Stage 1 Course

Duration: 2 days or 5 days (morning or afternoons) online
Location: Various or online
Open to: all

Our next face to face course will take place on 10th and 11th April 2021 09.30am - 5.30pm in South East London (venue TBC).

For our online course dates click here: Stage 1 Online Course

If you would like to join us on this course, or put your name down for future courses please contact

We do run national and international courses with partner organisations and individuals. If you would like a course run near you then please do get in touch with Emma. 

An introduction to Philosophical Enquiry (PhiE)

Stage 1 looks in-depth at the theory and practice of facilitating philosophical enquiries with children and young people. It is a thorough and (we are told) highly enjoyable combination of theory and practice, and is suitable for those new to P4C / PwC as well as those who have experience. This course is suitable for anyone interested in developing and learning about different facilitation techniques for running philosophical enquiries with children or adults and is the first step required to become a specialist philosophy teacher with The Philosophy Foundation.

The two-day course is £295 and you will:

  • Develop teaching and questioning strategies that deepen philosophical thinking.
  • Take part in a number of philosophical enquiries.
  • Deliver your own philosophical enquiry.
  • Come away with skills and resources applicable to a range of situations where good thinking and dialogue take place.
  • Receive a handbook on everything covered on the course.
  • Receive a copy of our flag ship book The If Machine (or alternative).

No experience of teaching children or philosophical qualification is necessary.

The Philosophy Foundation’s method (PhiE) falls under the term P4C (see our P4C page to find out how) and has been developed over 15 years of practice, working directly with the children on a daily basis.

Train with us

If you would like to register for any of our courses please contact

Our Stage 1 Course has a Gold Rating on the Teacher Development Trust Advisor.

Being with so many philosophically minded people was very affirming and it gave me so much energy to start new things. The course itself was fantastic and a real eye opener - I can't praise it highly enough. Thank you for what must have been the immense amount of time and effort in putting this together - it is a truly wonderful thing.

                              John Geldard


Philosophy graduates may apply to become an Accredited Philosophy Teacher with The Philosophy Foundation after Stage 1. 

Application must be made WITHIN 9 months of completing the course.

Full accreditation is on a selection only basis, and we cannot take on everyone who applies for accreditation at this stage. We are able to offer a bursary for four people on each course of £185 that covers the cost of on-ward in-school training (whether online or in-person). If you do not have a DBS there is an administration cost of £60 for an enhanced DBS check. If you would still like to do the training, but we cannot offer you a bursary then the fee to cover our costs is £375 plus DBS check.

If you would like in-school training, but do not want to become an accredited philosophy teacher with The Philosophy Foundation then please speak to Emma about this. There is also the possibility of becoming an associate teacher for qualified teachers.

Becoming an Accredited Philosophy Teacher with The Philosophy Foundation means becoming a member of a group of philosophers who can share ideas, experiences and good practice. We offer regular get-togethers and a range of continued professional development opportunities. You will be supported in your practice in the classroom, and it will mean you will be endorsed to use our name. You will also be advertised on our website and have unrestricted access to the resources on the website. Please note, that although we support and offer work to those who become accredited through us, we cannot guarantee work at this stage.

The application process involves:

  • a DBS (child protection) check, 
  • a letter of recommendation,
  • and a phone or face-to-face interview with someone from our Senior Leadership Team. 

Successful applicants will teach 5 assessed lessons of philosophy with one-to-one support from a mentor. They will also observe a minimum of 5 sessions in school. If you pass this final aspect of the training you will become an Accredited Specialist and be able to move through the levels outlined in the document at the bottom of this page.

If you pass at Level 2, we will work with you to help find you work in the classroom. If you pass at Level 1 it is recommended to continue practicing in the classroom to achieve Level 2 as soon as possible, though you will be entitled to receive remuneration for your time at the Level 1 pay scale. If you do not reach the required standard for Level 1 we will discuss with you options for going forward. Some who have not passed the first time, do go on to pass at Level 1 and Level 2.

TPF Levels