This is a structured session following the P4C (Philosophy for Children) model that is designed to encourage children to engage with philosophical issues and think more critically. The session starts with a short game followed by a stimulus such a as a short story or film clip. The children then discuss possible philosophical questions surrounding the stimulus and vote on which question they would like to discuss. At the end of the discussion everyone is given a chance to say what they think surrounding the issue. Recently, a clip from the film Chicken Run was used. After voting, the children based their discussion around how animals differ from humans and if this means they can be treated differently.
A similar session is run at Westways school. This type of method and the topics used are rarely used elsewhere in the children’s school life, so it is fascinating to see how they respond.
Secondary Schools/sixth Forms
This is Philosophy in the City’s largest school, but we currently only help their A level students. In the first term I went in once a week and hosted classroom sessions with the Year 13s, helping them during lessons or leading seminar-style discussions. This term, I have switched focus to the Year 12s and currently run mentoring sessions once a week. During these the volunteers and I help students largely with essay writing but also content during one-to-one sessions
Longley Park Sixth Form
At Longley Park Sixth Form College we organise the running of mentoring sessions for the philosophy, philosophy of religion and political philosophy classes. We work in small groups helping the students with their understanding, essay structure and communication of philosophical ideas. I feel that philosophy has many transferable skills in terms of analysis, critical thinking and reasoning and I hope our mentoring will help the students in deciding and achieving their future goals.
King Edward’s School
We currently go into KES once a week on a Friday to teach AS level philosophy to a group of around 20 students. We usually split the class up into three groups and take a group each; leading a seminar or going through resources given to us by the teacher on the particular topic they are covering that week. As exams draw closer we continue this sort of approach but instead focus on talking about any problems they have had whilst revising and clearing up any misconceptions they may have. The students are extremely well-behaved and Mr Badger is extremely helpful and friendly!
Running sessions for a homeless shelter for 14 – 18 year olds.