Philosophy for Children (P4C)
At St Jude’s, we use philosophical enquiry in our classrooms as an integral part of our curriculum. It is a pedagogical approach to teaching and learning that helps children develop into enquiring learners. Children learn to be critical and creative thinkers; they begin to justify and evaluate their own responses to a question and in turn expect reasoned justification and evaluation from others. The various skills of enquiry are built up over many sessions and children are given opportunities to try out these skills in a safe, respectful and trusted environment. The stimulus for generating philosophical questions can take many forms: a short story, an image, an object, a piece of music or a clip from the latest Pixar movie. The stimulus starts children talking about things they thought about when observing and this develops into more and more discussion until the teacher facilitates an exploration of possible philosophical questions from which an enquiry could begin. With experience, children’s questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The children’s discussions become more disciplined and focused. It helps children to value their own opinion and the opinions of others and to know that they can change their mind without experiencing the negative thoughts that sometimes can attached to that.
Philosophical questions are embedded within our RE curriculum and they are spoken about as Big Questions. P4C questions can form part of any subject or concept the children are studying.
The aim of P4C is to help children to develop the skills that will enable them to contribute as responsible citizens of the future; this aligns with the government’s focus of promoting fundamental British values: democracy, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different beliefs and faiths. P4C also supports in the delivery of our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) provision.
P4C helps to enhance the quality of learning as a whole and has been proven to raise standards of attainment and achievement.
If you would like to explore further, please visit www.sapere.org.uk
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