Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an approach to teaching and learning that puts philosophical enquiry at the heart of the lesson. At Whiteheath Infant School we aim to enhance children’s thinking while improving their communication skills, develop their confidence and boost their self-esteem. P4C encourages children to ask and answer questions, helping them to become more independent learners.
P4C enquiry lessons usually start with a stimulus, such as a story, picture, video-clip or object. This helps to inspire children and promote their creativity and imagination. Children are encouraged to think carefully and ask questions around what they are curious about. The teacher will then help develop their ideas through carefully structured questioning. The class will then often vote on a ‘big question’ to focus on. This ‘big question’ is used to develop a meaningful discussion.
Children learn to listen carefully to each other, explore differences of opinion respectfully and value the ideas of others. Over time their questioning, reasoning and debating skills develop.