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Stimulus Once upon at time, there was a traveller. She rode to far distant lands in her carriage and had reached the Northern deserts of India. One day she was looking for a place to rest and saw a farm by the side of the road, where a woman was feeding animals. The traveller asked the woman on the farm if she could buy something to eat fr...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: RE


Idea: The aim of the session is to try to provide an account of the conditions under which it can be said that we know something. A secondary, and more philosophical, aim of the session is to identify any children who think that providing an account of knowledge is harder than it might at first seem. This session is very improvisatory so w...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Perceiving, Knowledge, Induction, Evidence

Lucy Looks for a Real Number

Stimulus: It’s Lucy’s birthday and today she has turned 10. She has finally reached the age of her favourite number: the number 10. She has decided that she wants to try and find a real number 10 so that she can keep it forever. Lucy thinks to herself ‘… Mmm, where am I going to find a number 10?’ She think...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Numbers

Magic Beans

We are going to be talking about magic today. To start with, can you think of the most amazing magic trick you’ve seen? (what was amazing about it?) ‘Break the circle’ on magic   We’re now going to look at a story which may or may not have some magic in it. Stimulus One frosty weekend a scien...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Knowledge

Natural disasters

Ask the children what they can tell you about Natural Disasters, they will mention floods, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. This is just a warmer really to get them recalling information about natural disasters. Scenarios These are invented stories that you can tell the children to get them to examine ‘what makes something a natural ...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics, Epistemology

Nomological Dangler

Nomological Dangler Some poems run out nicely And follow a simple pattern But others, they seem to stick out slightly With a little extra bit to them What sort of poem are you? Are you easy to predict? Or do you like to... Suddenly-do Things that don’t restric Your sideless imagination The random little sparkler That ma...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: English

Themes: Self, Personal identity, Identity, Existence, Choice


* This session uses a Pollock picture. There is one downloadable at the bottom or find your own image that would work! Looking Are there any objects in this painting? Are there emotions in this painting? Is there anything in this painting? Thinking Starter Question: Does this painting make sense? Q...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Aesthetics

Themes: Sense and reference, Logic, Language, Art

Of The Standard of Taste

Preparation: You will need up to eight portrait pictures (e.g. 2 Ruben's portraits, a Titian and a Memling for the first part and a Rubens, a Picasso, a grotesque and an abstract for the second) A couple of music stands to prop the pictures up. Stimulus Part 1 For the first activity, put up the four portraits. The task is to ...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Aesthetics

Themes: Value, Subjectivity, Beauty, Art

Once Upon an If (Part 1)

This story lends itself to the use of props (see page 47). If you would like to tell this with props then you will need two books, a larger book for The Big Story Book (preferably decorative to meet with its description in the story) and a smaller one for The Little Story Book. I wrap the larger book before the class arrives so that I can open i...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Once Upon An If: Part 2: Matilda, The Fireless Dragon

Because Matilda, The Fireless Dragon has been magically written by The Story Book, this story has been written in a more literary style. Though I have spent a great deal of time encouraging you to storytell, on this occasion I am going to recommend that you read Matilda, The Fireless Dragon rather than tell it, although, if you can learn and rec...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Themes: Problem Solving, Beliefs