Archive: Feb 2009

  1. Excited about learning!

    Barbara and I have just come back from spending two wonderful days with the staff and children at Terrington St Clement’s School. We worked with all the children – including those in the Nursery – a real challenge for us! All the children showed just how well they can listen to each other for long periods of time. Many demonstrated how deep their thinking is. After reading Six Dinner Sid, they eventually came up with some BIG questions on the nature of love, friendship and feelings. The staff encouraged us by their enthusiasm and involvement. The head teacher’s comments have given us a real boost!

    “The staff are still buzzing about the philosophy even in Year 1/2, where the children have taken the discussion into adult on child bullying and inapproproate behaviour (violence) in adults.

    “The painting is beginning to cause quite a stir in Y6 because one child said it represented heaven. A whole host of ideas then came about who the characters are and whether they were candidates for heaven etc. As you may tell, I am also buzzing. I am loving it.The owl poem, did I tell you? A group of Y6 children came out with a lighthouse which is amazing…it is more like a lighthouse than an owl!” Liz Hackett
    This is what it is all about – children and teachers excited about learning!!

  2. Feedback from the Head Teachers’ Conference

    Feedback from the event was very positive. Here are some comments from the evaluation forms:

    Was the session useful?

    “”Yes. It made me realise how little time is given to our children to discuss and question each others points of view.”

    “Yes, very useful to intoduce myself to Philosophy4Children and be confident in doing within the school.”

    “Very useful – great balance of theory / practice / practise .”

    Have you learned enough to be able to run a philosophy session at school?

    “Yes, and can’t wait to learn more”

    “Yes, Dot and Barbara made it very clear”

    “Certainly. I am sure it will develop with practise”

    Do you think you will use philosophy?

    “Definitely – it was inspiring. I can see how my school would benefit from philosophy sessions to develop an enthusiasm for learning”

    “Yes. I will expect whole school to develop or at least try a philosophy session once I have cascaded info to them.”


  3. Report on The Head Teachers’ Conference – Norwich

    After a day of heavy snow on Monday, the weather turned mild and the sun shone – a huge relief for us. The Head Teachers’ conference in Norwich was able to go ahead!

    Dot and I gave a brief talk about our involvement with philosophy, how and why it works so well for children and for the whole school.

    The main thrust of the conference was an experiential philosophy session demonstrating the process and skills so participants could go back to school and deliver a basic philosophy lesson. The process we use is effective with both children and adults – the difference is in the level of enquiry that takes place.

    A range of questions came up from the stimulus and the group chose the question – Do things make you happy? A very thought provoking enquiry followed, touching on the nature of happiness, what is happiness, why we give and what giving means. Time constraints meant that the enquriy was in full flow when we needed to bring it to closure – something that happens so frequently with children!

    Both Dot and I enjoyed ourselves very much – it was a joy to spend time with such enthusiastic heads (or their reps) and feel that there is such interest in developing philosophy in schools. The evaluation forms showed the conference had been a success. See the entry on feedback from the session.