The quality of information, teaching and presentation has been superb. The training supported our vision and the style of teaching within the school has significantly improved. Our staff are confident in using enquiry across the curriculum - it has become 'the way we teach', and teachers regularly support each other with continued professional development. We have chosen to receive support on a long-term basis, and have been involved with The Philosophy Foundation since 2009. We have used them to not only deliver support to teachers but also to help address whole school issues; such is the versatility of this training.

Kirstin Fisher, Assistant Headteacher, Ravenscroft Primary School

The Philosophy Foundation can support your school in developing enquiry throughout the curriculum. Enquiry-based learning, alongside the teaching of knowledge, deepens children’s understanding of subjects, and impacts on their learning more widely.

Over the last 5 years TPF have been developing our teacher training alongside our in-school work. The most substantive changes occur when we do whole school INSET, followed by working one-to-one with teachers in the classroom, modeling questioning techniques, supporting them to develop curriculum enquiries and giving personal feedback through our Resident Philosopher Programme

The Sutton Trust-EEF Toolkit shows that many of the interventions used in enquiry-based learning have strong evidence for impact of up to 8 months progress for pupils. These include:

  • Meta-cognition and self-regulation (+8 months)
  • Oral language (+5 months)
  • Peer tutoring (+6 months)
  • Collaborative learning (+5 months).

Our Recommended Training Pathway

As recommended in the research undertaken by the Teacher Development Trust in 2014 (Developing Great Teaching: lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development), in order to embed good practice we suggest the following basic training path for schools looking to embed either enquiry practice or regular philosophy sessions in their schools.

  1. Full day or two-day INSET, which will include:
    • Modelling of a philosophical enquiry or curriculum enquiry sessions
    • Interactive Q&A, focused on pupil impact and learning
    • Taking teachers through the main facilitation and questioning strategies
  2. Sessions are modelled with the students in every teacher's classroom.
  3. Teachers practice sessions in their own time, with online and telephone support.
  4. Trainers come back and observe for a day and give feedback, followed by a staff meeting to run through issues / questions / ideas that have arisen, and also give staff a model to develop their own sessions.
  5. We helping teachers mark the progress of their pupils via our ‘Pupil Tracker’ evaluation.
  6. We encourage teachers to reflect, and re-evaluate their learning via self-assessment and collaborative / peer-to-peer learning and problem solving.
  7. We support teachers and give them subject specific content that will help pupils develop critical thinking across the curriculum.

The most successful model we run is making use of our Resident Philosopher, who will visit your school for a day a week, working with both children and teachers. According to the research:

The most effective professional development lasted at least 2 terms - more usually a year (or longer).

Working with a Resident Philosopher means your teachers can become Associated Philosophy Teachers with The Philosophy Foundation.

As well as bespoke training we have also run specific training in:

  • Science Enquiry
  • Maths Enquiry 
  • Improving writing through dialogue
  • Poetry for Thinking

Our Teacher Training has been Gold Rated by the Teacher Development Trust Advisor.

Please call us on 020 8699 9314 to discuss your requirements or via our contact us page. You can email us info@philosophy-foundation.org.