Philosophy for Children involves group discussions about ethical or philosophical topics, such as fairness and truth. The discussions are designed to encourage children to ask questions, construct arguments and engage in reasoned debate. There is secure evidence that this not only helps children's critical thinking skills, but also helps them to make better progress in maths and literacy.
Dr Bywaters will be spending time in each class, over the year, running Philosophy for Children sessions. The children are presented with a stimulus, for example a poem, picture or film. They then generate "chewy" questions; those which can't be answered with a factual answer, or found out on the internet. The children then vote on which of the questions they wish to discuss. We then spend time reasoning, talking and listening to try to deepen our understanding of the topic. For example, in the first week Year 4 watched "The Piano" (see below). We then discussed the questions "What happens when you die?" and "What does it mean to live a good life?"