The Young Philosopher Course

A great resource that brings Philosophy alive to KS3 pupils!

C Gibbs, RE Teacher & Independent Reviewer

A complete programme for an exciting exploration of philosophical issues. Encourages and enables your students to think about and discuss key issues – from moral dilemmas to the existence of God.

  • Vol. 1: Designed for Year 7 & 8 pupils, but suitable for all ages – from Year 6 upwards
  • Vol. 2: Designed for late KS3 to KS4 – expands students horizons beyond RS GCSE content
  • Accessible for all abilities – all will benefit by developing thinking skills
  • Timetable it using PSHE, tutorial or RE time, put on as a lunchtime or afterschool Philosophy Club, or an enrichment programme for the Gifted and Talented

Expertly designed lessons are open enough to allow the discussion to come alive, but structured enough that the non-specialist will always have direction.

  • Teacher’s notes explain the background to the topic – great for non-specialists
  • Every 50-minute lesson plan is clearly laid out with actions points, timings and ‘Teacher Tips’
  • Student activity workbook acts as a record for pupils to take away
  • Supporting PowerPoint presentations

The course's structure is its great strength… particularly the clear and well-timed lesson plans…
all the philosophy in it is spot on.

S Shieber, Philosophy Teacher & Independent Reviewer
Vol. 1: 12-Lesson Programme:
Structured into 3 themes: Morality, Knowledge & Religion
  1. Introducing a New Way of Thinking
  2. In Deep Water
  3. The Ring of Gyges (Invisibility)
  4. Self-Interest as a Guide to Actions
  5. Is Violence Ever Justified?
  6. Doubt and Certainty (1)
  7. Doubt and Certainty (2)
  8. Where Do Our Ideas Come From?
  9. Knowledge of the External World
  10. The Design Argument for God’s Existence
  11. The Ontological Argument for God’s Existence
  12. The Problem of Evil and Responses to it
Vol. 2: 12-Lesson Programme:
Structured into 3 themes: Mind, Political Philosophy & Religion; plus final ‘Island Project’ brings the themes together.
  1. What is the Mind and Where is it?
  2. What is a Person?
  3. Do you Have to be a Human Being to be a Person?
  4. Personal Identity through Time
  5. Do we Need to be Governed?
  6. Who Should Govern Us?
  7. Should We Always Obey or Can We Dissent?
  8. The Idea of God
  9. Shipwrecked On a Desert Island
  10. Rules, Laws and Punishment
  11. The Role of Morality and Religion on The Island
  12. Feedback: The Island Project & The Value of Philosophy

Tried and Tested!
Students of all abilities will benefit from engaging with the issues raised. They will be encouraged to be free and independent thinkers and to develop their natural critical thinking skills in keeping with the real meaning of education: to draw out, rather than to fill up the mind. There is growing evidence that such a programme results in a higher IQ. More than this pupils enjoy thinking through and discussing these issues. I have taught it and it works.


What do teachers say about this resource? (5223)

An excellent idea, very well executed and planned and suitable for a range of purposes. I am excited about using it in the future for my sixth form tutor group, as well as intros to topics for my A Level Philosophy groups, especially for less articulate and confident students. Many of my students are disaffected learners and I believe that this is an accessible resource for students who may approach philosophy with trepidation. It had a clear purpose and fulfilled its writer's aims... Optional exercises were inventive and the writer gave support as to how they might be used in the lesson plans. I also liked the interlinking themes. It felt very cohesive. Good interactivity... Very appropriate to A Level specifications but of immense value to the professional aiming to extend thinking skills in key stage 3 and 4... Fits nicely with P4C practices too

A Warren, HoD & Peer Reviewer

Excellent. I particularly like this resource because it encourages young ones to think for themselves with lots of open ended thinking and stimulus for independent thought and work

S Hopkins, RS/Philosophy Teacher & Customer

With interesting topics and a range of activities, The Young Philosopher Course provides teachers the opportunity to provide stimulating lessons in a easily adaptable manner at an introductory level, whilst offering something to be built upon as the teacher and learners grow in confidence in the topics... The content is accurate and clear on the whole, presenting a students a wide range of knowledge and the potential to stretch themselves. Brief outlines of topics before the lesson plans are succinct and to the point. The student booklet is a brilliant accompaniment for the lesson plans provided in the teacher's text and will also work well with the slide shows also included... Looking at the teacher and learner booklets presents the students with a holistic learning experience, reflecting Kolb's learning cycle. Thoroughly detailed lesson plans are provided, which are clearly explained and outlined, which has taken a non-specialist into consideration to ensure the discussions and lesson stay on track. The lesson plans also demonstrate that students are offered a wide range of learning activities within the lessons... The content order is sensible and allows a continuity for the learners' investigation into Philosophy

