Back Ooooop North for Philosophy and Pupil Voice

Working ‘ooooop North’ this week provided me with a welcome opportunity to catch up with two amazing schools in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

On Tuesday 27 March, Marshfield School Improvement Service hosted a CPD networking event and market place, with the added bonus of Barry Hymer as key note speaker.

The aim was to create an opportunity for MYBD5 schools to share good practice and promote CPD programmes to support teaching and learning across the local authority and beyond.


Barry Hymer talked eloquently and passionately about Philosophy for Children (P4C).  Barry informed us that we like being on shared emotional journeys.

He talked about the benefits of authentic inquiries, which provide space and time for thinking and reflection.

Ultimately, P4C is all about getting the children to ask the questions, with the teacher being the ‘guide on the side, not sage on the stage’.

Proving this, Barry used a balance of quotes from children he has worked with, as well as leading educationalists and philosophers.  These quotes could be attributed across all areas of the curriculum.

The line, ‘Is art the painting, or the idea?’ generated some interesting Twitter discussion during the next hour.

The market place was diverse and provided opportunities to network and share ideas.

My own personal highlight was the opportunity to talk with six members of the School Council at Bowling Park Primary School and their teacher, Sadie Brearton.  Jadina, Nabeel, Stephanie, Uzair, Natalia and Yahya talked me through the process of scrutinising the literacy books of their colleagues in school.  They explained the marking and feedback and how it impacted on the learners at Bowling Park Primary School ‘Going the Extra Mile’.  They also told me that their video was played back to the teachers at a recent staff meeting…a unique approach to linking teaching and learning.

The School Council also explained their role in Investors in Pupils.  Their interviews with members of the school community are most insightful.  Pupil voice at Bowling Park Primary School is definitely being heard…and listened to.  Jadina, Nabeel, Stephanie, Uzair, Natalia and Yahya all made positive impressions on those attending the event.  Thank you…

A special shout out too goes to other exhibitors and visitors:

Graham Morgan and Paul Bilston from Evolve and Project HERO;

Paul Kerfoot, his 7 Keys to Success and Bullet Point Design;

Carol Barwick from Raise children’s project;

Sian Shipley and Lesley Heathcote from the Creative Agency based at St Stephen’s School;

Tahir Rasul from Brazilian Soccer Schools Bradford;

Lucy Penrose and her range of Dance Workshops…

…and of course, Colleen Jackson, Janet Penrose and Linda Disney from Marshfield Primary School for hosting and organising the event…it was great to be back in the North.

Bryn Llewellyn, March 28th, 2012


2 thoughts on “Back Ooooop North for Philosophy and Pupil Voice

  1. Thank you for the comments Bryn about our school. I’m really proud of the school council and the work they have been doing that’s impacted on the school. The children on Thursday did s brilliant job of ‘showing off’ our school.

    • Looking forward to finding out more about the ways you and the students develop your ideas. Enjoy the Easter break…much deserved I am sure.

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