It may seem strange for a primary school to be teaching philosophy to all of its pupils but it’s really only about ‘big thinking’!

Children ask SO many questions every day and most of them start off with that little word, ‘Why?’

Our philosophy sessions give them the opportunity to ask those questions, to hear what their peers think, to learn how to ‘listen and respond’, to explore their ideas and imaginations, to learn that there are not always ‘right’ answers and to develop their ability to be inclusive, respectful and creative.

Philosophy is not ‘difficult’. Philosophy is about challenging ourselves to ‘think differently’ and become more understanding of others.

A typical session:

  • ​a stimulus is provided with some sort of dilemma ( difficult decision);
  • the pupils are given a chance to think about this and some reasons for their choice​;
  • the class then shares their thoughts using a strict ‘hands up to talk’;
  • the talker then chooses the next ‘hand up’ to respond.

We find that the pupils really enjoy this chance to talk/share/think/argue/debate and use their reasoning skills. Above all, it helps them to learn to ‘think outside of the box’ and see ‘the bigger picture’.

If you’d like to know more, please follow these links:

P4C – an introduction to the ‘Philosophy for Children’ initiative.

Sapere – ‘Sapere’ means ‘ to know’ – perhaps you knew that!

The Philosophy Man – Jason Buckley is considered as the ‘guru’ of P4C

At North Ealing Primary School, we hope to develop your child’s ability to think and reason as much and as often as possible. 

The NES Learning Zone provides additional opportunities to explore using a ‘Challenge’ question/dilemma to encourage comments and thoughts when NOT in school.

Our pupils can watch a short presentation and then have the opportunity to make a comment. They type their thoughts and enter a special code BUT do not give out their email address!

Their comment will then be MODERATED and posted online for others to respond to.

As always, we hope that parents/carers will join in and encourage the development of their child’s independence and engagement with learning.

Nic Mehew