Questions? Call us on 01245 830123


All the training, workshops and resources you need to make a success of Philosophy for Children

What is P4C?

Philosophy for Children is an approach to teaching and learning that puts philosophical enquiry at the heart of the lesson. P4C is used in hundreds of schools across the country and thousands across the world. Several studies have shown that P4C impacts pupils' academic, social, emotional and behavioural development, most recently by the EEF and Durham University. Find out more...

Over 16,000 teachers and P4C trainers receive our free weekly resource bulletin. To get it, add your name and email below.

Please be careful to enter it correctly, especially if a school one with the endless dot this, dot thats!

What’s the difference between Philosophy Circles and “traditional” P4C?

When we work with schools that have already tried Philosophy for Children, we often get feedback such as, “When we had philosophy training before, we wanted to do it. But now we know how to make it work.”

All P4C gets children thinking about challenging questions, and teachers act as facilitators rather than knowledge-givers. Traditional P4C follows a series of stages. Children see or read a stimulus, think about the ideas in it, create questions, evaluate the questions, and then choose one to talk about. In Philosophy Circles, the facilitator usually asks the first question, so the discussion gets started faster. The children’s own questions are still important, but they emerge through discussion. Rather than stages, Philosophy Circles is built around three facilitation principles which run through the whole process. It makes it more fast-paced and versatile for use across the curriculum.

Philosophy Circles

After an inspiring and informative Inset Day, led by Tom, all staff were eager to try out P4C strategies and felt strongly about the principles P4C promoted.

P4C has enabled children to voice their opinions in a calm and controlled manner whilst having their views challenged. It has provided them with time to critically think about their own morals, beliefs and thoughts.

We invited Tom back for Interfaith Day! Through P4C, children naturally made comparisons and built upon their RE knowledge. Children thoroughly enjoyed the current and interactive assemblies, pitched appropriately for each Key Stage.

The weekly bulletins inspire and instigate current discussions with the children which can occur in many curriculum areas. The mini resource booklets are great too as they are concise and clear. The resources are practical, effective and require very little preparation- which is great!

Though we have separate P4C sessions, we have easily and seamlessly begun to use it in other curriculum areas.

Just fantastic!

Kayleigh Dell

Greenway Primary School

Once again, many thanks for an inspiring and encouraging workshop at Harmondsworth School. Personally, I found it useful to build on a shorter workshop ,which I experienced about 3 years ago, but also to see how it can be used in mainstream settings such as ours, as well as with higher achievers .

David Beeston

Teacher, Harmondsworth School

It was great to meet you and work with you today; I thoroughly enjoyed it; I found it engaging and thought provoking. It was super that we had so many opportunities to try out the activities/games etc. The 'hot off the press' booklets are such a good idea; I will certainly be reading through mine over the weekend as I intend to try out a game or two with my class next week

Ali Few

Deputy Headteacher, Broomfield School

'Very active, good clear explanations and stimulating! I'll use it with my child too, not just in class' 

Elena Rodolfi

'Clear examples of how the program should run. Very practical, hands-on, nice facilitator!'

Isabella Giraldi

'A great course for anyone needing a new approach to teaching and questioning. It really opens the mind to further possibilities' -

Jade Jones

'A thought provoking, worthwhile day!'

Maragret O'Connor

'Educational, eye-opener, practical and fun. It was practical so I had an opportunity to experience how children would benefit from this activity' Wema Mwendamseke

'A great workshop, interactive, filled discussions and stimulating' -

Siddique Miah 

'Well planned workshop, very interactive and fun. Can be applied to almost all age groups.'

Jane Sparrow




Teaching Staff

Morningside Primary School, Hackney

Engaging, pacy, well-presented and (Tom was) knowledgable. Lots of practical ideas and links to use in lessons. Great delivery, kept us engaged all day.

Adam Dlugoszewski, Whitehouse Primary School

Made enjoyable and memorable by actually taking part in the community tasks. Lots of participation which gives clear examples of how to deliver to children. Opportunities to think and plan for our own year groups. Tom delivered the course exceptionally well - clear and fun!

Delphine Gunn, Tickford Park Primary School

Confident, fluid and entertaining. A very interactive, hands-on and practical. I particularly liked planning sessions within the course.

Caroline Prudence, Two Mile Ash School

A good balance between presenting and lots of practical activities which enabled demonstrations of key concepts. I look forward to starting back in school!

