Prêt-à-Porter

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A range of tried and tested 4 hour events which can be run in your school for unlimited numbers of participants.

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Mainland UK price £899 – £1299 if other schools are invited

NEW! Islam for GCSE Religious Studies

A 4 hour event for students of Islam for the new GCSE Religious Studies.

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The event comprises…

The Islamic Concept of God

This introductory session considers the Islamic concept of God and the ways in which it is similar to and different from the Christian concept of God. What are the possible reasons for believing in Allah?  To what extent are Muslims free and morally responsible?  How do Muslims feel about Jesus and the Christian claim that He is Son of God?  Dr Peter Vardy will use Islamic Art and Architecture to explore some of these concepts in an accessible way.  Includes small group activity and feedback session.

Islam and Human Relationships

This session explores Islamic perspectives on human relationships, including marriage and divorce as well as sex, homosexuality and the use of contraception. The question of gender equality will be opened up, along with the issue of modest dress. Includes pairs discussion.

Islam and Medical Ethics

Exploring  Islamic perspectives on headline-grabbing issues in medical ethics, including fertility treatment, abortion, genetic engineering and euthanasia. Includes whole-group discussion.

Islam and Conflict

Exploring the controversial issue of Jihad, this short session will consider the difference between the greater and lesser jihad and the place of the lesser jihad in the modern world.  Mainstream Muslim statements on terrorism including the Amman Declaration will be explained during this session.

Debate

This house believes that it is right for Muslim teenagers to fast during Ramadan!
Following a presentation of different perspectives on the motion, students will be invited to contribute their own ideas, questions and arguments during this short but lively debate.

NEW! Developments in Christian Thought

A 4 hour event for students of Christianity for the New A Level Religious Studies specifications, including a free book for the school library.

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The event comprises…

Who is Jesus?

This introductory session explores the Christian concept of God, focusing on beliefs about Jesus. The origins and development of the Doctrine of the Trinity will be explained and the claim that Jesus was the Son of God will be opened up and explored in relation to a range of Biblical texts and scholarly interpretation – as well as to well-chosen movie clips, paintings and sculptures. Links will be made between Christology and topics such as Liberation Theology, Religious Language and Christian Moral Action, showing the wider significance of what can seem an impenetrably complex and obscure topic. Includes small group activity and feedback session.

St Augustine

This session introduces students to the thinking of St Augustine, which has had such an enormous impact on the development of Christian thought.  How his ideas relate to the arguments for God’s existence, the problem of evil and suffering, views of the human condition, sex and gender and election will be considered. Includes Q&A session.

Christianity and Sex

Exploring Christian responses to questions about sex and gender, this session will range widely, touching on Biblical Interpretation, Natural Law and Situation Ethics as well as on Feminism and a number of different contemporary issues. Includes whole-group discussion.

This house believes in life after death!

Following on from a presentation of different perspectives on life after death including Christian beliefs about resurrection (physical and spiritual), the importance of these beliefs and different types of evidence supporting them, students will be invited to contribute their own ideas, questions and arguments to what could be a lively debate.

NEW! Exploring AQA A Level Philosophy

A 4 hour event for students of the new AQA A Level Philosophy, including a free book for the school library and digital resources to support sessions on the day, follow-up activities and further reading.

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The event comprises…

What is Truth?

This introductory session considers one of the biggest questions in Philosophy, putting the whole course into context. Includes small group activity and feedback session.

Aristotle

A lecture exploring the work of Aristotle and how it relates to all four AQA topic areas – Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Mind. Includes Q&A session.

The Teleological Argument

This session explores and evaluates this popular argument for the existence of God, focusing on David Hume’s presentation and critique of it from Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion before considering whether more modern presentations of the argument – such as Swinburne’s – are more convincing than traditional presentations.  Ends with a small-group / pairs activity.

Is stealing always wrong?

Using one of the questions in applied ethics as a starting point, this session (which employs plenty of film-clips) gets students evaluating different approaches to decision-making including Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics. Includes a debate at the end of the session.

Education Matters

A 4 hour event for Gifted and Talented Y9-11 students, including a free book for the school library and full digital resources to support sessions on the day, follow-up activities and further reading.

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The event comprises…

Education Matters!

This introductory session considers the purposes of education and introduces some basic skills in Critical Thinking. Includes small group activity and feedback session.

What is Truth?

A short lecture exploring the nature of truth and its significance for education and the modern world using rich examples drawn from Art, Science, History and Mathematics. Includes Q&A session.

It's the Economy, stupid!

Exploring the events and the root causes of the economic crisis which began in 2008, this session (which employs plenty of film-clips) gets young people thinking about the sort of society the live in, the opportunities and challenges it will present as they take their place as tomorrow’s leaders. Includes whole-group discussion.

Debate

This house believes that education should only aim to fit young people for the workplace!
Following a presentation of different perspectives on the motion, which employs a range of effective video clips (e.g. Dead Poet’s Society, Mona Lisa Smile… Michael Gove…), students will be invited to contribute their own ideas, questions and arguments, some of which they will have prepared earlier in the day.

