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P4C at Wybourn Community Primary School



At Wybourn Community Primary School, our staff and children will be thoughtful, reflective and considerate members of the community. Our aim is for children to develop these skills in an open, supportive and non-judgemental environment. Our ‘Philosophy for Children’ programme is a vehicle for developing these thinking skills, but the Philosophy for Children approach is embedded in all aspects of school life.

We want all children to feel that they have a voice, and their opinions are listened to, and respected. At Wybourn Community Primary school, children think together to develop their understanding and appreciation of the world around them and of each other. They are able to reflect on their own thinking and be flexible and creative in their own thinking.


Through weekly P4C sessions children develop 4 different thinking skills. These are; caring, collaborative, creative and critical. They are known as ‘The 4Cs’. Our P4C leaders have created progression grids for each of these thinking skills to show how we want children to develop these skills throughout their time at Wybourn Community Primary School.

During the sessions, children are presented with a stimulus intended to promote thinking around ethical issues involving ideas such as fairness, identity and diversity. Children then come up with their own philosophical questions for discussion. Teachers choose concepts important to their class or current local or global issues.

In P4C sessions, the adult is known as a facilitator rather than a teacher or leader. They provide the opportunity for discussion and encourage deeper thinking with carefully timed questions and prompts but children are encouraged to lead the discussion and make their own choices.

In all P4C sessions you can expect to see:

The role of the adult changing to become a facilitator of discussion rather than a teacher. Staff support discussion rather than leading.

Children are arranged in a circle (including the facilitator) so that all members of the class can see and hear each other.

A calm, safe and respectful atmosphere with guidelines of how to take turns to speak.

Early Years

In the Early years, we begin to develop the skills which enable children to participate in full enquiries. P4C skills are developed through circle time and rainbow talk sessions.


In KS1 children build on their learning from EYFS and begin engaging in discussions known as ‘enquiries’. A full enquiry involves 10 parts (as can be seen in the document below). Children in KS1 learn the different skills needed to fully participate in each part of the enquiry.


By the time children reach KS2, they have developed the thinking skills to enable them to participate in philosophical discussion. This continues to be modelled and supported by facilitators. The progression from lower KS2 to upper KS2 can be seen in the skills progression grids.



A brief overview of P4C discussions are recorded in class books which enables us to demonstrate how children’s questions develop into more philosophical ones over time. Older children have the opportunity to record their thoughts after a discussion in a ‘thinking journal’. Staff use the caring, critical, collaborative and creative thinking progression documents to monitor class and individuals progress over time.

By the time children leave Wybourn Community Primary School, they are able to show empathy and understanding towards others. They have the confidence to share their own opinions in a respectful way, even if these differ from others. They have the ability to think more deeply, question and develop their own thoughts and challenge opinions in society.