Lucy Eldridge, Two Mile Ash School



Milton Keynes Teaching School Alliance

Brilliant! Tom was gentle and inclusive and allowed us all to contribute. Just great! Come and deliver a session in school!

Cathy Kelly, St Thomas Aquinas School

Lots of practical ideas and activities that can be used easily in school. These can easily be adapted to the curriculum already being taught. Tom was very knowledgable and able to adapt ideas and direction of course to answer individual questions.

Karen Bridges, Deputy Headteacher, Green Park School

Tom was very engaging and had a good mix of practical and theory. A thoroughly engaging course with practical elements you can use in the classroom the next day.

Tom Ruffett, Two Mile Ash School

Fantastic training where all staff were highly engaged and are now ready to start the P4C strategies at school. Very well organised, fun for all and lots of ideas to use immediately.

Andrea Wadsworth

Crosslee Primary School, Manchester

‘An excellent way to develop critical thinking and confidence’

Jill Wright

‘An extremely useful session – children need to be critical thinkers’

Sarah Smith

‘Really thought provoking and interesting’

Hannah Thompson

‘A fabulous day that has inspired me to reflect upon everything;

Sophie Rigby

'Excellent day, very useful, really enjoyed this lesson’Carmaleta Henshaw

Carmaleta Henshaw

‘All very relevant and easy to relate to. A creative way to engage adults and encourage / inspire them to plan differently. Clear progression from Year 1-6’

Sophie Hadwin

‘Great examples given to enable children to become critical thinkers’

Claudia Cotton

Teachers at Whitefield Primary School

I just wanted to drop you a message to say thank you so much for such a fab session on Tuesday. I thought it was informative, relevant and full of very useable practical ideas which will definitely be used in my year two classroom. 

Thank you once again.

Sophie Vellacott

Year 2 Teacher, London

'This was a very active, informative session and has provoked a lot of ideas about how I can implement it in my classroom.'

'Outstanding presentation.'

'Great facilitator with lots of energy!'

'Fab! Lots of hints and tips and great interactive demonstrations. I now feel confident to have a go at implementing in a science lesson.'

'Absolutely excellent, thank you!''Really brilliant - has given me lots of ideas. Am excited anboit applying these in my classroom.'


Lomdon Teachfirst Conference 2016

'Best INSET ever. Fantastically resourced, well paced and great learning.'

'Got us all thinking. Lots of brilliant ideas to use in the classroom. Really interactive.'

'I am going to take up Philosophy! Very thought provoking!'

'Activities are challenging to the thought process. I intend to use all of them in my teaching.'

'Excellent ideas to encourage children to think and debate. Also to question their opinions in a safe environment.'

'Great pace and presentation.'

Teaching Staff

Greenway Primary School

After the workshops, I interviewed some children about their experience. I deliberately picked children who really struggle with the academic side of school life. One child, who had a workshop on bargaining for his life against a Mayan tribe, said “I loved the P4C workshop. It was so much fun to think of reasons why my life was valuable and the best part was, we didn't have to do any work!”. The children saw the workshops as a chance to express themselves.

Sarah Brown

Dulverton Primary School

It made me think, ‘this is what I want my teaching to be’.  There wasn’t a single student who didn’t get involved and I also saw kids who’ve been quite de-motivated at times step into the ring looking like intellectual prize fighters! And it was so much fun.  Wonderful!

Sara Thorp


It has been fascinating to watch the children engage with a range of challenging topics with maturity, enthusiasm and empathy thanks to the facilitation provided by Tom. Their curiosity was inspired by the thought-provoking stimuli in each session and several individuals, who usually find it challenging to share their ideas, came to the fore during the big discussions.

Since commencing P4C, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the children’s ability to discuss concepts with their peers and they have vastly improved in their ability in looking at one another when speaking, in actively listening to one another and in building upon and challenging others’ views and opinions. Before the lessons started, the children were not listening deeply to one another and responding to one another constructively – they had their opinion and that was it.

Mrs. S Johnson and Mr. J Hall

Year 6 Teachers, Amesbury Primary School

I was extremely cynical about P4C prior to today's experience, this is despite my belief that critical thinking is a crucial skill that all children should be taught and/or encouraged to develop. That was until about fifteen minutes into your Year 4 session today. Watching the children transition from anarchic arguments about 'silly things' to thoughtful group discussion on a serious topic (the causes of poverty) was eye opening and quite staggering.

