Our favourite games to develop P4C skills

When running INSET, especially at this time of year, we’re often asked “what’s the best way to help pupils lacking the skills to engage in discussion?”

It’s a question with many answers. But one that never fails is “use Community Builders” – fun, fast activities that zoom in on what pupils find difficult and practise them in playful, non-threatening ways.

Here’s three of our favourites to use at the beginning of a school year to help master the basic moves of philosophical dialogue:

For taking turns: Pass The Clap

Particularly good for the youngest pupils. In a circle, announce you’re going to pass the clap to your left. The pupil to your left claps, then the pupil to the left of them, and so on, until it reaches you again. Up the challenge by going back the other way, or seeing how fast it can travel around the circle. Watch a development of it, incorporating eye-contact and co-ordination, here

For making decisions: Swap Places If

A simple game that gets everyone showing their thinking by moving.

For giving reasons: Which and Why?

A quick-thinking game that gives pupils a series of simple choices to make.

Looking for INSET at your school? No need to wait!

We’ve been running P4C training in schools all this week, but designated INSET days are limited to a few per year. That’s why we work with schools in term-time, through demonstration days with twilight training, usually during staff-meeting time. They’re very popular on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the Autumn-term is booking up fast, so get in touch nowto secure your preferred day. 

Best wishes,

Tom and Jason

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