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.
Stocksbridge High School
At Stocksbridge we work with Year 7 and 8’s, teaching political philosophy and helping them to create their ‘Ideal Society’.
We run sessions for young (14 – 18 year olds) homeless people, where we talk about philosophical concepts and have various philosophical debates.