Philosophy for Children – reflections from Clifford Road Primary School

crpslogoIt’s early days, but we know that P4C is going to make a difference…

Comments from the children:

I didn’t know what philosophy was before. It’s helped me a lot and I sometimes think of an idea and then it helps me to think of a better one.

I thought it would be chatting, chatting, chatting but then I realised it was about everybody’s thoughts and I really enjoyed it.

I liked the starter [Would You Rather…] because you had to make a choice but it was hard to pick.

I enjoyed P4C so much I didn’t want it to end. [after the first session]

I feel grown up [when we have P4C lessons].

Sitting in a circle means that everyone can be included

At first I thought talking was about your partner and now I can think, talk and learn with my whole class.

The teachers:

Nursery after a “Would you rather…?” session: So many children were talking; an ASD child contributed for the first time!

Reception after a “Would you rather…?” session: The sessions really push the children’s thinking on as we asked the children to choose and say why. I can see how this will impact on the children’s language skills as we encourage them to speak using extended sentences.

Year 1: The children saw and expressed the links to the 5Rs [Learning Powers] and Growth Mindset. It didn’t matter that they voted for a closed question; we had a great discussion despite this.

Year 2: Listening to stories as a stimulus for discussion has lead to higher quality listening and questioning skills already.

It has already had an impact on the children’s social skills. The children were enthusiastic and are pushing me for the next session!

Year 3: The session resulted in an excellent discussion. We’ve seen impact already! P4C has already resulted in higher quality reading sessions.

Year 4 after 3 sessions: Children have quickly become more sophisticated in their responses. I’m enjoying it and the children are too.

Year 5 after a session that examined reciprocity: The children initially responded with answers they thought I’d like to hear – i.e. the ‘perceived’ correct PSHE answer. The structure of the P4C session meant that the children were truly reflective and I really feel it helped them achieve a much deeper understanding.

Year 6 after 3 sessions: Already we have seen an impact beyond P4C sessions. The children are seeing the bigger picture and expressing themselves with greater maturity and with more insight. Within our topic [The Home Front] children are challenging conventional viewpoints. The questions they are coming up with are degree level! We will have to change the way we plan and allow for more freedom for independent enquiry.


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