Oracy Training and Workshops

How can I help every child find their voice?

More and more children arrive in reception scarcely talking at all. And demands from government are squeezing out valuable talk-time from the school day.

"Technoference" seems here to stay. Parents distracted by social media speak less to their children, and children who use devices are less likely to talk to their parents. And the impact is growing: in one school we worked with, children joining reception completely nonverbal recently rose from five, to half to the class.

Sentence-starters, flashcards and talk-worksheets can be helpful, but also feel a bit artificial.

Plus, different children face different obstacles:
Some haven't talked enough at home.
Some are fearful that other won’t listen.
Some want to speak, but not in front of 30 people.
Some don’t like having their opinions on display.
Some want to speak but are put off by classrooms or teachers.
Some want to speak but don’t want to be seen to want to.
Some are afraid of getting the wrong answer.

And there's not exactly space to fit a new subject called "Oracy" into an already packed timetable.

So how can you help learners become more confident at speaking - in any situation?

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Oracy Workshops and In-School Training

Since 2008, we've with hundreds of schools to help all pupils become more articulate, thoughtful speakers without adding to teacher workload.

How do we do it?

  1. We help teachers embed new questions into their curriculum - ones that unlock pupils' curiosity and prove irresistable to talk about
  2. We help teachers find opportunities to facilitate "Thinkers Games" - ways to make thinking physical and help children throw themselves into the joyful argy-bargy of argument.
  3. We help teachers create the best conditions for classroom talk, such as using the principle of "Playground Confident, Classroom Shy" to empower children who clam up in the classroom

Everything is tailored for your school and there's something for every budget. If you wish, we can use the principles of Philosophy Circles to create an even-greater legacy for thinking.


The difficulty was getting the message across to my colleagues. I hosted a short staff meeting, but unfortunately most seemed to have been quickly forgotten.

Outside the UK?

We work with schools across the world - visit our dedicated page for international schools.

"Watching Tom's workshop I was amazed at how it hit EVERY box about oracy..."

Strategies to help every pupil

Since 2008, hundreds of schools trust us to help improve listening, develop independent thinking and help every child find their voice.

All by showing teachers easier, more effective ways to work with their existing curriculum, not piling more on their plate, including:

  • Playground Confident, Classroom Shy - how to empower children who clam up in the classroom
  • Unwrongification - how to free children from the fear of getting it wrong
  • Small Talk Big Talk - how to keep them talking while raising the stakes

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Practical for Teachers

Learn how planning less and letting the questions do the work fosters greater independence and faster progress.

See how easy it can be to embed meaningful oracy strategies into lessons, with ideas ready to put into action the very next day.

  • Dozens of ready-to-use activities teachers can embed into any topic
  • Simple, memorable principles that connect with your schools' values
  • Tailored resources designed for each age group - no more EYFS staff feeling ignored

Staff have put it into place straight away, particularly as it was focussed on building it into our exisiting curriculum and approaches.

Fancy a chat about it?

No obligation - just a chat about what might be possible!

Before the training, I didn't have any knowledge to the depths P4C could go with children's thinking.

A successful collaboration - guaranteed. 

We don't farm work out to lots of freelancers. If you book us, you get us - either Jason or Tom. We're two former-teachers who have been working with schools for a combined total of over 20 years.

We've never had negative feedback from a school, but if for any reason you were unsatisfied with your training or workshops, we will offer you your money back - no quibbles.

"Never have I been on a whole day's training in which the hours actually fly by too quickly. I cannot recommend this p4c training highly enough!"

Ready-to-use resources 

Lots of ideas from INSET sound great on the day but get easily forgotten as handouts go to the INSET graveyard.

We make sure your day has a legacy:

  • Two pocketsized minibook for every teacher ("I still carry mine in my handbag!" said one recently).
  • Pre-made Oracy resources that get talk going in every area of the curriculum
  • Spot and Stripe videos to start conversations between pupils
  • Short, one-minute "How-To" videos for teachers to keep referring back to

"When I first started my teaching I attended courses based on Philosophy for Children but after our recent training day with Tom, I feel many of the ideas and discussions really provoked new ideas for teaching and learning in my classroom."

What are our options?


Motivating and interactive INSET - book a full day, half-day, a twilight, or something online.

The "Everything Day"

Kick things off with a whole-school assembly, then classroom demonstrations that teachers can observe. 

Perhaps add a parent workshop to showcase what's happening in school.

And round off the day with a twilight INSET during staff-meeting time. 

Curriculum Clinics

Let us work with your staff to find the oracy opportunities in their curriculum

How much will training cost?

Everything we do is bespoke for each school. For the the best start, most schools choose a day of training plus or least one workshop day where teachers observe us with their classes. All prices are +VAT and reasonable expenses.

Half days begin at £500+VAT, and full days begin at £750+VAT.

There's lots of ways to do something within your budget. MATs and clusters often join together for a day to reduce costs and promote collaboration between schools.


Interested in training?

Contact us today to arrange a chat - choose from any of the options below.

Message us using the form on the right.

Call us on 01245 830123

Email office@thephilosophyman.com

Feedback from recent training. Can you spot the buzzword?

"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. The enthusiasm and buzz is palpable!"

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