Such an approach creates ‘communities of enquiry’ whereby children develop deeper understanding of topics being discussed through opportunities to question their understanding and challenge the thinking of others. Whether the subject is critical analysis of a painting or discussion about how a character in a book is feeling, philosophical conversations take place on a regular basis.
Whilst the Family of Schools teach religious education within a broad Christian non-denominational framework, emphasis is also placed upon ‘learning about’ all major world faiths and celebration of these within a diverse multi faith or no faith community. Weekly Religious Education lessons emphasise ‘learning from’ religion from the outset in the Reception classes.
Staff working with children in the Early Years develop critical thinking when talking with children and lose no opportunity to develop thought processes further. Additionally from Reception the girls participate in weekly Philosophy lessons where the big questions of life are well and truly scrutinised by these young minds!
This focus on philosophy, alongside the emphasis on STEM learning, encourages children to develop their own ideas and opinions and never be afraid to ‘think outside the box’.