The commentary for the benefit of the staff during the Y4 session was extremely helpful in understanding why you were doing what you were doing.

Combined with the staff training session the day was one of the best CPD experiences I've ever had.


Year 4 Teacher

We have been keen to establish P4C for some time in our school, believing it to be a natural part of our three-layered G&T programme.

It was great to work with Jason who consolidated and extended our prior knowledge and really made us believe that not to implement P4C would be a grave mistake on our part. The children loved it and talked about it a lot the following day, asking when we were next going to do philosophy.

It is a testament to Jason's energy and commitment that he managed to enthuse the staff during a twilight session in darkest January and several expressed regret that we hadn't put aside a whole day.

I am keen to get Jason back into school to work with our younger pupils now - he has a natural affinity with the children but still managed to make the adults laugh and wish to get involved.


Anne Geeves

Year 5 Teacher, R A Butler School

I just wanted to say thank you for the training you did in Lydney last week. It was a fab day and as a result... We are now going to roll out p4c across the school from September! The head has given me responsibility for thinking skills and we are going for the thinking school's accreditation. All very exciting!



How do we work with schools?


Case Study: P4C at St. Dominic's, Airdrie

Earlier this month Tom visited St. Dominic's Primary School in Airdrie. Over two days, we worked with all 7 year groups as well as delivering a staff INSET introducing them to Philosophy Circles. The collaboration continues later this year, as he returns in January and June to deliver more training and provide ongoing consultancy as the school progresses. Find out how we've worked with other schools like this, and yours, by downloading our set of case studies.

Interested in a January 'buzz'?

Feedback from September 2017's INSETs:

"I cannot describe the buzz and vibe from the staff, all down to you."

"You really did create a huge buzz in school, which is a difficult shout on the first day back! You covered everything we wanted out of the training and gave us mountains of material to use in class.  I loved the fact you gave each phase some planning time to discuss ideas and plan sessions and then trial them out of colleagues.  You have definitely given us some inspiration and I am very excited to see what happens next."

"There was a buzz during the staff meeting, which for any member of staff attending a staff meeting knows this is a rare thing! All the staff said how enthused and excited they felt to get back into their classrooms and try out the methods they had been shown."

"The questions raised interested everyone and there was a real buzz in the room. Our training was full of practical activities and games, with the just the right amount of discussion about teaching techniques interspersed. What an inspiring day!"

"It is us who would like to thank you. It was such an inspirational INSET and the staff were truly excited. Several of us have run introductory sessions with the children and although it is early days the enthusiasm is palpable."

Interested in booking a January INSET? Send us a quick message with your contact details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid phone number.
Please enter a message.

Why choose us to embed P4C in your school?

Philosophy for Children is recognized for raising attainment and well-being, but like any approach, it can easily fizzle out after initial enthusiasm. Here’s why hundreds of schools choose us to foster their long-term success:

Resources that integrate P4C into your existing curriculum

Rather than “another thing to do” in a crowded timetable, our Philosophy Circles resources include over 100 session plans exploring established curricula.

We work with pupils week in, week out . . .

. . . in workshops, residentials and whole-school events, so we keep “sharp”, and show our working by demonstrating P4C with teachers' own classes, and on their own topics

Clear, flexible structure

We have captured the best of P4C in the three core principles of “Philosophy Circles”. This streamlined approach helps teachers create engagement, challenge and independence.

Lively, practical, memorable training

Your staff will grasp the principles through practical activities you can use straight away. Expect energy, laughter and a rare depth of learning and dialogue. Minimal PowerPoint!

After 30 plus years of teaching, advisory and inspection experience I thought I’d seen plenty of innovative and exciting approaches in the classroom but whilst sitting in a session led by Tom I couldn’t help feeling that here was something new and of superior standing. Philosophy Circles is like a magic portal (dare I say TARDIS….bigger on the inside!). I've been carrying the book around in my handbag for months. Just 50 pages but packed with an ever expanding wealth of resources and don’t get me started on what it feels like when you try them out in class. As the book says ‘take the road less travelled’ and it will make ALL the difference to your class!" 

Sharon Hallis

Teacher, Advisor, Inspector, Wiltshire

Got a question about P4C at your school?

If you are interested in pupil workshops, staff training, or have a question about P4C, please fill in this form. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.