Philosophy for Children, or P4C, is an approach to learning and teaching which enhances children’s thinking and communication skills, boosts their self-esteem, and improves their academic attainment.
At Gray's Farm, we have been using the P4C style of discussion throughout our curriculum and are proud of how respectfully, thoughtfully and deeply our children engage with each other in the classroom around important issues. Our children are confident to voice their opinions, respectfully challenge their peers and adults and consider other's views.
This style of discussion is used throughout the delivery of our curriculum however is particularly seen in our PSHE, R.E and RSE sessions. In these sessions, we share a stimulus, such as a story, video clip or image, or a question. The children are then encouraged to share their thoughts, challenge each other and make decisions on if/how their opinions may have been shaped by information they have heard. All viewpoints are valued and met with acceptance by the teacher to model the respect and appreciation we want our children to have around viewpoints that may be different to their own.
The children are also encouraged to come up with their own big, engaging philosophical questions about the stimulus which are at the heart of P4C.
Children might come up with philosophical questions such as:
- Is it ever OK to lie?
- What makes you you?
- Do we have to respect everyone?
- Can good people do bad things?
- Do we all have the same rights?
We are proud of how well our children learn to listen carefully to each other, to explore differences of opinion respectfully, and to value the ideas of others.
Sentence Stems for P4C Discussion
We encourage our children to use sentence structures like this to help explore their own views and the views of others including those from other backgrounds, faiths and cultures. These stem can really help to frame children's thoughts and help them express themselves clearly.