The first episode of our new argument show for EYFS, Spot and Stripe, has been released in time for Christmas.
We recorded 39 episodes this week, which are being edited over Christmas ready for inclusion in the Philosophy Circles resources packs. After the class watch an episode, the invitation is for the teacher to get the children standing on the side of the character they agree with, to continue the argument. Someone watching at home could let the child choose a side, and then argue the opposite. I’m very pleased with how they’ve turned out, and eventually we’ll be pitching them to Auntie. For more episodes of Spot and Stripe, take a look at our EYFS Resources.
You might think that the austere game of chess would be a million miles from these colourful characters, but improbably, it’s a Croatian chess teacher living in Adelaide who is the inspiration behind Spot and Stripe. Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken up online chess, and have discovered the youtube channel of Mato Jelic. His videos narrating the cut and thrust of classic games are strangely compelling, and something I noticed was that they always start and finish in the same way. It gives an “are you sitting comfortably?” restfulness to the experience.
EYFS P4C Videos
I got to wondering how I could do something similar with philosophy, and settled on the idea of showing the early stages of arguments suitable for young children to join in with. Each argument starts in a similar way…
“I’ve been thinking.”
…and finishes with the characters scratching their chins with an extended, “Hmmm.”
I have visions of lots of reception classes getting into the same thinking pose before having some lively discussions! We’re hoping to extend the range over time to older year groups, so that children can grow up with Spot and Stripe, progressing from simple, accessible topics that allow them to begin giving reasons to more complex subjects for discussion.