PHILOSOPHY FOR CHLDREN (P4C)
At Alverstoke Junior School, we use the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to teaching and learning, to help children to develop into effective, critical and creative thinkers and to take responsibility for their own learning in a caring and collaborative way. We do this by providing practical ways of developing good thinking, questioning and communications skills.
During regular P4C sessions, children and their teacher share a stimulus, for example, a story, film clip, picture, they then take thinking time to devise their own questions and together the class chooses one question to enquire into further. Children’s questions and thinking in P4C is updated regularly on the website in each year group’s homework section.
With experience, children’s questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The children’s discussions become more disciplined and focused yet, at the same time, more imaginative. The approach not only helps to develop creative and critical thinking skills but also encourages children to care more about what others say and develop the ability to recognize differences and explore these collaboratively.
The aim of P4C is to help children to develop the skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute as responsible citizens of the future. This supports the schools ethos and values of creating a caring school and classroom environment where children learn to listen to and respect each other.
Often, P4C is linked to a particular topic area or curriculum subject, particularly in English, PSHE or RE. There is the opportunity to make links between matters of personal concern such as love, growing up, friendship, bullying and fairness and more general philosophical issues such as change, personal identity, free will, space, time and truth, right and wrong.
P4C helps to create an environment where a child’s questioning can flourish, developing children’s abilities to ask their own thoughtful questions.
P4C helps to enhance the quality of learning as a whole and raise standards of attainment and achievement.
Our whole school approach to P4C is recognised nationally through SAPERE, the educational charity responsible for the development of P4C in the UK. In September 2014, Alverstoke Junior School was awarded the P4C Silver Award, in recognition of teachers’ and children’s continuing progress and commitment to the P4C approach over several years.
As a registered trainer and teacher of P4C, Mrs Allsopp leads P4C at Alverstoke Junior, as well as working with other schools in Hampshire and beyond. She also works part time as training manager for SAPERE.
If you are interested in finding out more about P4C, please go to www.sapere.org.uk.