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Burghers of Calais

Stimulus Tell the story: Seven hundred years ago, the King of England attacked the french town of Calais. Calais is the nearest French town to England. If you have travelled from England to France you may have gone through Calais. King Edward was angry because the town of Calais was not doing enough to stop pirates from sailing over f...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Humanities


The year is 1943. Simon Wiesenthal was a jewish architect incarcerated in Lemberg Concentration Camp. He was summoned by the guards. He assumed it was to his death or to heard away the dead bodies of other jews. The Nazi guards escorted him through a ghetto towards a hospital, Simon notices butterflies flying from sunflower to sunflower in ...

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

Subjects: Ethics, Humanities

Here and Elsewhere

Thought Adventure 41 This is not only a curriculum topic (at the time of writing), it is also a topical topic, and, in my experience in schools in South East London, one that has special significance for the children I have run this session with, many of them being immigrants – or the children of immigrants – themselves. Equ...

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

Subjects: Humanities

Themes: Tourism, Migration, Identity, Holidays

Laika the Astronaut (retold)

Laika has a job to do. The people are too scared to be the first ones to go into space, so they’re sending Laika to go first – and let’s hope she comes back home after. But something goes wrong, and Laika is left floating in the darkness... what will happen to her? Task questions: Is it fair to send Laika into spac...

Ages: Ages 3-5 (EYFS), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: Ethics, Humanities

Themes: Bravery, Choice, Fairness, Rights

Playing With Dolls

An original two-minute play by Darby Smith. Revised by Paul Bodin. (NOTE:  Student 1 should be acted by a girl, and Student 2 should be acted by a boy.  Fill in the names of people <inside special brackets> before performing the play.) For information on how to use this play in the classroom, take a look at Pete's ...

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

Subjects: Humanities, Ethics

Themes: Identity, Difference, Choice, Beliefs

Recipe for 1 Human: Ingredients

By Tim Beardmore-Gray Background to session This enquiry was written for a Yr5 class that had lead a previous enquiry into exploring the EQ: “What features would a robot have to have in order to be a real human?” They had expressed a desire to explore this further the following week. Engagement was a given and we could dive qui...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics, Humanities, Ethics, Epistemology

Themes: Knowledge, Existence, Classification , Being/non-being

red ted and the lost things

This session uses picture book: 'Red Ted and the Lost Things' by Michael Rosen & Joel Stewart Props: Philosophy Elephant Blank postcards. Starter: Introduce Philosophy Elephant.  Session: Introduce the story by asking the children, ‘have you ever been lost, even for a little while? What happened?...

Ages: Ages 3-5 (EYFS)

Subjects: Humanities

tusk tusk

This session uses picture book: 'Tusk Tusk' by David McKee Props: Philosophy elephant and masks. One white elephant mask, one black elephant mask, and one grey elephant mask. Print off a bunch of blank elephant masks for the children to have after the investigation. Starter: Introduce the elephant puppet. Introduce the sto...

Ages: Ages 3-5 (EYFS)

Subjects: Humanities

Who Gains and Who Loses

A three-minute play by Paul Bodin.   Revised by fifth graders Audrey McCarthy & Jasmine Klein For more info on how to use this play for an enquiry, have a look at Pete's blog at the following link: https://www.philosophy-foundation.org/blog/dialogues-in-philosophy-with-children. (Note:  CAFO is pronounced “ka&rdq...

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

Subjects: Language and Meaning, Humanities, Ethics

Themes: Rights, Responsibility, Politics

‘Who wins, wins’ – thinking about invasion

This session was put together for a request on the theme of ‘Vikings’. It is not specifically about Vikings and does not necessarily represent Viking beliefs and views, but it does offer a way into exploring the ethics of invasion more generally and can be used with many more related topics such as ‘the Romans’. Like &lsq...

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

Subjects: Humanities

Themes: War, Self-defence, Rights, Pacifism , Invasion, Human Rights, Defence, Cultural relativism, Beliefs