Philosophy for children
Philosophy for children appeared in the 1970s, and its success has never faltered, neither with the pupils nor with the teachers. The impact is positive on all other subject matters, as well as on behaviour. Matthew Lipman is the father of the movement, and he developed a method and programmes suited for all the levels of primary school. The questions dealt with range from moral questions (is it better to make one or many people happy? What is a right or a duty?) to metaphysical and logical questions (Is the universe finite? What is going on during my sleep? How can I be sure to make a true deduction?)
Artistic activities and handicrafts
One afternoon every week is devoted to the development of creativity. The goal is to stimulate children’s imagination and to encourage them to dare to take the creative step. Pupils are encouraged to follow their own paths and to explore new ways, to experiment, to try, and try again. However, as technique is concerned, we insist that pupils reach a real mastery of the techniques they like most (pencil drawing, charcoal, water-colour, photography, collage, etc.). We believe that it is best for the self-esteem and the development of the child that he reach a high level of mastery in a few artistic techniques of his choice, rather than exploring all kinds of techniques superficially.
In traditional monolingual schools, research has shown that the teaching of music has such a positive impact on the development of children that one could reduce the number of language and math lessons without any loss in the results when compared with students who have had less music – and while gaining major musical development. In a multilingual school, music plays an even more important part. Musicians usually have very good linguistic abilities, due to their habit of listening to sounds and melodies, and reproducing them with great accuracy. Music helps a lot when learning more languages.