As we move into the second year of using philosophy for children (P4C) in Kennington Academy, we are growing to understand the importance and relevance it has for both children and staff. We are using a variety of resources to create stimuli for our discussions and there is now a clear understanding of how we should be listening to other peoples opinions and thoughts in a respectful and meaningful way.
These are just a few of the questions we have considered this year: Sometime we will use a picture or some words to stimulate our conversations and discussions.
What is Philosophy for Children?
Benefits 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 all children value.
Outcomes for children
- To learn to think before they speak and give reasons for what they say.
- To value their views and the views of others.
- Not taking things personally.
- To learn respect and negotiation.
- To learn not to be fearful.
Other outcomes – beyond Philosophy for Children
- Impact on other areas of the curriculum.
- Lots of ideas for creative writing.
- Creates an enquiring classroom in all areas of the curriculum.
- Affects personal skills, and behaviour in the playground.
- Develops skills necessary for positions of responsibility (school council, worship leaders etc).
- Listening and reasoning skills.
Examples of questions we might start our discussions with:
What is love?
If everyone loved everyone would the world be a better place? What different kinds of love are there? (I don’t, for example, love peanut butter the way I love my sisters, so there must be more than one kind) Obviously. Most people from philosophers to pop stars are fans of love as a positive force in the world – it’s good to remember to tell those we love that we love them and why. Ask yourself what you mean when you say you love someone or something and how it makes you feel? Would loving your enemy, as hard as that is, make them your friend? If everyone did that, what would happen?
Piglet “how do you spell love?”
Pooh: “you don’t spell it you feel it.”
– Winnie The Pooh
Can I think myself happy?
Does focusing on happiness make you happy? Is it possible to “think” yourself into being happy all the time by positive thinking?
Try keeping a happiness diary and record one thing every day you thought was beautiful, one thing that made you happy, and one thing you are thankful for. Notice how it makes you feel and behave.
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
– Dr Seuss