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Children and their teacher share some reading or listening. The children take thinking time to devise their own questions and then discuss them.

The group meets regularly. The questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The pupils' discussions become more disciplined and focused yet, at the same time, more imaginative. They care more about what others say but don't accept easy answers. They develop the ability to recognise differences and explore them constructively. 



This describes how a philosophical community of enquiry develops. No gimmicks or jargon - just high expectations of children's abilities to think critically and creatively and to develop morally and socially.

Philosophical enquiry aims to help children develop the basic skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute to a pluralistic society. It can boost children's self-esteem and intellectual confidence.


It aims to create a caring classroom situation where children...

  • learn to listen to and respect each other
  • make links between matters of personal concern such as love, growing up, friendship, bullying and fairness, and more general philosophical issues such as change, personal identity, free will, space, time and truth.
  • are encouraged to challenge and explore the beliefs and values of others, and to develop their own views
  • experience quiet moments of thinking and reflection
  • learn to be clear in their thinking and to make responsible and more deliberate judgements
  • learn to be more thoughtful by basing their decisions and actions on reasons