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Philosophy For Children

P4C at East Meon CE Primary School


At East Meon CE Primary School, we use Philosophy for Children (P4C) as an engaging tool for deepening children’s thinking, enhancing speaking and listening skills and developing rational and reasonable pupil voice. P4C fosters a community approach to a spoken enquiry which enables all children to participate in a respectful and safe environment where everyone’s opinion will be valued. P4C provides the opportunity for children to develop a greater understanding of our Christian values of Love, Courage and Hope and underpins the Christian ethos of our church school.


Most P4C sessions will follow a 5 step process:


1.  Stimulus (video, object, text, image, music, events…)

2.  Generation of possible enquiry questions


3.  Selection of enquiry question through voting
      (secret vote, omnivote, cube voting…)

4. Enquiry

5. Concluding thoughts/possible future actions


In every class, P4C will:

  • Be recorded in a class P4C book in some form
  • Link to other curriculum areas where appropriate
  • Take place a minimum of twice per half-term in standalone sessions
  • Take place with children sitting in a circle / facing one another
  • Require children to place their hands on their knees when they want to contribute
  • Promote use of philosophical language across the curriculum


P4C in each class



Philosophical language prompts

Forms of enquiry

Oak Class

I think…. because…

“Would you rather…?” questions
Short enquiries with a familiar stimulus or context

Willow Class

I agree with… because
I disagree with… because

I would like to give an example…

Curriculum linked enquiries

Scaffolded enquiries with pre-chosen concepts or questions

Holly Class

I would like to give an example / counter example…

I’d like to raise a new point…

I’d like to seek clarification…

I’d like to link to…

Balance of child-initiated and curriculum-led enquiries

Where appropriate, future actions and follow-up activities decided upon

More independence in running of enquiries with child roles

Hazel Class

I’ve spotted an assumption…

I would like to propose a hypothesis…


P4C within the curriculum



P4C offers an opportunity for children to orally rehearse their ideas, build their vocabulary, present their own ideas and respond to the views of others. It supports children to identify concepts, themes and conventions within and across texts and infer subtleties within the texts they read. Enhanced vocabulary will support high-quality written outcomes.


P4C will supports children to reason mathematically, explain and justify their thinking and explore different possibilities and hypotheses.


P4C supports children’s understanding of key concepts explored within the RE curriculum and encourages deeper thinking and the exploration of their own beliefs and values, developing understanding and appreciation of others.


P4C encourages children to have the confidence to explore different ideas and hypotheses, make balanced evaluative judgements based on evidence and develop lines of enquiry to reach a conclusion.


P4C offers children the opportunity to explore their topics in greater depth, through discussion focused around key philosophical contexts, further developing their understanding.