Daily Philosophy Question for Early Years language and family engagement

This year I’ve seen rapid impact from introducing a Daily Philosophy Question to a Salford Early Years setting.  On arrival at school every day, children find the lolly stick with their name on and go over to the question table.  Parents read today’s question, for example Would you rather have dinner in a castle or a hot air balloon? This is supported by visuals.  The children make their choice by putting their lolly stick into a cup.

Reception children placing lolly sticks in one of two cups to show whether they’d rather have dinner in a castle or a hot air balloon. The cups are next to a board titled Question of the Day and there are pictures illustrating the two options.

Initially, staff modelled prompts for parents to encourage every child to give a reason. For example, Tell me why you think that.  Parents soon took this on and in many cases the children then began to use full sentences of their own – I would rather have dinner in a castle because I could meet the knights. With practice, most three year olds are able to give reasons for their choices.

The Daily Question has become a fantastic bridge between home and school; instead of just dropping off their child and leaving, there is a brief learning interaction at the school gates.  Children and parents look forward to this part of the day, and sometimes continue discussions at home.

The Nursery teacher has commented, It’s fantastic, some of them now make up their own Would You Rather questions. When a child is off sick, parents call in and ask for today’s question. Younger siblings also look forward to coming along to answer the question!

(With thanks to sarastanley.co.uk for publicising this great idea.)