P4C – Philosophy for Children

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil”
C S Lewis

The P4C course (Philosophy for Children) is an approach that is used to deliver our Aspiring Futures programme. The course is delivered by a team of specialist trained teachers in Philosophy for Children within the Humanities team. The philosophical elements of Aspiring Futures centres mainly on ethical and moral philosophy and therefore encourages the students to think hard and debate respectfully their views and opinions on a range of sensitive and challenging topics.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education”
Martin Luther King Jnr

Our key aim is that our students leave us as more confident individuals who have a better understanding of their own morals, beliefs and values and have the skills to be active global citizens in the modern world.

In Year 9 students explore topics that include Medical Ethics, A Just War? and Our world. In this first year of the course, the students will be developing their understanding of concepts and the use of philosophical language. They will be starting to form philosophical questions and take part in philosophical enquiries to improve their ability to agree and disagree respectfully with each other so to become more skilful thinkers.

In Year 10, the students will explore a range of concepts Sex, Human Rights and a deeper exploration of Medical Ethics.

In Year 11 students will learn about and discuss Radicalisation and Extremism, Government and Democracy.

Students are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue.  For example the question might be ‘is it ever ok to steal?

The teacher supports students in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way students speak and listen to each other in the dialogue.

It is well documented that P4C has an impact on young peoples cognitive, social and emotional development. P4C is about getting children to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves.