Charlotte Sharman

Primary School

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Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

P4C, or Philosophy for Children, is an approach to learning and teaching which enhances children’s thinking and communication skills, boosts their self-esteem, and improves their academic attainment.


In our weekly P4C sessions, a stimulus, such as a story, video clip or image, is shared with the class. The children are encouraged by the teacher, in role as a facilitator, to come up with the kind of big, engaging philosophical questions about the stimulus which are at the heart of P4C. Through a vote, pupils then choose the question they would most like to discuss. They have time to think and reason individually about the question before facilitating the exchange of ideas and opinions as a group, or community of enquiry. Children are supported to think more deeply and philosophically by encouraging the 4Cs of P4C – critical, creative, collaborative and caring thinking 


The 4 C’s

  • Caring thinking – listening (concentrating) and valuing (appreciating)
  • Collaborative thinking – responding (communicating) and supporting (building on each other’s ideas)
  • Critical thinking – questioning (interrogating) and reasoning (evaluating)
  • Creative Thinking – connecting (relating) and suggesting (speculating)