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 Workshop Day with INSET?

In INSET, there’s always a slight element of, “It worked with us – but will it work with the kids?”

It can be very effective as either an introduction or a refresher to combine the demonstration sessions and assemblies with twilight INSET.

This way, staff see P4C in action with their own classes, which is powerful proof of its benefits. It provides visible examples of what our our Philosophy Circles approach looks like in the classroom, and so makes the subsequent INSET all the more grounded and accessible.

This also has the advantage of allowing you to use any normal school day plus your regular meeting, or some scheduled twilight time. Days can combine INSET, pupil workshops, assemblies and planning time with your P4C lead.

Typically, we can fit in four to five pupil workshops into a day. We work with existing classes in their spaces, and with their current topics. As many staff as can fit are welcome to observe, as long as they aren’t distracted by marking or putting up a display. The workshops are a CPD opportunity, and are often told how useful they were to watch.

Most schools book us for at least 2 days of workshops, so the philosophy bug can really take hold among pupils and staff. 2 days also means we can include assemblies and parent workshops too (more below).

In the INSET session, we cover the three core principles of Philosophy Circles in an interactive and engaging way. More participation and less PowerPoint. The key aim is to empower staff to embed P4C in their own lessons, so it’s another way of doing what they already do, rather than something extra. Staff will leave confident and enthusiastic about embedding P4C the very next day.

If you would like to talk about a sequence of Demo-Days for regular, sustained P4C, at reduced daily rates, take a look at our 'Philosopher in Residence' option.

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.

Through observing our workshops, your staff will 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

"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 looking at one another when speaking, in actively listening and challenging others' views and opinions"

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 demonstration day, 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


Spreadable 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 twilight INSET 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

The twilight INSET 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

Resources

Over 100 session plans with a consistent, easy to follow format, plus a wealth of supporting stimuli and other resources.

Over 120 curriculum based session plans

Self- and peer- assessment tools

Training Videos 

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

What teachers say about our resources...

Workshops for Parents

Why limit P4C to the school gates? If time allows, we also run parent workshops to help you showcase what the school is doing, and also extend the tools of facilitation to those who speak to our children the most.

We can focus the session on anything you ask:

  • Do you feel some parents need help understanding the importance of talk at home?
  • Do some parents just need the confidence to talk more about questions they might feel out of their reach?
  • Do you want to attract prospective parents to your school by showcasing the kind of lessons you teach?

 

 

We help you organise the session, from planning to delivery:

 

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

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
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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 favourably 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

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

"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 resources are practical, effective and require very little preparation- which is great!"

BONUS FOR DEMONSTRATION DAY BOOKINGS

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...

Cars
Children
Shopkeepers
Grown-ups
Teachers
Time-Travel
Dragons
Jobs
Jokes
The Wild West
Exploring
Letters

Christmas
Sailors
Magic
Superpowers
Pirates
The Park
Seasons
Uniform
Town and countryside
Flying
Animals
Underwater

Books
Tidying
Easter
Friends
Anger
Shapes
Stories
Happiness
Thinking
Boredom
Pets
Technology

Who's running your course?

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 three books, with more in the pipeline. Jason is also Director of Studies at GIFT, and also an outdoor education company, Outspark. In his spare time, he's a 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 as he continues to work with classes week-in, week-out through his role at the Economist Eductional Foundation, alongside his training role at The Philosophy Man. 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.

Click here to find out more about Tom Bigglestone →

Booking and Delivery Models

Lots of schools like to start by booking a single day, but for the deepest impact and so that you can be guided through the whole programme, you need two or more days.

Workshop days are £750+VAT and we reduce the cost of twilight INSET to £250+VAT if booked on the same day. These prices exclude reasonable expenses to travel to and from your school.

Please book by filling out the contact form below, or contacting tom@thephilosophyman.com

Any questions?

If you have any questions, or would like to make a booking in person, please fill in this form. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can.

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PS. If you are looking for the answer to the riddle in the email you received, it’s “a ship”.