Archive: 2009

  1. A Children’s Conference!

    At the meeting of The Association of Philosophy for Children last week, at Hanford Hall Primary School in Ipswich, it was agreed that we should organise a conference for children from Norfolk and Suffolk schools who had been using philosophy in the classroom! One suggestion is to hold it in Norwich! This would give a real boost to the children and schools who had previously taken part in the Thinking Schools, Thinking Children initiative held in Norfolk in 2000. Suffolk schools are excited about the project and are going ahead with a Newsletter, as well as starting a website. Watch this space!

  2. Philosophy4Children meets TeachFirst!

    Barbara and Dot had a fascinating evening with a group from TeachFirst in Piccadilly discussing Challenging Issues. Our secondary colleagues were exploring ideas relating to academic argumentation. Katherine Richardson shared some of her recent research with the group. She demonstrated that the method of using clear argumentation in the development of reasoning in the classroom has a strong impact on children’s ability to become engaged with their learning. This is a subject that is dear to the heart of Philosophy4Children. As she spoke the correlation with the work that we do with our primary colleagues was very apparent. The group willingly became involved with an experiential session with us (shortened from two hours to about twenty minutes) and had a very positive discussion about “Willy the Champ” by Anthony Browne.

    The discussion was relayed to Twitter users through @Teachfirst.

  3. Philosophy4children assemblies – an update

    Having submitted our first assembly draft to the publishing company, the feedback was very encouraging. We have been asked to put forward a more formal proposal for consideration at their next editorial meeting. If this is accepted our work will begin in ernest!
    In the meantime, Dot has tried one of our assemblies in a Norfolk primary school and it went down very well with the children. Dot saw lots of evidence of deep thinking amongst the children and possibilities for further development.

  4. Brilliant feedback

    This enthusiastic feedback has been supplied by the head teacher of a school that we worked with recently. He has given us permission to use it in our blog!

    “Every KS1 class has had structured P4C since the training and I think staff and children are learning a lot! As ever, the better we seem able to deliver (whether the story works better or engages the children) the better the children respond.  I had my best session last week where the children (Y1-2 class) were really engaged.

    “The children were a Y2 class and two comments amazed me.

    “One child said… ‘I think I agree with Sarah now…’ which was brilliant. We briefly stopped and discussed what it means if you say that (the now being so significant). I was thrilled as it suggests an open minded approach – it was also a boy who took on a girl’s viewpoint which I thought was interesting.

    “Another child later said something along the lines of ‘I’ve been thinking about what James said and I agree with him’ which again shows that children can reflect! This is after six sessions – I can’t wait to find out what it will be like for Y2 next year after having had a year doing it in Y1.”

    We are absolutely delighted and look forward to seeing just how far the children will have progressed in their thinking by next year too!

  5. Big Launch day for The Association of Philosophy for Children in Ipswich

    A wonderful afternoon was held at the Holiday Inn at Ipswich today, when teachers, head teachers, advisers and inspectors attended the launch of the newly formed Association of Philosophy for Children. Many of the Suffolk teachers had visited the Buranda school in Australia and had come back enthused with the ideas of teaching philosophy. There were many teachers who had wonderful examples of how children had been transformed through the teaching of philosophy in their schools. Inspirational talks were also given by Roger Sutcliff, from SAPERE, and Gary Nethercott from Suffolk. How could anyone teach without using philosophy4children?

    The committee, made up mainly of dedicated teachers from Suffolk, along with one or two heads from Norfolk and also Philosophy4Children, has produced a folder for teachers to use in the classroom. A must for all!!

  6. Brilliant afternoon in school!

    We had a wonderful afternoon at Lodge Lane Infant School introducing Philosophy4Children to the children and staff. The children were brilliant for a first attempt – even getting into the nature/nurture debate….pretty sophisticated for a class of year two children! The staff were very enthusiastic and are keen to get started. We look forward to seeing the results later in the year.

  7. Brains hurting as we plan Philosophy4Children assembly themes

    Barbara and Dot, with Tim, are working hard to find the best way to promote philosophical thinking into assembly.

    We are definitely having to think very hard to see how this will work successfully. However, we are loving the challenge and trust the publishers will like our ideas!!

  8. Philosophy in primary school assembly

    Philosophy in Assemby? This is a new area being considered by a publishing company who have approached us to work with them. We had an initial meeting yesterday. This is a new area of work for Philosophy4Children, which could prove to be challenging and very exciting. More news as, and when, this develops!

  9. Head Teachers with vision

    The meeting of the local group of the Eastern Region Leadership, led by Wendy Garrard from the National College of School Leadership, was a great success yesterday. Head teachers from Norwich spoke about the visionary work that is taking place in many of our Norfolk schools. Two schools have been successful in their bid to become Enquiry Schools in which children use the philosophy4children approach to teaching and learning. Creativity and enjoyment were key words and  schools who use this approach and have been recently Ofsteded were identified as outstanding! It was encouraging for all present to see that innovation and a real desire for children to be at the centre of what happens in school is alive and well and happening in Norfolk! Wendy was impressed and is reporting her findings back to the National College. Thanks Sue(Eagle) for organising this meeting and getting us all together.

  10. Book review: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    ISBN 0-06-025665-6
    Published by HarperCollins

    This is a beautifully illustrated book with simple line drawings and a thought provoking, moving story – ideal for philosophy.

    The questions children usually bring up revolve around the meaning of love, the purpose of giving and what happiness means. These are questions children throughout the school will ask.

    In fact, with it’s universal themes, this is a book that Dot and I often use very effectively when working with adults too.