Ignite!

A 4 hour event for Gifted and Talented Y9-11 students, including a free book for the school library and full digital resources to support sessions on the day, follow-up activities and further reading.

The event comprises…

Ethics Matters!

This introductory session, which includes a range of film-clips, gives young people the tools to approach and discuss ethical decision making. Assuming no prior knowledge and including several “buzz” activities, students will explore the implications of ethical ideas from Socrates to Peter Singer, from Aristotle to AJ Ayer, showing the importance of Philosophy for the world today.

Introduction to Critical Thinking

This session explains the need for all young people to develop the ability to think critically and provides a succinct guide to some of the most important skills in critical thinking. Students will then be invited to have a go at analysing and evaluating an ethical argument and at developing their own well-reasoned response…

The Ethics of Genetic Modification

This session explores the fast-moving world of genetics and the options it offers us in terms of securing our food-supply, addressing disease and disability. Should governments allow research and license technologies – or should they be cautious and protect against unknown side-effects? Includes Q&A session.

Debate

This house believes that we have a moral duty to use technology to remove pain and increase pleasure wherever possible! or This house believes that what is right and wrong depends on our culture!

Following a presentation of different perspectives on the motion, which includes different current examples from the newspapers, students will be invited to contribute their own ideas, questions and arguments, some of which they will have prepared earlier in the day.

Knowledge: in Theory and in Practice

A 4 hour event for Sixth Formers (or Y11 after GCSE exams) which aims to introduce the IB Theory of Knowledge course. Includes a free book for the school library and digital resources designed to consolidate knowledge and understanding built during the event and to provide opportunities for follow-up activities and extension. This event can also work for non IB schools who wish to offer students some of the benefits of the TOK course.

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Please select any two of the available optional sessions.

Education Matters!

This introductory session turns the focus on the curriculum rather than its contents. What does our education system say about our purpose(s) for education? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Includes a small-group discussion activity and feedback session.

The Theory of Knowledge

This session introduces and explains the Theory of Knowledge as a core component of any quality education.  It encourages students to ask “meta questions” about their studies. Leads into a small-group breakout session, space and staffing permitting.

OPTION A: Language, Truth and Logic

This session explores the nature of language and how it relates to truth. Is language neutral, or does it affect or even limit communication? Includes “buzz” activities.

OPTION B: Art Matters!

This session considers the nature and purpose of Art and asks, “is beauty felt more properly than perceived?” Different forms of art from different cultures and periods of history will be discussed and there will be plenty of opportunity to apply ideas from previous sessions to a new area when the group breaks out to discuss and analyse which of a given range of art-works is “better”…

OPTION C: Maths - discovered or created?

Explores the nature of Mathematics and tackles the really big question of whether we discover its laws and principles (and if so, where they might come from) or whether we really create them (and what that says about our ability to access “truth” about the world).  Includes a range of exciting movie-clips and visualizations and concludes with a short whole-group discussion.

OPTION D: Faith and Reason

This session explores Faith as a way of knowing, considering different perspectives on how it relates to reason and to evidence more generally.  Is faith really anti-intellectual, as Richard Dawkins claims, or might it be an intellectual response to the evidence presented by the world?  Includes a look at recent Intelligent Design arguments and the opportunity to discuss, as a whole group, some of the questions raised.

Debate

“This house believes that nothing can be known that cannot be tested!”

Following a presentation of different perspectives on the motion, which includes different current examples from the newspapers, students will be invited to contribute their own ideas, questions and arguments, some of which they will have prepared earlier in the day.

Matters of Life and Death!

A 4 hour event for Y12-13 students, including 2 free books or the school library and full digital resources to support student preparation and follow-up activities, as well as sessions on the day.

Ethics Matters!

An introduction to ethical decision making. Assumes no prior knowledge and includes several “buzz” activities.

The Abortion Debate

This session introduces the controversial issue of abortion, identifying and exploring the moral questions that it raises. Leads into a small-group activity, space and staffing permitting.

The End of Life

This session explores the issues of Euthanasia and assisted dying. Concludes with a debate on the motion “This house believes that quality of life is more important than sanctity of life today!”

IVF and Genetic Engineering

This session explains new treatments for infertility and for people with Genetic problems before raising the moral difficulties that some of them pose. This session concludes with a general discussion and Q&A session.

The Grand Design!

A 4 hour event for Y12-13 students, including 2 free books or the school library and full digital resources to support student preparation and follow-up activities, as well as sessions on the day.

Explaining the Universe

This introductory session charts the history of mankind’s attempts to explain the universe, showing how scientific insights need not have conflicted with faith… and why they did. Includes “buzz” activities.

The Big Bang!

This session explores the Big Bang Theory, its implications and some questions it raises. Leads into small group activity, space and staffing permitting.

Intelligent Design

This session explores the ongoing controversy over the teaching of the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection in US schools. This session concludes with a lively debate on the motion “This house believes that faith is anti-intellectual!”

