Philosophy for Children (P4C)


P4C is an approach to enhance the quality of teaching and learning across the curriculum. Children have the freedom to explore ideas and ask questions in all areas of school life. "The aim of a thinking skills program such as P4C is to help children become more thoughtful, more considerate, more reflective and more reasonable individuals." Professor Mathew Lipman (1924-2010). 

St Wilfrid's is developing its whole-school approach in P4C with the aim of embedding philosophy across the curriculum and raising standards of attainment and achievement. Through P4C we encourage children to develop their own philosophy and way of thinking about the world. The foundations of P4C are rooted in 4Cs thinking. Thinking is an invisible process and by cultivating 4Cs thinking we aim to equip children with the skills and virtues to understand the world in which they live. 

Creative-We express and develop our ideas becoming more thoughtful individuals.

Critical-We give good reasons and pause to reflect.

Caring-We listen and appreciate different views and we show consideration by waiting our turn.

Collaborative-We work together, sharing and building upon our ideas. We are friendly, helpful and reasonable.



P4C takes place in 'a community of enquiry' where we think and act together as equal partners. Children are shown a stimulus such as, an image, an object, music, a story, artwork etc. They respond and have the opportunity to share initial thoughts, make links to key concepts and ask and discuss questions of interest and importance in a safe, respectful space. Children vote for the question that they want to discuss and take responsibility for their own learning. During an inquiry, children express ideas and listen to the views of others. Language structures and vocabulary are built upon in each year group, supporting progress in speaking and listening. P4C is evidenced in a class floor book. 



As a result of P4C, children display improved speaking, listening and enquiry skills. They demonstrate personal awareness and express themselves clearly. Children develop higher levels of self-confidence and make wiser choices. P4C supports children's personal development enabling them to become happier, well-rounded, productive members of society. 


Here are some of the concepts or big ideas that we have discussed: 

family, difference, friendship, happiness, pollution, love, equality, fairness, wealth, war, peace, generosity, respect


Here are some of the questions created by the children:

Is pollution our problem?

Can we have to many presents?

Why do we wear poppies?

Does being rich make you happy?

Why are people in the world hungry?

What makes a good leader?

Would you rather live in the Stone Age or the future? 


What children say about P4C: 

"We get to talk about impotant things ,like war, Rosa Parks and feelings." Kylo Year 1

"P4C is where we agree or disagree. Disagreeing is not bad. It helps you to change your thinking." Paradise Year 2

"We ask questions and we share our thoughts." Esme Year 3

"P4C helps us to develop out thinking and our memory." Luke T Year 4

"We think again and again. P4C helps us to think things through properly." Amelia Year 5

"I really ,like philosophy because we see other perspectivesand it helps us with our communiction and our friendships." Able Year 6


P4C at home

Please follow the link to Dialogue Works hometalk resources. These provide ideas to encourage thoughtful conversations for families. 




Working together as one; with God, all things are possible.

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"We believe St Wilfrid’s Church of England Primary School is a great place to learn and develop. We are committed to ensuring that your child’s time at St Wilfrid’s is full of fun, happiness and success.” Chair of Governors