Philosophy For Children

Croxteth Primary has been awarded the Sapere Bronze Philosophy for Children School Award


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.

P4C develops four key types of thinking:

  • 1) Collaborative - thinking with others
  • 2) Caring - thinking of others
  • 3) Critical - making reasoned judgements
  • 4) Creative - creating new ideas

P4C typically takes the form of a Community of Inquiry, which is characterized by:

  • •  Sitting in a circle ready to think, talk and engage with each other
  • •  Sharing a source of puzzlement or intrique (e.g. a picture, story, music, news etc.)
  • •  Examining the source and creating relevant questions
  • •  Persisting in the search for knowledge and understanding
  • •  Giving reasons for opinions and distinguishing good reasons from bad ones
  • •  Fostering mutual cooperation, trust, tolerance, fair-mindedness and a heightened degree of sensitivity to fellow inquirers
  • •  Rich feedback that promotes thinking that is self-correcting and reflective

There is substantial evidence that regular involvement in a community of enquiry leads to the following outcomes for children:

  • •  Independent thinking
  • •  High order thinking skills
  • •  Excitement, motivation and engagement with learning
  • •  Increased reading comprehension, particularly in less able reader
  • •  Increased maths and science achievement
  • •  Increased co-operative skills
  • •  Increased self-esteem, particularly in children with lower self-esteem
  • •  Improvements in behaviour
  • •  Better relationships with peers, teachers and parents