Just Imagine

Picturebooks and philosophical teaching

Sara Stanley has over 20 years’ experience as a SAPERE level 1 Trainer in Philosophy for Children. Her own practice and postgraduate research explores the power of philosophical approaches in the creation of narrative and literacy.

This course explores the use of picture books for the explicit teaching and facilitation of dialogic skills. Through participation and exploration, the course offers a skills-based approach to recognition, facilitation and pedagogical practice of philosophical thinking and literacy.

Areas of focus

• What is philosophy?
• How philosophy helps children understand texts at a deeper level
• How to develop knowledge about the big themes and questions in life
• Making connections between fiction and real life
• Sharing pupil voice and narrative making
• Authentic listening and questioning processes in a literate classroom
• Building empathy and challenging assumptions
• Tackling difficult themes and issues
• Media savvy – Critical responses to truth and fake news (KS2)

Key Stage suitability

EYFS and Primary

Course length

A one-day course enables participants to take away enough knowledge and skills to implement the philosophic approach to reading picture books.

Development projects

One year projects for the sustained development of philosophical literacy across the whole school can be devised on request.


A copy of Sara Stanley’s book Why Think? Philosophical play 3-11 (Bloomsbury 2012) is available to participants at a discounted training price.

Packs of high-quality books to support teaching are available to purchase:
Pack A Picturebooks for Philosophy 3 – 5 years
Pack B Picturebooks for Philosophy 5 – 7 years
Pack C Picturebooks for Philosophy 7 – 9 years
Pack D Picturebooks for Philosophy 9 – 11 years.
Packs can be ordered from justimaginestorycentre.co.uk, or by email, assistant@justimaginestorycentre.co.uk