Origin and Purpose
In discussions, over the last academic year with Bob House, the then Chief Executive of SAPERE, and key local headteachers, we decided the time was right to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ for Philosophy for Children in the Greater Manchester area. We have been very creative in our thinking and have decided to call this development ‘The Greater Manchester Philosophy for Children Hub!’
The aim of the hub is to establish a support and training network in the area that helps existing and new P4C schools to develop and sustain excellent P4C practice. To make training more affordable, and to establish strong practice sharing, training is provided on a collective basis for schools in the area.
Over recent months we have held five Philosophy for Children ‘Enquiry Mornings’, in partnership with headteachers and P4C leaders in schools with established effective whole school practice in P4C. Two of the schools hosting these events are in Manchester and the other three in Oldham, Millbrook (in Tameside local authority) and Wigan. These events have been marketed by SAPERE office and the host schools through their local contacts and networks. At the events participants have been able to:
- Hear about the impact of P4C at the host school from the Headteacher and year 6 pupils
- Hear about the EEF research project findings that evidence the impact of P4C on attainment at key stage 2 SATS
- Take part in a taster workshop on developing philosophical thinking
- Observe young philosophers taking part in an enquiry session in the classroom.
All the events have been well attended both by colleagues new to P4C and those wanting to re-engage with P4C having attended previously some initial training. Following the events, schools have completed an on line survey to provide us with information about their support and training needs and what they would like to get from being members of the hub.
We are now in the process of analysing the information from the survey and drawing up a comprehensive training and support programme to add significantly to the initial programme established last term which is as follows:
- First P4C Foundation course (Level 1) on Friday September 23rd and 30th 2016
- Advanced P4C course (Level 2A) on Thursday March 9th and Friday March 10th 2017
- Advanced P4C course (Level 2B) on Thursday May 4th and Friday May 5th 2017
These courses are being held at Burnley Brow Primary in Oldham. In the future we will use other venues at, or close to, some of them good practice schools that hosted the enquiry mornings.
As well as the long established separate training courses we intend to put on a range of one day courses to include for example:
- P4C and Maths
- P4C in the Early Years
- P4C and Global Education
We are also considering the best way for hub members to share practice and resources. For more information about the hub please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Amelia Foster, SAPERE’s new Chief Executive: