P4C (Philosophy for Children)

At St John’s C of E, we use the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to help our pupils to develop into effective, critical and creative thinkers and to take responsibility for their own learning in a caring and collaborative environment.

Our aim is to help our pupils to develop the basic skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute as responsible and resilient citizens of the future. Throughout school, we create caring classroom situations where children learn to listen to and respect each other. We make links between matters of personal concern such as love, growing up, friendship, bullying and fairness and more general philosophical issues such as change, personal identity, free will, space, time and truth. Where possible, links are made to other curriculum areas so that children can deepen their understanding of what can sometimes be quite complex subject matter.

Children and their teacher share a stimulus for discussion in the form of images, stories, film clips or a physical resource. The children take thinking time to devise their own questions and then discuss them. The questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The pupils’ discussions become more disciplined and focused yet, at the same time, more imaginative. They care more about what others say but don’t accept easy answers and begin to challenge one another’s thinking. They develop the ability to recognise differences and explore them constructively –developing a philosophical community of enquiry.

What does a session entail?

Outcomes for children

Other outcomes – beyond Philosophy for Children

Developing children’s abilities to ask their own thoughtful questions, P4C helps to enhance the quality of learning and raise standards of attainment and achievement. Our whole school approach is recognised nationally through SAPERE, the educational charity responsible for the development of P4C in the UK. All staff are undergoing training in P4C.