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Philosophy for Children (P4C)


At Alt Bridge School we continue to embed philosophy into our curriculum and utilise the approaches to promote critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and a deeper understanding of the world around them. It aims to develop students’ ability to engage in philosophical enquiry, fostering their social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Taking the time to consider key questions linked to the curriculum, provides our students will an opportunity to really think and explore their reasoning. Examples of such questions might be….

in Art – what makes something beautiful?

in P.E. – is there such a thing as a fair race?

in RE –  what if punishment didn’t exist?

P4C has been found to have a very positive impact on self-esteem and confidence whilst helping students to develop key speaking, listening, social and cognitive abilities. Staff use a variety of teaching strategies, including visual aids, multisensory activities, and practical applications, to make the learning experience engaging and accessible.  More information about the benefits of P4C can be found at this link;

P4C strongly supports our school ethos and values by helping our students to share their ideas and opinions. We are a Rights Respecting School and we support Article 12 of the UN Convention on Children’s Rights which states that children still have the human right to have opinions and for these opinions to be heard and taken seriously.

It says that the opinions of children and young people should be considered when people make decisions about things that involve them. Their opinions shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand on the grounds of age. They should be taken seriously, with their evolving capacities taken into account. It is important that we help our students to develop their capacity to form and share opinions.

Our students are asked to express their views often in relation to their needs, educational provision and also the support that may help them through the annual review process.

P4C Project

Alt Bridge School is excited to be part of the Thinking Together in Science and RE project with SAPHERE P4C and has already achieved a Bronze Award in P4C. We are working towards achieving a Silver Award. This project is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation as part of the Big Questions in Classroom project.

The project supports students and teachers from both Science and Religious Education departments to use P4C to explore the philosophical dimensions of RE and science.

‘Thinking critically can help everywhere in life. You work together to find common ground. P4C gives you confidence.’ (Pupil Voice 2024)

‘P4C is never limited to one answer. It is always open. Even if everyone agrees it still might not be correct. There is always someone somewhere with a different interpretation which you can acknowledge.’ (Pupil Voice 2024)

Staff continue to receive training to support the further expansion of P4C across the formal curriculum offer. Areas covered involve prioritising experiential learning, providing opportunities for students to actively engage with philosophical concepts. This includes discussions and engagement with real-world scenarios that encourage critical thinking, creative problem-solving as well as collaborative and caring thinking.

Following the successful embedding of P4C within the RE curriculum and further expansion across a SEND setting, staff are providing guidance to other professional colleagues across the country through Templeton organised bespoke support webinars in spring 2024.

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