V Austin, RS/Philosophy Teacher & Peer Reviewer

Great understanding of the subject matter and good choice of themes to continue into Vol 2... Thorough introduction to philosophical themes (mind, God and politics)... As with volume 1 the author knows their philosophy and clearly and accurately presents concepts... Excellent context and background material to inform the teacher especially if they do not have any experience of the topics... Teachers tips also useful on the lesson plans... Good to see that again true philosophical themes are being presented, Mind, Politics... Very closely follows the AS Philosophy specification, so would be a good introduction to this or supplementary resource

M Bee, Philosophy Teacher & Peer Reviewer

What do teachers say about this resource? (4880)

A great resource, and one that teachers and students would get a lot out of... A great concept which accurately identifies philosophy as a dynamic and challenging subject that can be made to appeal across the key stages. The author is clearly very passionate about philosophy and has excellent subject knowledge. A lot of RE/RS teachers and non specialists with enrichment responsibilities in schools could use this resource to offer students something new... Also great for non specialists are the detailed explanations for teachers on the background of lessons and ideas... Philosophy typically appeals to the more able and those with enquiring minds, but is also great for weaker students when presented through ideas / examples and discussion as this author does... The author has chosen the big themes in philosophy to give a faithful but also varied introduction... students who follow this course will have an accurate grasp of the subject... the themes are those studied in depth in A Level Philosophy, so it is a good base for students who are interested in pursuing the subject... Nice touch adding a certificate and suggesting philosopher teams to motivate students... Concepts are clearly explained and thought experiments used. It doesn't shy away from complex ideas such as philosophical doubt and the cogito and uses traditional scholars and detailed examples. The resource is real philosophy, presenting ideas in sufficient depth and not watering ideas down just because the audience may be younger... There are clear worksheets and activities to establish and reinforce understanding

M Bee, Philosophy Teacher & Peer Reviewer

A great resource that brings Philosophy alive to KS3 pupils! I want to try these ideas out with my classes! Age appropriate... Often Philosophy can be perceived as a high academic pursuit and this resource allows for younger pupils to experience and begin dealing with key philosophical issues in an engaging and motivating manner... I particularly liked the breakdown of various tasks into smaller more manageable tasks which KS3 pupils will be able to engage... This resource would enhance learning by catering for KS3 pupils to access some difficult philosophical questions. It would develop thinking skills and strategy as well as other key RE skills, e.g. dealing with fundamental questions and other people's view points as well as your own

C Gibbs, Teacher of RE & Independent Reviewer

This resource would contribute effectively to a curriculum enrichment programme, such as Gifted and Talented and thinking skills courses. I also think that this resource may well be unique in its objective of introducing Philosophy to such young children... The author is careful not to assume any prior knowledge on the part of the student... The background teacher notes are excellent for the non-specialist as they are sufficiently informative without ever being intimidating, and given that the course is teacher-led, it is vital that the accompanying notes are of good quality. The author has a very relaxed and friendly writing style which is evident in both the teacher and student material. Also, I like the idea of the Student Booklet as it provides students with a full record of their progress that they can keep at the conclusion of the course; the certificate is a nice touch... I think that this resource is one that will definitely enable higher ability students to develop their intellectual skills as the focus of the course is on process rather than content, and it is a resource that differentiates by outcome as the tasks are open-ended... The passion and commitment of the teacher who wrote this resource shines through on every page

N Tetley, HoD & Peer Reviewer

I like the idea and the structure, particularly the clear and well-timed lesson plans... Clear and well-focused planned course, with obvious progression. Anything that aids philosophical thinking in the classroom is welcome... Plenty of discussion material to stimulate debate... a good, basic introduction, well-thought out in the way it introduces key topics... it is an excellent introduction to the subject and could stimulate a lot of interesting discussion... the course's structure is its great strength. I thought the teacher's booklet was particularly useful and could be used by anyone, whether they had a background in philosophy or not... all the philosophy in it is spot on.

S Shieber, HoD & Independent Reviewer