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Philosophy for Children (P4C) 

 Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an approach to teaching in which students participate in group dialogues focused on philosophical issues. Dialogues are prompted by a curriculum linked stimulus (for example, a story or a video) and are based around a concept such as ‘truth’, ‘fairness’ or ‘bullying’. The aim of P4C is to help children become more willing and able to ask questions, construct arguments, and engage in reasoned discussion. It is the mechanism to give a voice to all children regardless of background or ability that supports the school vision.


The Education Endowment Foundation results suggest that children make more progress particularly in reading of up to about 4 months, after one year of P4C.

Our view as a school is more anecdotal about the positive influence on the wider outcomes such as pupils’ confidence to speak, listening skills, and self-esteem.

P4C Skills Progression


 Year group








Takes turns

L&A – 30-50 mths - Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them 

Works well with others

S – 30-50mths – Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts

Asks questions during discussion

Uses talk to connect ideas





Shows respect for others

S – 40-60 mths – Links statements and sticks to a main theme or intention



Listens carefully to others

L&A- 40-60 mths – Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity

Asks a good question

ELG - They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately





Suggests a new idea

ELG – Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs

Agrees/disagrees and says why

Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers


Builds on someone else’s idea 

They convey simple meanings to a range of listeners, speaking audibly



Explains ideas clearly

They begin to extend their ideas or accounts by providing some detail  

Makes a comparison

Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge


Asks for clarification

In developing and explaining their ideas they speak clearly and use a growing vocabulary 



Makes a conditional statement (if/then)

In discussion, they show understanding of the main points.



Gives an example or counter-example

Through relevant comments and questions, they show they have listened carefully



Offers a definition

They speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English



Makes a connection

They articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions



Asks for evidence

They consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others


Makes a distinction

They begin to adapt what they say to the needs of the listener, varying the use of standard English and when it is used




Provides a summary of the discussion

Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments


Makes an analogy

Their talk is adapted to the purpose; developing ideas thoughtfully, describing events and conveying their opinions clearly


Seeks alternative points of view

Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesizing, imagining and exploring ideas




Evaluates evidence

Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)



Identifies an assumption

In discussion, they play close attention to what others say, ask questions to develop ideas and make contributions that take account of others’ views



Recognises fallacious arguments

Pupils talk and listen confidently in a wide range of contexts, including some that are of a formal nature



New Pasture Lane Primary SchoolBurstall Hill, Bridlington
East Yorkshire, YO16 7NR

Tel: 01262 601684

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