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Leesland C of E (Controlled) Federation home page


C of E Federation

Love, Grace, Respect

Junior School

“The aim of a thinking skills programme such as P4C is not to turn children into philosophers but to help them become more thoughtful, more reflective, more considerate and more reason-able individuals”

Matthew Lipman



At Leesland Federation, we use the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach, to support our pupils developing  thinking and reasoning skills to enhance self-awareness and esteem. Through enquiry and exploration of ideas, children learn that what they think has value. They also learn how to recognise the value of other people’s ideas that may be different to theirs. 


We are keen to create the conditions where a child’s questioning can flourish, developing children’s abilities to ask their own thoughtful questions, P4C helps to enhance the quality of learning and raise standards of attainment and achievement. Our whole school approach is recognised nationally through SAPERE, the educational charity responsible for the development of P4C in the UK. 




Philosophy for children (P4C) impacts all areas of the curriculum through good questioning, listening, and reasoning skills being taught and developed.  P4C is lead by teachers who are all trained to at least a level 1.


P4C is taught in a variety of ways: 


  • These are taught twice per half term by the class teacher.
  • They all start with a stimulus eg. a story, video, picture
  • Concept words are used to guide the enquiry and used eg. happy, jealousy, greed, love 
  • Children are steered through a discussion that is facilitated by the  adult who will respond to how the children are answering by using facilitator moves and concept stretchers to keep their thinking developing.
  • All enquiries are centered on the four Cs (Collaborative, caring, creative and critical thinking).
  • Children are taught to use the phrases ‘to build upon…’ and ‘I would like to challenge…’ and are encouraged to name who they are responding to as well as repeat part of what was said
  • Enquiries are usually whole class.
  • Enquiries can be done as part of a different subject or can be done as a discrete P4C lesson.
  • A P4C session once a term is lead by our year 5 P4C child facilitators.




At the end of Year 6 the children will have a level of competency in the following areas that unpin P4C. 

 Each class has their own ‘P4C Learning Journal’ where we evidence and keep a reminder of the P4C enquiries that demonstrate the 4C's -

4C's - collaborative, caring, creative and critical

  • The children will be able to create their own enquiries to help them answer difficult questions.
  • They are able to work collaboratively with a common goal and try to understand each other’s thinking through listening carefully and asking questions that will help them understand.
  • The children will care about the outcome and show an interest in the experiences and beliefs of others
  • The can investigate other people’s ways of thinking and imagine that they are them (empathy).


Philosophy for children true impact will be measured within all subjects when the children choose to use the techniques taught in P4C and they show that they are able to think, commit, justify and reflect in a way that progresses their learning and thinking. 

Website Wonders 

Our Website Wonders Section sets a different idea to think about at home.

At Leesland we believe that it really important for us all to have time to think deeply and P4C is an excellent starting point for this.

If you have a discussion at home about our 'website wonder', we would love to hear your thoughts!

Please send them into the year group email and our P4C Champions will look through the comments. 


 Website Wonder 


Can you have play without work?

If we were paid to play would it be work?

Can work be more fun than play?


Website Wonder


What is a friend?

Is it ever good to break friendships?

Can you have more than one best friend?


 Website Wonder 


How important is happiness?

Is happiness the most important thing?

Can you live without happiness?


What Our Pupils Say About P4C


'P4C teaches you about life, the world around you and your own emotions. '

'P4C makes you think really hard about different ideas / concepts.'

'I like that we gather together as a class and everyone has the chance to say what they think.'

'In P4C everyone gets to have their ideas heard and then we discuss them.'

'We use our caring words to agree and disagree with each other in P4C. '

'Everyone joins in when we do P4C. '

P4C Long Term Plan