Philosophy for Children

Each half term different members of teaching staff lead a Learning Stream for all departments to attend. These give us an opportunity to further our pedagogy and implement new research and initiatives in our own practice.

Our first Learning Stream of this academic year was ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C) – led by Mr Robin Stevens, Head of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics. Mr Stevens modelled a P4C  lesson requiring us to reflect and respond to a stimulus and formulate our own philosophical questions. We then choose one question to be discussed as the focus of a philosophical
enquiry. This method really allowed us to consider how to guide our students to form their own high order abstract questions while working together as a community of enquiry. This technique improves students’ ability to critically discuss any topic in a caring, collaborative, critical and creative way.

I like P4C as it lets you think about things more intellectually and creatively. It teaches you how to think, and it is fun to question things with no set answer

– Tiffany, year 8

We had an interesting discussion about our objectives for life and what we value in life. It really helped frame the scheme of work to think critically about traditional development indicators and why different countries and cultures have different values and ideals.

– Mr George Wagg, Head of Geography


Five fantastic ways with P4C

1. As a whole lesson to introduce a new topic/subject area/scheme of work.
2. As a starter to engage the students in a particular learning objective.
3. To encourage students to work collaboratively to find a resolution to a particular problem, or to build resilience through failure.
4. As a way to chapter a particular point in the lesson; to engage in enquiry concerning the new material that they have been taught.
5. As a plenary to encourage meta-cognition and review of a particular new idea/ subject area/challenging theory.