Enquiry in the Curriculum

Provider: The Philosophy Foundation
£1,100.00 (no VAT on this item) for total course
£995.00 (no VAT on this item) for two or more teachers / classes for total course


Provider Rating (from 9 reviews)
Description This programme is run in the classroom alongside the teachers helping them to understand how to develop and when to use enquiries to assist their everyday teaching.
Duration 10 weeks (15 hours)

The Philosophy Foundation's website

Categories Primary, Secondary, Teaching and Learning, Early Years/Foundation, Sciences, Mathematics / Numeracy, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, Arts, English / Literacy, Humanities, Languages, Teaching staff, Advanced Skills Teacher, Excellent Teacher, Main-scale (core) teacher, Newly Qualified Teacher, Post-threshold Teacher, Pupil mentor, Supply / Peripatetic teacher, Trainnee (pre-QTS) teacher, Teacher trainer, Cross-curricular Themes, Inclusion, Personalised Learning, SEND, In school, Online, Demonstration lesson, Team lesson planning/teaching, Physical resource, Book, Video, Video chat, Audio / Podcast, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science / Geology, Collaborative Learning, Meta-cognition and Self-regulation, Social and Emotional, Teacher Enquiry, Coaching / Mentoring, Use of Pupil Premium, PSHE, Skills taught directly linked to learning in schools, encouraging pupils to apply the skills they learn, Staff commitment to programme and support for the consistent application of skills , Sensitive and targeted intervention may benefit at risk or more vulnerable pupils, There are approaches to support pupils working together, Tasks are designed carefully so that working together is effective and efficient, There are opportunities to make use of competition between groups to support pupils in working together more effectively within their group, Provides approaches that encourage lower achieving pupils to talk and articulate their thinking in collaborative tasks , Provides teaching approaches which encourage learners to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with careful implementation, Provides approaches to teach pupils explicit strategies to plan, to monitor and to evaluate their learning with and without support, Provides teaching approaches which encourage pupil engagement in planning and best approaches to tasks, Evaluation of process , Help schools find best way to spend Pupil Premium , Raising Aspirations/Expectations
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

By the end of the course teachers will be able to:

  • Facilitate a curriculum Enquiry
  • Understand particular questioning techniques
  • Write curriculum Enquiries for the benefit of their teaching
  • Understand when an Enquiry would be beneficial for diagnosing or improving pupil understanding of any given topic.
  • See and capitalise on the benefits of running a curriculum enquiry
  • Recognise improvements in their pupils' thinking and know how to facilitate these improvements

Learning outcomes for pupils include improved:

  • Speaking and listening skills
  • Reading and writing
  • Concentration and behaviour
  • Collaboration and confidence
  • Transferable skills across the curriculum
  • Questioning and thinking
  • Providing supporting reason for their answers
  • SAT scores 
  • National curriculum levels
  • Critical and creative thinking

All pupils are likely to benefit from Enquiry Based Learning and Philosophical Enquiry as it develops S&L and gives pupils an opportunity to explore the curriculum and their learning collaboratively. 

Evidence underpinning this approach

The method in general:

Over the last five years research  (Including Ofsted, The Rose Review (2006), The Cambridge Primary Review (2009) and a report by the Confederation of British Business (2010).) into children and education has consistently highlighted the effects of communication difficulties on behaviour, learning and emotional relationships.  Reports indicate that this is due to emphasis being placed on teaching to test rather than deepening understanding.  Memorisation and recall have been valued over enquiry and creativity and children are leaving school without the skills necessary for them to be able to actively participate in society. 

Using Enquiry develops speaking and listening skills that will impact across the curriculum and also on confidence and communication skills.

TPF’s model of Philosophical Enquiry and Enquiry has been in development over the last 10 years in a number of schools in an inner London Borough and is now being used in schools across the UK and overseas. TPF has case studies and feedback from headteachers, teachers, parents and pupils on how effective the impact the PhiE model has been on the children it works with.

This course in particular: 

In the same way that children learn through modelling, teachers also benefit from first seeing the activity in action and then trying it with support. Furthermore, teachers are constantly being introduced to new techniques and ideas, for it to stick, it must make sense, make their lives easier and they have to have practiced when and where to use it. We know this from working long-term in schools to develop curriculum enquiry.

How users/participants can evaluate success

Success is evaluated through questionnaires and feedback forms from both pupils and teachers involved.

Measureable outcomes for pupils include:

  • Improvements in S&L
  • Improvements in levels
  • Confidence
  • Concentration
  • Class collaboration

Children should have a deeper understanding of the concepts underpinning curriculum subjects.

Measureable outcomes for teachers include:

  • Confidence in being able to run Enquiries
  • Being able to apply enquiries across the curriculum
  • Being able to develop relevant Enquiries and questions
  • Feeling inspired to run more, and can see the impact Enquiries have on pupils learning and development.

Written feedback and evaluation is also given by the Specialist Philosophy Teacher to support the teacher in their learning and development, and also in terms of the progress of the children.

Follow-up activities and support

Free website membership which has resources, videos and lesson plans available on it, as well as further CPD and online training. Books are also part of this programme: The If Machine.


The best-selling and ground-breaking The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom, accompanies this course.

Week 1-3: Specialist Philosophy Teacher will run philosophical enquiries and introduce the teachers to various facilitation techniques.

Teachers will learn about facilitation and questioning techniques and then get a chance to watch them in action and the effect they have on their pupils. Teachers often find this helpful and interesting as they rarely get a chance to watch their pupils simply as an observer.

Week 4: the teacher will run a given philosophical enquiry from The If Machine.

The Teacher will then get an opportunity to try out these techniques in the context of philosophical enquiry. We find it is easier to understand the techniques being introduced in the context of philosophy as this takes them away form their standard teaching and habits. 

Week 5: Specialist will run a curriculum Enquiry.

Here the Specialist will demonstrate how these techniques would work in a curriculum context so the teacher can see how transferable the enquiry method is to the curriculum.

Week 6: Specialist will run a curriculum enquiry devised by both Specialist and Teacher

The Teacher and Specialist will devise an enquiry together based on a specific teaching problem or subject that the teacher would like to address/cover. The Specialist will then demonstrate how to run this.

Week 7: Teacher will run a curriculum enquiry devised by both specialist and teacher

Again they will both devise an enquiry based on a specific teaching problem or subject that the Teacher would like to address/cover. This time the Teacher will run the enquiry.

Week 8: Teacher will run a self-devised Maths Enquiry with Specialist feedback and support.

Week 9: Teacher will run a self-devised Science Enquiry with Specialist feedback and support.

Week 10: Teacher will run a self-devised English Enquiry with Specialist feedback and support.

The Teacher will then devise and run enquiries for the three main subjects with support and feedback from the Specialist.

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.