Sheffield primary school among 25 schools nationwide to win Gold Award for philosophy teaching

A Sheffield primary school has been crowned the Gold Award after fully embracing the Teaching of Philosophy (P4C) for children in their curriculum, a move the pupils said helps improve their confidence levels by leaps and bounds.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 10:22 am

The Year 6 pupils at Bradway Primary School, who have been actively involved in the programme, were overjoyed by the achievement, as they are one of only 25 schools to have achieved the award nationwide.

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.

Kasha Pinder said the method has encouraged them to teach their peers different skills like empathy in their day-to-day learning.

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Headteacher Paul Stockley (behind) with the pupils from left Tishalee Devegee Ramsamy, Kasha Pinder, Alice Bishop, Reuben Williams, Teddie Heard and Jemima Jackson (front) all aged 11.

"Now we are able to build other ideas and incorporate them into our way of thinking and this helps, because we get better at listening to others and understanding what they're saying," she said.

Jemima Jackson said P4C allows everyone to have an opinion and that there isn't just one right or wrong answer.

"It makes you think more about the questions that are asked. A lot of people benefited in our class such as Maths and Literacy where there are not many answers.

"But with this, they can get a set of opinions and no one will get angry with the answers and be rude about it. Everyone can challenge it politely," she said.

Headteacher Paul Stockley (behind) with the pupils from left Tishalee Devegee Ramsamy, Kasha Pinder, Alice Bishop, Reuben Williams, Teddie Heard and Jemima Jackson (front) all aged 11.

Rueben Williams agreed, saying that more pupils in school have started to actively participate in lessons, unlike before.

"A couple of years ago (before P4C), a lot of people were quiet in normal lessons like Maths. Now I've seen more put up their hands even when they're not sure with the answers. It gives people more confidence."

Tishalee Devegee Ramsamy said: "I wasn't very confident before and I was very shy to share what I wanted to be when I grew up, which is an artist. Now I have a voice and feel more confident to speak up."

Teddie Heard added P4C allows them to grow and become better leaders when they're older, saying: "This shows what we can do when we are older. This also shows we can be leaders as it gives us confidence going into the future."

Meanwhile, Alice Bishop said she was happy their contribution to the school was recognised and that it was inspiring for the pupils to win something for the school.

Headteacher Paul Stockley, who is also a P4C trainer, said participating schools get reassessed every three years, and now he is hoping to persuade other educationists to follow suit.

He said: "Being a gold school brings responsibility for promoting P4C beyond the school.

"P4C was great with the pandemic. Many children were scared about coming back or anxious about the whole Covid crisis but it's given them an uplifting way and helped them with the healing process.

"I do fundamentally believe if all primary schools have P4C as part of their curriculum, we will have a better society.

"I will be contacting politicians to say this is something that's really helped young people, many of whom are struggling emotionally. I think this should be considered for all schools."