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Philosophy for Children (P4C)

What is P4C?

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a structured approach that allows children to formulate and discuss engaging and philosophical questions (SAPERE 2021).  It provides children with a framework to develop their critical and creative thinking, to collaborate, and supporting each other in a caring way (the 4Cs).

P4C is a proven enquiry-based pedagogy; where teachers enable pupils to take the lead in a community of enquiry together, building their ability to express more complex ideas as they progress through school. The P4C curriculum is split between cycles of enquiry that allow children to explore current topics in the curriculum in more depth; and those that explore key philosophical concepts such as equality, which are returned to on a two year cycle to encourage progression in thinking around these ideas over time. As children move through school using the approach, they show significant improvements in their reasoning and spoken language.  Evidence suggests that there are wider cognitive and non-cognitive benefits to P4C, including trust, critical thinking and civic-mindedness (Siddiqui et al 2017).

We are proud to be a SAPERE Gold Award School, awarded in July 2019.  This is currently held by only 20 schools in the United Kingdom.

Our report identified the “wealth of knowledge, skills and understanding across the teaching staff in terms of effective P4C practice… a highly effective whole school approach to planning the P4C journey for all the children. The Headteacher and P4C leader are relentless in their focus and drive to embed, deepen and broaden the practice of P4C across the whole school.”

Pupil comments about P4C included:

“I like being able to reason and be resilient.”

“P4C helps me not to jump into things – I’ll think about it and ask more questions.”

“I like talking about things that matter because we could make a difference.”

“It will help me form my personality and my identity.”

Our Concepts and Content Organiser shows what philosophical skills are taught at each stage of children's development and links these to specific topics.  Our Pedagogy document outlines how we teach P4C and some of the research that informs our teaching.