Things are not as they seem…

The final session opens up the implications of Quantum Physics and Postmodernism for the old Science v. Religion debate. Encourages students to engage with important “meta questions”…

NEW! Sports Ethics

An innovative four-hour event for Y11-13 sportspeople, including a free book for the school library and digital resources to support follow-up activities.

What are Ethics?

This introductory session explores the nature of ethics and morality, from the days of the Ancient Greeks to the present, explaining the origins of, difference between and importance of two different understandings of ethics for sport today. Includes “buzz activities” and discussion of case-studies.

Virtue Ethics and Sport…

This session will ask why schools and governments are so keen on sport, considering what playing (or watching) sport could offer to people and societies. Is sport a way of teaching people to behave well – or just an acceptable vent for frustrated feelings? What should it aspire to be? Includes small-group breakout session, space and staffing permitting.

Leadership

This session will explore the elusive but important concept of sportsmanship, what it might consist in and why it is still important in the 21st Century sporting world, despite the influence of money. Clips of interviews with leading sportsmen and experts in sports’ ethics will be used as part of this session. Includes Q&A session.

Debate

 “This house believes that winning is all that matters in the end!”

Sex Matters!

A 4 hour event for Y10-13 students, including a free book for the school library and digital resources designed to consolidate knowledge and understanding and to provide opportunities for follow-up activities and extension reading. 

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Designed to complement your own general PSHE programme for senior students, this event ensures that SRE does not become value-free or solely an exercise in risk-control. Young people really appreciate the academic rigour and candour with which sensitive topics are approached.  Presenter Dr Peter Vardy is the author of “The Puzzle of Sex” (SCM Press 2009), The Puzzle of Ethics (1998) and Ethics Matters (2012)

Sex Matters!

This introductory lecture, crammed with examples from Art and Movies, gets students to consider the various purposes of sex and why decisions about sex matter in a bigger sense than decisions about many other things. “Buzz” activities included.

The Ethics of Contraception

This session, which can be reserved for Y10-11 students, explores the various methods of family planning available to couples, explains and explores the ethical questions which they raise. Leads onto a small-group activity, space and staffing permitting.

Having it all!

This session, which can be reserved for Y12-13 students, considers the ongoing significance of gender in the 21st Century. Raising the difficult issues and asking the controversial questions, this session is essential preparation for the real world after school and university, equally important for boys and girls. A small-group session linked to this session can run, space and staffing permitting.

Pornography Matters!

This final session confronts the issue of pornography, considering the extent to which it poses a threat to young people and the options open to parents, schools and governments when it comes to minimising potential harm. The session will conclude with a debate on the motion “This house believes that the UK government should ban under 18s from accessing Pornographic material!

Money Matters!

A 4 hour event for Y10-13 students, including a free book for the school library and digital resources designed to consolidate knowledge and understanding and to provide opportunities for follow-up activities and extension reading. 

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Designed to complement your own PSHCE programme and to boost students’ understanding of issues relating to finance and enterprise education. Presenter Dr Peter Vardy was a Chartered Accountant before he was a Philosopher and was chairman of a UK listed company before he was 30.  The author of “Business Morality, People and Profit” (HarperCollins) and Ethics Matters (SCM Press) Peter used to train managers for NatWest and SwissBank; he is well placed to make the world of finance come alive for your students.

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Please choose ONE of the optional sessions.

Money Matters!

This introductory lecture, crammed with real-life examples gets students really thinking about the sort of country we live in and the choices that have been made about our economy and the way we live, including our national addiction to credit! Finally, the session takes a look at the challenges of running a small or medium-sized business and considers what students ought to do if they want the option of being self-employed later in life.

Boom, Bust and Crunch

Exploring the events and the root causes of the economic crisis which began in 2008, this session (which employs plenty of film-clips) gets young people thinking about the sort of society the live in, the opportunities and challenges it will present as they take their place as tomorrow’s leaders. Includes whole-group discussion.

Balancing the Books

This practical session will encourage students to think about the choices facing the country in terms of the deficit, the national debt and public spending. They will be presented with a graphic summary of our national finances and, in groups, will have to decide how they would reduce spending and/or raise the money necessary to run the country!

OPTION A: Trade or Aid?

This session explores the relationship between the first world and the third world and asks whether we do enough to fund International Development. Ends with a debate on the motion “This house would cut the international aid budget!”

OPTION B: Austerity Plus?

This session builds on the “Balancing the Books” session, considering the different options available to the government in the UK and governments in similar positions overseas at the moment.  Should they cut public spending, achieve a surplus and start paying down the debt?  What would that mean in practice?  Is there any other way… realistically?  Includes an evaluation of the ideas of Paul Krugman and Thomas Piketty

OPTION C: Business Ethics

This session introduces Business Ethics and explores the big questions that decision-makers, both in government and in management on one hand, and individuals investing and buying on the other, need to consider.

If none of these options is quite right, why not try a Made to Measure event and go freestyle! E-mail us to discuss your requirements and to book… or tweet us @puzzlevardy for an immediate response.