Broadening children’s knowledge of the world
The Big Debate is centred around a key question; one which doesn't have an easy answer. They are often open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable or there may be more than one answer. The aim is to encourage deep and long conversations, rather than finding easy answers.
These questions encourage children to offer theories, work collaboratively, use reason and think critically. A good question will connect more than one subject area: “What is an insect?” for instance, does not touch as many different subjects as “What would happen to Earth if all insects disappeared?”
Big Debate questions should be ones that encourage research, debate and critical thinking. They aren’t just about getting the ‘right’ answers, but about learning the methods and skills needed to find the answers.
Each half term Mr Clarke sets and introduces the question during his assembly. Pupils will then be encouraged to create a home learning activity to give their views on the big question. Children are encouraged to talk to their parents and research about the big question and then asked bring their findings and opinions into school in the form of a letter, project book, model, video, computer presentation or another appropriate medium. All pupils are rewarded at the end of the term with Headteacher sticker for their efforts.