Although some areas of Physical Development can become philosophical enquiries, Physical Development is best covered by the methods used in an enquiry rather than the question itself. It is a great opportunity to get children moving and, in fact, having active moments in your session can go a long way to keeping all children involved and engaged.
Moving and Handling Early Learning Goals
1. Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.
2. Children move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.
3. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
How to Utilise Enquiries
Can children write or mark make their vote either on their own piece of paper or on a shared piece?
Include some starter games that explore movement. Move like an animal or follow instructions to hop, stand on one leg, etc.
Have some enquiries outdoors or in large spaces. Build an enquiry about voting for different things by running from one place to a choice of others.
Encourage children to write or mark make as they vote or as they write their own ideas.
Health and Self Care Early Learning Goals
1. Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.
2. They manage their own basic hygiene and person needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
How to Utilise Enquiries
Do we need to exercise? Why do we need to exercise?
What is the best exercise? What makes it the ‘best’? Why is X better than Y?
If you need to choose just one food to eat all week what would you choose? Why?
We have a big pile of clothes. Choose the things you like and dress up. Try to get dressed by yourself. Why did you choose those things?
This is a nice one to end on and, much like metaphysics and ethics, one which sits nicely in the Early Years. Philosophy of aesthetics is all about the arts. It dances through Literacy, Expressive Arts and Design and Physical Development.
It revels in the beauty of life, both the natural world and the man made one. It is all about the creation and appreciation of beauty in all it’s forms and is multisensory. It is equally at home outdoors as you cloud watch, pick up and appreciate autumn leaves, watch a ladybird, wonder at a spider’s web or decide which your favourite flower is; as it is indoors as you listen to music from some of the greatest composers, explore which sort of beat or dance brings you the greatest happiness or most calm and squish your fingers through every texture a typical pre-school messy area has to offer.
Here are some ways to introduce the philosophy of aesthetics to your classroom.
· Look at three famous paintings. Which do you like best and why?
· Listen to different pieces of music. How do they make you feel?
· How and why does music make us feel things?
· Do you like to listen to music with your eyes closed or open?
· What is beauty? It natural beauty or man made beauty the best?
· What is the point of ephemeral art?
· Are sculptures better than paintings because you can feel them?
· Is a painting done by a famous painter more important than a painting done by someone in our class?
· Can maths be beautiful?
Miss Magical Mess is a pre-school teacher and P4C Level 2B facilitator. After a shaky start as a P4C facilitator (P4C with 3 year olds... are you kidding?) Miss Magical Mess created her own approach to P4C and enquiry model and is now a big fan.