Philosophy for Children (P4C)

P4C is a way of learning that encourages children to communicate confidently and effectively, to raise questions and to think deeply. Through P4C enquiries, children become conscious of the feelings of others; learning to share their ideas and listen to others respectfully.  The teachers at St Michael in the Hamlet facilitate a safe learning environment, where every child’s input – minimal or detailed – is valued and appreciated.  We aim to use P4C in all areas of the curriculum and we have seen brilliant results since we first started using it in 2013.

In June 2023, we were re-awarded the Silver P4C award and are aiming to get gold within the next couple of years. We were the second school in Liverpool to receive this prestigious award. You can read a copy of each report in the section below.

Initial P4C Silver Award Report – January 2018

Click the link below to see our P4C question of the month which you can discuss at home!

‘Philosophy For Children’ question of the month

The 4 C’s

Children at St Michael in the Hamlet are encouraged to use different ways of thinking. The 4 Cs are displayed in every classroom; to remind children how to be a P4C thinker. The 4 Cs generally form the ethos/spirit of our enquiries.

Caring – listening and valuing, concentrating, validating and appreciating.
Collaborative – responding, encouraging and communicating.
Creative – connecting, suggesting, speculating and alternating.
Critical – questioning, reasoning, interrogating and evaluating.

Examples of P4C in Our School

Whether in Early Years, KS1 or KS2, our children are natural philosophical thinkers! We try to use the 4Cs in all our learning discussions. Sometimes we get up and have a boxing debate. Sometimes we vote and explain our thought process. It wouldn’t be a very exciting world if we all thought the same! 

Our Year 6 children have had a go at using a Harkness Diagram, which tracks the conversation/debate process. From our diagrams, we can see which children spoke the most and least. We have also used a key to show when a linked idea has been shared, and where someone brought in a contrasting idea. We are becoming better communicators through using these diagrams. The C for Collaboration is important to us in 6D!