in all his SATs at the end of Key Stage 2!

  4. Norfolk Head Teachers’ Conference

    Barbara and I attended a fascinating and lively conference in Norwich on 6th November 2008. The title itself was inspiring – “From Good to Outstanding”. Jon Trotter, head teacher from Handford Hall Primary School in Ipswich, explained how he and his staff led the school through an exciting journey from Special Measures to Outstanding. He, with his deputy Kasha, talked about the innovations that they had introduced over a period of approximately five years that brought about this transformation. I was particularly interested and excited by the way he has used Philosophy for Children to help raise children’s ability to question and to think beyond the literal. He explained how this process gave children access to higher order thinking and the ability to analyse more sophisticated texts. This had an amazing result, in that children’s grades improved substantially in the English SATs!