We are entering the season of the Christmas Special, when familiar TV shows take on a celebratory feel with bigger and brighter versions of their usual offerings. Could you run a “P4C Christmas Special”, perhaps with a whole-school stimulus acted out in an assembly and simultaneous enquiries running across many classes? The attached dialogue, “Rudolph’s Revenge” (pasted below) is just for two people, so makes an easy and colourful assembly performance – just add antlers!
Philosophical Start to the New Year
We are fielding enquiries for as far out as 2019, but we now have some late availability for a full or half day on 2nd, 4th or 5th January 2018. For schools new to P4C, a very lively day or half-day introducing the principles will make very good use of time and kickstart 2018 for you. Established P4C schools will benefit from a half-day session on integrating themes from your existing curriculum into P4C – or treat your Early Years and KS1 teachers to a specialist workshop on P4(Small)C. If they have been sweating blood using methods more suited to Year 6, this will get them back on board with a more flexible, child-responsive approach. Read more about our training at www.thephilosophyman.com/p4c-
If you’re in SE Asia, Australia or NZ, I will be available in your quarter of the world from January 15th to February 9th; and back in the UK, Tom and I are running an open Philosophy Circles Level 1 Two-day course in Ashford, Kent on 2nd and 3rd March
The attached stimulus is as an encounter between a Rudolph whose celebrity has gone to his head, and a Santa who may have overestimated his merits as an employer. As with last year’s Elf dialogue, it recycles the lyrics of a Christmas song.
It’s largely a bit of fun but does also invite questions such as:
- Is fame a good thing?
- What makes a good boss?
- Should Rudolph still pull the sleigh?
- How loyal should you be?
- What do you owe the people who make you a success?
- Who is responsible when someone succeeds?
- If someone’s job is being famous, is it still work?
SANTA Ho, ho, ho! Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?
RUDOLPH That’s right, I won’t.
RUDOLPH I’ve had a better offer. I’m co-presenting a Christmas special on national TV.
SANTA But how will I deliver the presents? It’ll be disastrous. You’ll go down in history.
RUDOLPH Don’t be so dramatic. Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen can’t wait to pull the sleigh without me. They just pretended to love me because I’d hit the big time. But I’m too famous to join in any reindeer games.
SANTA Aren’t you being rather ungrateful? Remember, I made you a celebrity.
RUDOLPH Nonsense. It’s Rudolph “the” red-nosed reindeer, not Rudolph “a” red-nosed reindeer. I’m unique. Cream always rises to the top. I’d have made it with or without you.
SANTA But pulling my sleigh is the greatest honour a reindeer can have.
RUDOLPH Typical! Trying to get the creative talent to work for nothing because it’s good publicity. Do I get free moss by telling the supplier “It’ll be good exposure for you?”
SANTA Think of the children!
RUDOLPH What I think is this: I’ve got the world at my hooves, then one foggy Christmas Eve, I hit a satellite, and all at once it’s “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose. Now he’s the odd one out in a donkey sanctuary.”
SANTA Haven’t I always looked after you?
RUDOLPH Not particularly. Do you recall when all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call me names? No, because you never asked how I was.
SANTA You should have made a complaint.
RUDOLPH So now it’s my fault! Blame the victim! Anyway, do you realise how humiliating it was, sitting around on a zero-hours contract hoping for a nightshift? The hours I spent polishing this nose, thinking “If you ever saw it, you would even say it glows…”
SANTA I’m sorry, I didn’t realise.
RUDOLPH No, well you do now. I don’t need you any more. I’m the most famous reindeer of all. If you want to make a booking, speak to my agent. I’m doing Strictly next year. No more “poor Rudolph” for me!