The Big Question at Sutton CP

We want our children to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise and to develop their own perspective on life . We believe they should have an interest in and respect for people’s different faiths, feelings and values.

We have  an exciting way delivering  SMSC using a philosophical enquiry approach. This has been developed over time by our school in reponse to our own school context.

Each  term of every academic year our school investigates A Big Question. These questions are either posed by an adult in school or more often than not by our Pupil Teaching and Learning group. Usually the Big Question is linked in some way to a local, national or even global prompt.

Our Big Questions have included:

  • How was the world created ? Our very first Big Question started with one of the biggest questions of all and concluded with  a school debate.
  • Why do I sometimes find it hard to do the right thing? - to understand the role of personal choices in behaviour
  • What does it mean to be a hero? considering the stories of London Olympics 2012
  • What does it mean to be British? During the celebrations for our Queen's diamond jubilee
  • Why do people pray? Prompted by a visitor to our school who prayed in a 'different' way
  • Where is home? Prompted by a Harvest appeal which supported a local charity who works with local  refugee children and their families
  • Who am I? Understanding where we fit into our world - now and in the future
  • What do people need to be happy? leading up to Christmas one year - to understand the difference between want and need
  • Is is ever right to fight? coinciding with the national centenary of the outbreak of World War 1
  • What does it mean to be a child today? -  prompted by UN Rights of the child

How we approach the BIg Question

During the first half term children listen to the responses of adults to our Big Question. These adults include staff, parents and a range of friends to the school who represent local faith/non faith communities. They share their views through structured assemblies and visits with children.

During the second half term children are invited to give their own responses in a variety of ways. Firstly through a whole class assembly presented to their families and their school. Secondly pupils are invited to lead an assembly on their own, or perhaps with a few friends to deliver a more personal response. A third way is through a contribution to a whole school art based display in our school hall.

Read some responses to the Big Question here.