Sheffield councillor to suggest teaching philosophy in schools as part of Covid recovery plan

A Sheffield councillor was left impressed with a primary school's progress in embedding Teaching of Philosophy (P4C) in its curriculum that sees its pupils gain immense confidence that could help them become better members of society in the future.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 7:48 am

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for education and skills said the pupils at Bradway Primary School have shown her a great way of communicating effectively with their peers in school even after coming out of the pandemic that forced them to learn remotely.

Now a recognised worldwide movement and practice, P4C is an approach to learning and teaching where it builds critical thinking among children while concentrating on the 4Cs of philosophical thinking - Caring, Creative, Critical and Collaborative.

P4C also aims to help children become more thoughtful, more reflective, considerate and reasonable individuals.

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Councillor Jayne Dunn

Its approach also helps learning and teaching enhance children's thinking and communication skills, boosts their self-esteem and improves their academic attainment.

During her recent visit at the school, Mrs Dunn said: "Now we are so focused on how we could help children pass the exams.

"But what are we doing to tell the children who have never been amazing at exams when they can be amazing members of our society and do amazing and fantastic things?

"How many entrepreneurs have failed their exams? I'm not saying that exams are not important, but it's good to have the kind of ability that can make us become better members of society."

Pupils at Bradway Primary chat with headteacher Paul Stockley and Cllr Jayne Dunn about philosophy for children and its role in education

She said one of the things moving forward from the pandemic is to push the government to make P4C an integral part of the school's curriculum as part of the Covid recovery plan.

She added: "If we are really serious about Covid recovery, then we have to include things like this as an integral part, and not as added extras."

Bradway Primary School recently received P4C Gold Award, making them the only 25 schools nationwide to have received such recognition.

The school’s headteacher Paul Stockley, who is also a P4C trainer said: “In this school, the children are honest about their feelings and values.

Headteacher Paul Stockley

"I think it’s time we realised the (existing) education is not serving the people effectively. Yes, it is giving the ability to pass exams, but it is really able to produce functioning members of society?”