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St Barnabas C of E Primary Academy

Encourage | Inspire | Believe | Achieve


"Children must be taught HOW to think - not WHAT to think."

Margaret Mead

Ask any Year 1 child, Philosophy (P4C) is one of their favourite lessons without a doubt!
But, why teach Philosophy - of all things - to school children!?
Here's why:

  • Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a powerful educational approach which has been found through research studies to have cognitive and social benefits for children and schools
  • It is more effective, and less expensive, than any comparable approach. Attainment and happiness are increased
  • It is centred on philosophical enquiry, where a trained teacher encourages children to think and reason as a group
  • It supports Personal, Social and Health Education and complements many government initiatives and education strategies


Each Friday, the class gathers together. We sit in a circle on the floor and pass around any old random object. It might be a pen, or a balloon, or even a stapler. Yet, ask any one of those children what they have - It's not a pen, its a telescope. It's not a balloon, its the yummy watermelon I just bought from the shops. It's not a stapler, its my new pet salamander!

We first warm up our thinking muscles with some fun games and then proceed on to an inquiry. We might watch a short film, read a book or even just look at a picture. We then talk about what we think about the stimulus and come up with interesting questions surrounding it. We've had some really, really interesting conversations in year one, such as:

  • Is it ever okay to break the rules?
  • Is it ever okay to steal?
  • Are people only good if there is a reward?
  • What is love?
  • Why are we afraid?
  • What is a friend?
  • Why do we go to school?


These critical thinking skills will go on to hopefully prepare our children to be independent and critical thinkers.

Here are some photos of us during our P4C lessons:



The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Galatians 5:22-23

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