Philosophy

‘Children are naturally nosy. They enter school with a wealth of unanswered questions.’
Steve Bowkett.

Why do we teach philosophy?

The aim of teaching philosophy is to encourage CRITICAL THINKING skills.

‘It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well’.
Rene Descartes

The aim of philosophy is to make our lives better.

‘Our discussion is about no ordinary matter; but on the right way to live our lives.’
Plato

The aim of philosophy is to encourage inclusivity and promote understanding of social/ cultural / religious issues in our community.

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
Voltaire.

Is it of any use?

OFSTED and P4C: (ref: ‘But Why?’ Network Educational Press: Sara Stanley & Steve Bowkett

The inclusion of philosophy contributes towards and directly impacts on:

  • Positive attitudes to themselves and others: respecting others
  • Telling right from wrong in a reflective and mature manner
  • Speaking with confidence
  • Listening to each other and with concentration
  • Responding to questions
  • Taking an active part in discussions
  • Offering confidently their own personal feelings and opinions in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

How is it taught?

  • Our pupils are introduced into the world of philosophy through discussion and debate that arises from their curriculum.
  • A new ‘thought’ is introduced every half term for every year group which is presented as a session during the Music lessons OR by the class teacher.
  • A set of ‘key questions’ is set up accompanied by a relevant image to stimulate ideas.
  • A blog is set up on the Learning Zone to which pupils contribute their ideas.
  • ALL comments are moderated before publication.
  • This ‘blogging’ is a key element of our training in their Digital Literacy.
  • Topics are year group specific but any child, teacher, parent can contribute – again, moderated.