Do you value P4C but struggle to fit it in?
You know enough about P4C to think it would be good for your school. But there are obstacles to implementing it. Traditional one-hour stand-alone sessions won’t fit your timetable. Teaching staff, already under pressure, are wary of taking on “yet another thing” and aren’t sure if they’re “doing it right”. So how can P4C training support colleagues to make it work with your existing curriculum?
Philosophy Circles Level 1 INSET: The Philosophical Classroom
Now there is an easier way to make the most of P4C in your school, without having to change your timetable. Our P4C training has three levels, each designed to embed P4C in a different area of school life. Level 1: The Philosophical Classroom, will show you how to get all the benefits of P4C through everyday teaching.
This two-day training helps you grasp the principles of Philosophy Circles, put them into practice, and share them with your colleagues. It includes over 150 primary topic session plans and other resources that will allow your school to embed philosophy from Reception to Year 6.
Looking for a training course for just you?
Find out more about our Open Courses on the right...
Help children find their voices
More and more children arrive in reception scarcely talking at all. Parents distracted by social media speak less to their children, and the impact is growing. In one school with many younger parents, children joining reception completely nonverbal rose from five, to half to the class.
If they don't learn to talk confidently to groups in their primary years, it's unlikely they ever will. That impacts their learning, and their economic and social wellbeing. You'll learn how to overcome the different obstacles children have to speaking, and get (almost) every child talking:
- Playground Confident, Classroom Shy - how to empower children who clam up in the classroom
- Chance, Chain, Choose - how to reduce inequality in the classroom
- Separating Thinking and Speaking - how to beat the "I dunno" card
- 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
- How to make thinking a game by making it physical
How have we worked with schools like yours?
Download a detailed information pack with case studies from schools like yours.
Practical for Teachers
With the ever-increasing pressure from above, teachers feel more and more accountable for planning every minute of children’s learning. It creates a dependency culture, with children always looking to the teacher. Learn how planning less and letting the questions do the work fosters greater independence and faster progress.
During the course, teachers can see how easy it is to embed P4C, and immediately give it a go themselves. There's no wondering of "where am I going to fit this in?" or "I'll do this soon" and it never see the light of day.
- Sessions that support deeper reflection about seasonal events such as Christmas, harvest and Easter
- How to create deep, worthwhile discussions within a 30 minute timetable slot
- Dozens of ready-to-use activities your staff can can adapt for any context
- Simple, memorable principles that connect with your teachers' values
Feedback from September 2017's P4C training:
"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 P4C training? Send us a quick message with your contact details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Quick and easy to expand to your whole school
Handouts from training courses often sit in the "INSET graveyard'. It's full of ideas that sounded great on the day but which never quite got passed on to colleagues. Teachers are very busy, and so new initiatives often get buried under the hectic pace of day to day teaching. To avoid that, each booking includes attractive minibooks that are written with busy teachers in mind, and following the course our huge range of resources means there's every support for you and colleagues continue using P4C regularly
The books have memory aids in the form of stories, summaries and catchily-named activities so that it is easy for colleagues to make it part of their general teaching style.
Over 150 session plans for use within the primary curriculum
All bookings include our Premium Pack of Resources - 150+ 30 minute sessions on the most popular primary school topics. It makes it another, richer way to do what you do already, rather than something else to squeeze in.
Over 120 session plans with a consistent, easy to follow format, plus a wealth of supporting stimuli and other resources.
The Snail and the Whale
The Lighthouse Keepers’ Lunch
Myths and Monsters
St. George and the Dragon
Tame and wild animals
Mind and body
Invaders and Settlers
World War One
Art, Design and Technology
Health and Diet
Changes and new beginnings
Over 120 curriculum based session plans
Self- and peer- assessment tools
P4C Training Videos
What’s the difference between Philosophy Circles and “traditional” P4C?
All P4C gets children thinking about challenging questions, where 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 children get thinking and talking straight away. Children’s own questions and ideas still emerge and grow through discussion. Rather than strict stages, Philosophy Circles is built around three facilitation principles which run through the whole process, making it more fast-paced and versatile for use across the curriculum.
This all sounds great, but what will OFSTED say?
With the relentless focus on data, everything schools do has to show an impact on maths and literacy. Fortunately, not only does OFSTED look very favourable on Philosophy for Children, but a recent EEF study demonstrated that it had a positive impact on both maths and literacy scores. We are excited about philosophy for its own sake, but it’s nice to know that it has a benefit for measurable outcomes, and in particular that it helps to diminish the difference between disadvantaged children and their peers.
‘Philosophy for Children is giving pupils the skills they need to present a point of view and become more articulate, thus boosting their confidence
St Matthews School, Westminster
“Impressively, year 2 pupils can identify ethical dilemmas in their fiction books and propose related questions for discussion in philosophy lessons” “Philosophy lessons challenge pupils to respond to probing questions, such as, “Are all humans connected in some way?”
Churchfields Infant School, South Woodford
The school advises and supports other schools in the use of philosophy with children. This exemplary practice is spreading throughout the school and is having a positive impact on pupils ‘communication and thinking skills and this is beginning to be reflected in their achievement. In an excellent philosophy lesson in the nursery children were challenged to think about the characteristics of two imaginary characters and whether they would change depending on their facial expressions or on what they wear. The curriculum is broad and balanced and meets pupils’ needs well, including the excellent promotion of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and philosophy.
SparHawk Infant and Nursery School, Norfolk
In a year 5 and 6 philosophy lesson, excellent use was made of a recently released Christmas advertisement for a famous store to encourage pupils to identify sophisticated concepts such as reliability, hope, trust and friendliness. This work made a particularly good contribution to developing their social and moral awareness
North Lakes School, Penrith
‘The thought provoking and exciting curriculum the school has developed over the last two years is an outstanding component of the school’s success (this includes) the development of ‘Philosophy for Children’, a powerful tool which both excites the pupils and gives them the confidence to explore stimulating and challenging ideas and concepts. It not only strengthens their academic learning, but also encourages their empathy for others and gives them insights into the adult world
Ropsley Primary School
What about EYFS?
Tailored resources so philosophy starts in reception and KS1
Much primary school training is focused on KS2, with Early Years teachers left to adapt as they can. Our sequence of a year’s worth of professionally filmed “Spot and Stripe” videos provide the perfect introduction to philosophy for younger children, introducing children to discussion and argument through colourful, fun characters and irresistible questions.
Also in the series...
The Wild West
Town and countryside
Booking and Delivery Models
For the deepest impact and so we can guide you through the whole programme, most schools choose two or more days of P4C training, including time to observe us working with children. MATs and clusters often join together for a day to reduce costs and promote collaboration between schools. All prices are +VAT and reasonable expenses.
If your school lacks the budget, but you can be flexible and arrange a day at short notice, ask to go on our list for stand-by days. When we are working in your area and have availability, we will email you to offer a day at a discounted rate. Contact us using the form below to join the list.
Resources Included With Your First Day
School Resource Pack
- Download of Philosophy Circles Resource Compendium - 100+ session plans
- Free upgrades to Philosophy Circles Resource Compendium until December 2018.
- Philosophy Circles Teacher Handbook
- Copy of Thinkers’ Games
Peak INSETs are the day or two at the start and end of each term and half-term. All prices are +VAT.