At The Priory Primary School, we use the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to teaching and learning, to help children to develop into effective, critical and creative thinkers and to take responsibility for their own learning in a caring and collaborative way.
During regular P4C sessions, children and their teacher share a stimulus, for example, a story, film clip or picture. They then take thinking time to devise their own questions and together the class chooses one question to enquire into further. This is done during ‘Thinking Fridays' where the whole school participates in a whole discussion. The teacher, as facilitator, supports the children in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the children speak and listen to each other in the enquiry.
With experience, children’s questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The children’s discussions become more disciplined and focused yet, at the same time, more imaginative. 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. During weekly P4C sessions, there are opportunities for speaking and listening, turn taking and being encouraged to justify or qualify their thoughts. There is an emphasis on working in a critical but caring way, valuing other’s points of view.