PGS pupils of different ages, staff and representatives from the University of Portsmouth gathered together for the annual Global Philosophical Inquiry last term.

P4C is a tool through which life’s issues can be explored and discussed at a deeper level, thinking can be shaped and challenged and participants can lead one another to a greater understanding of questions that many of us might ask.

“First, groups were formed and collaborated to consider which issues we care about and which we do not,” Iona Perkins in Year 6 explained. “My group had a deep discussion about manners, we all thought that that issue should go near to the top as it is very important. It was very interesting to see everyone’s different opinions.”

Participants were shown some images reflecting poverty and were invited to explore concepts connected to the images and to then formulate philosophical questions. The question chosen was, ‘What does money mean?’

Following the selection of the question, everyone gathered in a circle for the inquiry during which some of the staff took on the role of facilitators.

Suti Saharia, a journalist and researcher working on women’s issues across South Asia, reflected, “The project was innovative and fun. What impressed me was the interest it generated amongst children. It challenged them and the adults involved in the exercise, to raise awareness and think more laterally about the day to day issues impacting our lives. One of the advantages of this exercise is that it ensures the involvement of everyone.”

“I love P4C,” said Eddie Atkins in Year 6, “because my opinion is changed by other people and I can explore what other people think. It also means that you are in a group and can be heard by everyone.”

“P4C is a good subject because it helps people express themselves and be more confident,” Eve Anarfi, Year 6, surmised.  “It is a good thing to do in school because things like this lead to stronger pupils with stronger minds.’

PGS use the recognised Philosophical Enquiry approach, know as P4C (Philosophy for Children) as promoted by the National UK charity SAPERE,