CHILDREN as young as three at King’s Ely are being encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills.

Pre-school children at King’s Ely Nursery are able to attend a variety of after school clubs throughout the week, one of which is philosophy. The children are given the opportunity to question, think critically and creatively, and to have a debate with their peers – all of which is usually prompted by a well-known fairy tale or an object in the ‘philosopher’s box’. The after school philosophy club has proven so popular with the children that philosophy will now be part of the nursery curriculum from next term.

When children move up into King’s Ely Acremont, they are encouraged to further develop their critical thinking skills in weekly philosophy sessions, which are held throughout the academic year. Pupils describe their philosophy lessons as “going on a thinking journey” and enjoy the idea that there are no right or wrong answers, and that all of their contributions are important. The children explore a wide variety of topics, such as ‘Is there more past than future?’ and ‘Where do thoughts come from?’

Head of Early Years Foundation Stage at King’s Ely Acremont and Nursery, Anna Ballanger, commented: “Supporting our children in the development of critical and creative thinking prepares them for their future as lifelong learners. Through these philosophy sessions they are learning transferable skills, which will help them to adapt and think about new situations, as well as understanding that other people may have a different point of view to themselves.”

King’s Ely Acremont and Nursery pride themselves on offering a superb early education rather than simple childcare; a dynamic curriculum based on self-discovery and learning through play teamed with the expertise of caring, experienced staff and an exciting, spacious and homely setting.

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