Philosophy for Children at Newton Farm School.
At Newton Farm School our Senior Leadership team received Level One training by SAPERE to be able to deliver the training for our teachers and the support staff in our school. We have included this as part of our induction programme for all teachers joining Newton Farm as well. Broadly speaking, P4C develops four key types of thinking:
- Collaborative-thinking with others
- Caring – thinking of others
- Critical – making reasoned judgements
- Creative – creating new ideas
P4C takes the form of a Community of Inquiry, which is characterised by:
- Sitting in a circle ready to think, talk and engage with each other
- Sharing a source of puzzlement or intrigue as a stimulus (e.g. 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 and 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.
The Impact of P4C:
- P4C is now part of the curriculum in each classroom from Reception to Year six. Each class will typically do 3-4 lessons of P4C per term.
- We now have a good bank of resources for teachers to use as stimulus, including the “Cbeebies” videos (“Whats the big idea”), posters, stories, books, photographs, question cards and research material.
- Our P4C team has continued to facilitate the enquiries to support the teachers.
- We continue to lead INSET on the best practice for P4C. Parents have continued to work with the children during critical thinking mornings where they discuss philosophical questions with their children. Parents have attended curriculum evenings when we demonstrated a typical P4C lesson and discussed as to how these enquiries can be continued at home.
- There has been a significant improvement in behaviour of the children on the playground as the children communicate and negotiate in order to settle issues and are willing to listen to other children’s points of views.
- The standards in speaking and listening have improved particularly for pupils with second language. Children feel valued as they can express their points of view in a supportive and question reasons and demonstrate self-correcting behaviour in a non-confrontational way.
- The children’s higher order thinking skills are supported by P4C but particularly of those who are more able thinkers. P4C has given them a powerful tool to excite them build confidence and to explore challenging ideas and concepts. The pupils who are identified as More Able have continued to have opportunities to explore in real depth issues that they wish to discuss.
- Teachers and Support staff questioning skills have continued to improved as they challenge ideas, pose alternatives and seek clarifications.
- Our results have continued to improve at the higher levels at the end of KS1 and KS2.