Gold award for Sheffield primary school with philosophy on the curriculum

A Sheffield primary school has become the first in the city to receive a gold award for its commitment to philosophy on the curriculum.

By Alana Roberts
Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 3:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 6:45 pm
P4C Lead Mrs Tipping along with students at St Catherine's which has won the Gold SEPHERE Award
P4C Lead Mrs Tipping along with students at St Catherine's which has won the Gold SEPHERE Award

St Catherine's Catholic Primary Academy, in Firs Hill, received the SAPERE Gold Award in recognition of the progress made during Philosophy for Children (P4C), a whole school approach which aims to encourage children's independence, develop creative thinking and celebrate diversity.

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It is something that underpins the curriculum at St Catherine’s an allows pupils the opportunity to think deeply and philosophically by encouraging the 4Cs of P4C – critical, creative, collaborative and caring thinking.

This helps the children increase their understanding and appreciation of the world around them, providing the foundations that will equip and prepare them to be empowered, confident and positive citizens.

Fiona Rigby, headteacher of St Catherine's Catholic Primary School, said: “As a school we are delighted to have been awarded the P4C Gold Award, it recognises the commitment that the school has given to P4C over a number of years so that this approach is used routinely and expertly across the whole school.

“P4C has enabled staff and children to deepen their thinking, to reflect on issues which are key to all of our lives.”

Since embarking on the P4C leader role five years ago, Year 6 teacher Meghan Tipping has set about developing a curriculum enriched by the pedagogy of P4C.

Working closely with Deputy Head and Curriculum Specialist, Jonathan Lear, the approach to learning and teaching is now instilled throughout the curriculum.

Achieving the Bronze award in February 2016 and Silver award in April 2017, Mrs Tipping has been dedicated to encouraging pupils to have an enquiring mind in all that they do.

The school in only one of 17 in the UK and the first in Sheffield to receive the Gold Award.

In the report, the achievement of the school in developing a thoughtful, questioning, challenging and reflective learning community was noted as ‘exceptional’.

The school’s ethos and environment were said to be that of a ‘friendly, caring and collaborative organisation’ and one which ‘embodies creativity and critical thinking throughout’.