As you may be aware, Philosophy was one of our main foci last year and when we had our last training session we were really pleased to be told that there is a good sense of children having time to think and their opinions respected, and that children trust the teachers and feel it is safe to speak.
Philosophy takes place in every class and even teachers do not know which direction the session will end up taking. Sessions start a stimulus which encourages children to think critically, creatively, collaboratively and caringly.
Recently a few KS2 children took part in a Philosothon. A Philosothon is a competition wherein students explore philosophical and ethical issues. At a Philosothon students are assessed and score highly where they demonstrate rigour and clarity of thought. An essential component of a Philosothon is the pedagogical model for teaching Philosophy to young people called ‘Community of inquiry’. The rationale for the Philosothon methodology is based on evidence that teaching children reasoning skills early in life greatly improves other cognitive and academic skills and greatly assists learning in general. Well done to the children who attended this event.
One of our year 4 students, Wilf, wrote the following account of the event.....
“On Thursday 8th February, we were invited to take part in a Philosothon. There were three schools involved, six children from Tattingstone went but there were 70 children altogether.
When we arrived we were split into three groups and given a picture of a child, working in an Indonesian factory, to discuss. We had to come up with questions that could be asked about the picture. The idea was that after you answered the questions they would give you more information than just looking at the picture on its own. The teachers then chose one of our questions as we had to debate what the answer could be.
The day made us think and question in a different way. It was exciting being able to share our thoughts and opinions with other children. “