Philosophical Inquiry – Years 7-10

What We Believe

Philosophical Inquiry (PI) is based on the premise that philosophy comes naturally to young people who wonder about a lot of things. The very process of inquiry holds valuable lessons for becoming good thinkers and learners.

The process of PI is threefold:

  • exploring ideas important to all of us and how we live our lives
  • exploring these ideas in an intellectually rigorous manner that requires the use of good argument and the development of good judgement
  • learning to explore these ideas collaboratively.

As life’s big questions are explored – respect and reason are developed and practised. By listening to each other, building on one another’s ideas and understanding that there will be many possible answers that we need to evaluate. By reflecting on their own thinking and the thinking of others, the skills of metacognition are developed and practised.

PI helps me because I can think of how different people view the situation, and how they would feel. I use this to make a better judgement.

Carmen, Year 8

The things I learn in PI help me in my life because it makes me a more thorough and deeper thinker.

Lewis, Year 7

How would you answer these questions?

If we change something about ourselves, are we still the same person?

If we were locked in a room and never saw the world, what would we learn?

Should we always do the right thing even if no one else would know?

Teacher and student working on philosophical inquiry

When we are doing PI we agree that:

We are seeking understanding and meaning in our lives.

We must use logic and reasoning to explore our ideas, taking care to look for mistakes in reasoning that would undermine our argument.

A community of inquiry requires us to actively engage with others by:

  • listening to them
  • trying to see their point of view
  • exploring disagreement respecfully
  • being prepared to change our mind if presented with good reasons and ideas.

Each voice is needed and heard.

We are discussing no small matter but how we ought to live.


We believe that engaging students in PI helps build collaborative, flexible, independent thinkers with the capacity to innovate and solve problems. They become well-rounded individuals ready to take their place productively in our society.

Philosophical Inquiry is a useful subject because it pushes us to think harder, and we are treated as adults so we can have an adult conversation.

Sydney, Year 9

PI has opened me up to reading philosophical novels that are both entertaining and enlightening. It has helped me to question my own values and beliefs and reshape who I am as a person.

Sam, Year 10

 Philosophical Inquiry is a useful subject because it teaches you to listen and communicate better with other people. 

Austin, Year 8

We have found Philosophical Inquiry to be a great way for our kids to see how grey things are. In our fast paced and competitive world it’s not easy or comfortable to be grey and so we think it’s good practice. We become very used to things being referred to as right or wrong, a particular answer or best practice. Sometimes (and actually often) things are in between, both right and wrong depending on your view, and indeed just our best guess at how we could approach something. It’s made the children think differently and place themselves in a different part of the story, thinking about the ‘what ifs.’  Whilst the kids aren’t pondering everything deeply, we think Philosophical Inquiry provides a refreshing addition to learning that creates some curiosity and rigour in how and why we think as we do.  

Michelle, Current Parent

Ready to Enrol?

Choosing your child’s secondary education is a big step in the life of a parent. If you are ready to take that step you can start your application now, however you don’t have to complete it all in one sitting. Once you start, it will be uniquely saved for you to return and complete when convenient. 

You can also find out more about our enrolment process, including our Enrolment Policy and Entry Year Guide.


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