Archive: 2013

  1. Close to home

    Spring finally feels as if it has arrived and the term started for us with a visit to a cluster of Norfolk schools – all wanting to introduce philosophy into their classrooms. We were made to feel very welcome at the host school and, during the training, had lots of animated discussion and a very interesting philosophical enquiry exploring the nature of happiness and satisfaction.

    Our work takes us all over the country, however our next training session is in another Norfolk school – what a luxury to be able to work so close to home!


  2. So are we!

    We believe that philosophy has the most impact when it is taken seriously throughout the school – involving children, teaching staff, parents and governors. Then it becomes the bed rock of the whole school and has an impact on learning, behaviour and school ethos. So it was great on a recent training session that one of the school governors was there getting fully involved.
    The headteacher sent us this message after the training:
    “My governor raved about you both and said that we must have money in the future to have such amazing training to continue. I am very pleased he came along.”
    So are we!
  3. Extended training

    We have just completed training in a Norfolk school which has spread over a five month period. Our first visit was in November when we looked at pre philosophy skills and warm up games with the staff. In the new year we returned, by this time there had been time for teachers to work on these skills and games and they were itching to experience a philosophy session which was the main body of our second session with them. Today was our third training day and it was fascinating to hear how their p4c enquiries had been going. Our focus for this third session was improving questioning and the roll of the facilitator. This extended training worked well as these comments show!

    “I like how it was broken down and we looked at each aspect in detail. We re-visited areas which we wanted more work on. Great ideas/ resources / ways to learn. Each session built on the last which was great. We consolidated our learning.”

    “It was friendly, informative and enlightening. It covered the whole school’s needs from, Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2. Methods explained and embroidered on well – lovely to share ideas with staff and the presenters.”

  4. Croc and Bird

    We are often asked for suggestions for books to use for philosophy with children. There are so many! Often it is not necessary to go out and buy special books there will no doubt be several in the classroom that are suitable.

    Having said that, one book we have used several times recently is Croc and Bird by Alexis Deacon ISBN987-0-091-89332-3 and published by Hutchinson. A thought provoking story of a crocodile and a bird hatching together and living together until the time they come across other crocodiles and birds – then they realise their differences. Do give it a try!

  5. Couldn’t be bettered!


    Barbara thinking hard with help of Year 1 children


    What a great way to spend a morning! We were back in the classroom with years R to 2 demonstrating activities which encourage young children to engage with deep thinking. We had a lovely time with children discussing and offering their ideas, they very quickly grasped the importance of using the word BECAUSE to explain their reasoning. We were made very welcome by the staff in this North Norfolk school and had a good discussion over lunch about this way of working and exploring ways to push the children on further.

    Here is some of the feedback from this session:

    “Couldn’t be bettered… for me it was immensely useful.”

    “I found the session fascinating – the level of thinking of the children surprised me.”

    “It was good to see children offering their ideas, especially some of the quieter children.”

  6. Many ways of working…

    Our training is always tailored to the needs of each school we visit.

    If your school has a particular focus we will include this in our planning. We will fit the training around the time you have available. This last week has demonstrated this last point well – we spent a whole day in one school, spent the afternoon in another where we are delivering basic training in three sessions spread over a term and a third school in which we covered the basics in two hours!

    So, whatever the needs of your school are we will endeavour to meet them in the training we deliver.

    One of the comments from this week: “It was fun and lively. Felt involved but not put on the spot. I was made to feel secure to have some input.”


  7. A busy start to 2013

    New terms and Inset days are always busy times for us – we get booked up well in advance!

    Yesterday was no exception. We spent the day working with staff  in a school in Kingswinford, near Birmingham, introducing philosophy to the staff, looking at the skills it develops and ways to implement it with different ages. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and this is some of the feedback

    Presentation: Very good. It was clear and at a pace that gave me time to think and reflect myself – something we have precious little time to do!

    Content: Excellent content. We were given the background and a really clear structure to use with our class. It was packed with ideas which had been used, great to see results that had been tried and tested.

    Was the session useful? It was very useful and I found some great techniques and areas to develop when in the classroom.  I will be able to use what I have learnt today in my own lessons, encouraging the children to be confident in their own opinions and respectful of others.