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?

Why book a Philosopher in Residence?


When you book one of us as your "Philosopher in Residence", teachers see P4C in action before giving it a go themselves using our resources and with our support.

No two residencies are the same - everything is tailored for your school - but three things always remain:


1. Pupils make rapid progress in their thinking skills thanks to a sustained programme of P4C


2. Teachers observe the range of ways they can use the Philosophy Circles method in their curriculum, and feel inspired to try it out themselves.


3. Teachers immediately embed P4C into their practice by running their own sessions, under our guidance and using our tried and tested Philosophy Circles resources. There's no case of "I'll get round to that one day..."

"After 30 plus years of teaching, advisory and inspection experience I thought I’d seen plenty of innovative and exciting approaches in the classroom...

How does "A Philosopher in Residence" work?


Before the residency:

We have a Skype or phone call with you to discuss your school’s context and the priorities you have for philosophy. The minibooks included with the course – up to thirty copies of Philosophy Circles and Thinkers’ Games are sent to you in advance, along with a brief video introduction from us to your staff.


Week 1:

Your staff try out some taster activities with their pupils. These are sent over in advance, tailored to each year group. They are designed so that they can be run without specialist training in Philosophy Circles by any classroom teacher.


Week 2:

We deliver a day full of pupil workshops, followed by a twilight INSET introducing the key principles of Philosophy Circles, and demonstrating some of the activities the teachers will use in their sessions. A whole school assembly can be included to build some anticipation among the pupils and introduce what philosophy is.


Week 3: .

We provide a carefully selected session plan for each class, and each teacher facilitates their own session. They reflect on the session - noting what went well, and any questions - for example "How do I stop the more confident children dominating the discussion?" They email these to us, and so when we return...


Week 4:

...we run another set of workshops demonstrating answers to their questions. This is followed by another twilight focused on questioning skills that are useful across teaching, not just within philosophy sessions.


Week 5:

Your staff run further sessions with the plans provided. By now, those who have observed a lesson each time, attended a programme and recorded some brief notes will be close to claiming their Philosophy Circles Level 1 Accreditation.


Week 6:

Another full day of workshops  and twilight – this time, the option is open for staff to be observed or to team-teach and receive constructive feedback. In the third twilight, we’ll look at how to plan your own sessions – although your school will have access to the full suite of Philosophy Circles plans for common topics in the curriculum (160 as of Jan 2018, plus 39 Spot and Stripe videos for Early Years, and growing).


If you opt to continue your residency (subject to availability) the content of each visit and the support in between will evolve to meet your needs – coaching, curriculum clinics, training of pupil facilitators and so on may be involved.

Why book a Philosopher in Residence?

Booking a Philosopher in Residence is an commitment. There's lots of ideas competing for your school budget, so how do you know it'll be worth the investment? Here's just 3 reasons...

P4C helps children find their voice

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
p4c training

It's 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 a "Residency", 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


P4C Training

It's Spreadable to your Whole School


Even once the "Residency" is over, the resources keep coming...

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 "Residency" 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

Any Philosopher in Residence booking includes 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.

Philosophy Circles
Thinkers Games Image 2

Nim’s Island
The Snail and the Whale
The Lighthouse Keepers’ Lunch
Myths and Monsters
St. George and the Dragon
Harry Potter
Tame and wild animals
Living forever
Human development
Mind and body
Working scientifically
20th century
Ancient Civilisations
Ancient Egyptians
Ancient Greeks
Invaders and Settlers
Stone Age
World War One

Religious Education
Comparative Religions

Art, Design and Technology
Health and Diet


Changes and new beginnings
Mental health
Around the world


Over 120 curriculum based session plans

Self- and peer- assessment tools

Training Videos 

From 'How-to' Guides...
From 'How-to' Guides... enquiry footage with commentary. enquiry footage with commentary.

Tailored Resources for EYFS/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.

What teachers say about our resources...

"All the positive testimonials provided by other schools was certainly a winning factor for us. The P4C training and workshops were simply outstanding."

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

"Several individuals, who usually find it challenging to share their ideas, came to the fore during the big discussions."

"I loved the idea of 'going into orbit'; I wasn't sure how it would go but yet again my pupils have proved me wrong and they were absolutely amazing!"

"The day more than met our expectations – we were thrilled, and feedback was terrific"

"I have to admit, it was one of my favourite PD lessons and having used it with students properly in a lesson, I can now see more applications for it within my own teaching"

"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!"

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

Who will be your Philosopher in Residence?

About Jason Buckley

The Founder and Director of The Philosophy Man. A life-long philosopher and former teacher, English, Jason is now an internationally renowned trainer, writer and speaker on P4C, classroom dialogue and stretching the more-able. He is author of two books, with more in the pipeline. He is also an outdoor educator, storyteller and improviser, and all these skills come together in his lively training, with minimum of Death by PowerPoint.

Click here to find out more about Jason Buckley →

About Tom Bigglestone

Tom's courses are incredibly well-received thanks to his several years’ teaching experience. He has been Head of Department at both primary and secondary level, and in both the maintained and private sector. He has specialised for several years in P4C, and in 2014 was awarded The Walter Hines Page scholarship, for which he spent time in the United States researching assessment of philosophical skills. He brings his vast classroom experience and know-how into his energetic and interactive training.

Click here to find out more about Tom Bigglestone →

How to Book

Both Jason and Tom are now taking bookings for Spring and Summer Term 2018. Please contact us using the form below, or the LiveChat box in the corner of your screen, if you'd like to one of six schools to take this opportunity.

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