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Introduction to Philosophy for Children

P4C is a vital part of Mundella. It is a whole school approach, which is used across the curriculum and with all ages and abilities. It is intended to be a regular activity so that the children develop their skills and understanding over time. The aim of P4C is to help children to develop the skills and qualities that will enable them to contribute as responsible citizens of the future. To do this, we create an environment where a child’s questioning can flourish, developing children’s abilities to ask their own thoughtful questions. 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. This supports the school’s ethos and values of creating a caring school and classroom environment where children learn to listen to and respect each other.


What are the benefits of P4C for children?

  • An enquiry based approach to open up children’s learning through the exploration of ideas.
  • Gives children the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too.
  • They realise that they don’t always have to be right.
  • They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
  • All learners (including teachers) have opportunities to genuinely enquire.
  • A chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.
  • Intelligence grows.
  • Gives children who are not considered “academic” a voice and a chance to flourish.
  • Gives the “academic” children a chance to think outside the box and to see that the non-academic have inspiring ideas.
  • Gives all children value.

2015 Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Efficacy Trial carried out by Durham University into SAPERE P4C showed that:

  • SAPERE P4C has the biggest positive impact on disadvantaged children (those eligible for free school meals). These children made 4 months' additional progress in reading, 3 months' additional progress in maths and 2 months' additional progress in writing.
  • Overall, Key Stage Two pupils taking part in the trial made two additional months' progress in reading and maths.
  • Teachers and pupils reported that SAPERE P4C had a positive influence on wider outcomes such as pupils’ confidence to speak, listening skills, and self-esteem.

You can find more information here. The EEF's full report is here.