Philosophy for Children

The overall judgment is that Monkwray Junior School should be awarded the SAPERE Bronze Award in recognition of theschool’s outstanding commitment and progress in P4C. Well done!”- Rosie Wilson SAPERE assessor.

What is Philosophy for Children?

  • An enquiry based approach to open up children’s learning through the exploration of ideas.
  • Gives children the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too.
  • They realise that they don’t always have to be right.
  • They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
  • All learners (including teachers) have opportunities to genuinely enquire.
  • A chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.
  • Intelligence grows.
  • Gives children who are not considered “academic” a voice and a chance to flourish.
  • Gives the “academic” children a chance to think outside the box and to see that the non-academic have inspiring ideas.
  • Gives all children value.

What does a session entail?

  • A structured session.
  • Starts with a stimulus.
  • Children are encouraged to draw on their imagination to ask a question based on wonderment (I wonder why…?).
  • Children make a collective decision on the question they are most interested in.
  • The discussion starts but is then not contained. It follows its own path guided by the children’s thoughts and ideas, agreeing and disagreeing, but always giving a reason for their point of view.

Outcomes for children

  • To learn to think before they speak and give reasons for what they say.
  • To value their views and the views of others.
  • Not taking things personally.
  • To learn respect and negotiation.
  • To learn not to be fearful.
  • Impact on other areas of the curriculum.

Other outcomes – beyond Philosophy for Children

  • Lots of ideas for creative writing.
  • Creates an enquiring classroom in all areas of the curriculum.
  • Affects personal skills, and behaviour in the playground.
  • Develops skills necessary for positions of responsibility (school council, worship leaders etc).
  • Listening and reasoning skills.
  • Independence.

P4C at Monkwray

At Monkwray, the children take part in weekly philosophy sessions linked to their reading and other parts of the curriculum. These sessions involve discussing big ideas and their opinions around them. When the children create their own questions, we look for ‘juicy’ questions that will give us lots of opportunities for talking and listening to others.