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Handford Hall Primary School

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Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children

The school has developed an excellent reputation for developing children’s thinking through philosophy and we have hosted special days, workshops, and training sessions on Philosophy. It is built into our curriculum  so that children learn to challenge ideas, question them and take their thinking forward.  This approach has made a great contribution to the improvements in their reading skills and improved SATs scores. 


Philosophy for Children (enquiry based learning) offers a way to open up children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration of ideas. Children learn that their ideas have value, and that the ideas of other children have value too. Through Philosophy for Children they realise that they don’t always have to be right, but they gain the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.


Philosophy for Children and the National Curriculum

The National Curriculum is beginning to recognise the importance of thinking as a basis for children’s learning. Philosophy for Children (P4C) is the ideal tool to stimulate thinking skills.


P4C improves children’s critical, creative and rigorous thinking. It helps to develop higher order thinking skills, improve communication skills and helps children learn to co-operate with others. Children learn to reflect before speaking so that they are accurate in what they really want to say. All this has huge benefits for the National Curriculum.


In Mathematics, for example, children are required to discuss their work and explain why an answer is correct. And as they progress they need to begin to explain their thinking and to give examples.


In English, pupils talk and listen confidently in different contexts, exploring and communicating ideas. In discussion they show understanding of the main points. Through relevant comments and questions they show that they have listened carefully. They are able to vary their use of vocabulary and level of detail.