Making Philosophers of your Students, Part 2

You may remember my previous email about how to turn your Key Stage 3 students into Young Philosophers. As a student of philosophy myself, I am thrilled that the course has proven so popular. When I presented the idea to ZigZag Education’s Commissioning Editor, I knew it was a risky proposal for what many would consider a niche area.

Fortunately, I convinced the Editor that this was a unique and educationally valuable resource – well worth publishing whatever the take-up. And the gamble on developing and investing in this resource is paying dividends, not least to schools now using this course to enrich and improve their students’ thinking skills.

So, it is with great pleasure that we announce a second volume. 12 more lessons take the exploration of key philosophical themes further. Peer reviews – part of our quality assurance process – gave very positive feedback:

‘Great understanding of the subject matter and good choice of themes to continue into Volume 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.’
– Merrigan Bee, Philosophy Lecturer & Independent Reviewer

‘With interesting topics and a range of activities, the Young Philosopher Course provides teachers the opportunity to provide stimulating lessons in an easily adaptable manner at an introductory level, while offering something to be built upon as the teacher and learners grow in confidence in the topics… The thoroughly detailed lesson plans are clearly explained and outlined, taking non-specialists into consideration to ensure the discussions and lesson stay on track.’
– Vanessa Austin, Lecturer in Religious Studies and Philosophy, Independent Reviewer

See for yourself – view the full inspection copy at

ZigZag resources are available as ‘copy masters’ or in editable format and come with a site licence, allowing you to pay once and copy as often as you need, or put it on your server for multiple use.

Volume 2 of the Young Philosopher Course is available as a photocopy master with site licence (£99). Also available in:

  1. Easy-printing PDF files (add 30%+VAT), or
  2. PDF with editable Word files (add 50%+VAT).

If you don’t already have Volume 1, you can get both together for a discounted price – see the website for details.

Order now at

ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY
t: 0117 950 3199 | f: 0117 959 1695 |

Give your promotional code WB14 to get free postage!

Sadly, not everything is quite as it ought to be

The curious tale of the photocopier that ate money

It is a sad reflection of the world that we live in that not every photocopier is quite as honest, straightforward and honourable as it ought to be. Some photocopiers are just, well, not quite on the button.

I say this because I’ve recently been working with a school where the payments on a photocopier lease were calculated slightly wrongly. The error was indeed small – around £15 a week.

The problem was that the copier was supplied on a five year lease which meant that by the end of the agreed period the school had been overcharged by £4131. Worse no one reminded the school that the lease had come to an end, and the payments continued for an unwanted machine, for another 18 months after the lease.

I am not suggesting that anyone is deliberately involved in mis-selling. But the fact is that this sort of error is surprisingly common.

Now I know that in writing this I am starting to sound like one of those dreadful PPI recovery people who seem to phone me up everyday promising me that I have been mis-sold something or other by my bank.

However school photocopiers are rather different, in that errors, where they do occur are as likely to occur as a result of incorrect calculations as they are for hidden commissions or unwanted insurance policies

But there is a solution to all this and what we do is simple. Because this is our specialist area we can quickly check the photocopier lease and then the amount being paid. If there’s an overpayment due, we recover it for you and take a modest commission at that point.

And although I have mentioned photocopiers throughout, we can also do this on any other type of school lease that you would like us to check.

To see if there is money due back to the school simply email me at and attach to the email a copy of your scanned-in leasing agreement/s and we will let you know if you may be entitled to a refund.

Just to reassure you, you will have no obligation to proceed – and if you do you will not be required to pay anything. Instead you will be told what percentage reimbursement the company will require in the event of their making a successful claim on your behalf.

Stephen Mister

What is the simplest way to be efficient?

That was a question that exercised MPs recently in a debate on recycling. Aidan Burley MP pointed out that one company – PRM Green Technologies – has “already saved the education sector in excess of £5 million through their services; equivalent to the cost of employing 237 full-time teachers.”

It is an extraordinarily bold claim but it is based on a simple observation. PRM Green Technologies come to schools and remove unwanted computer equipment from each school and then dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner. The company even wipes the hard drives to make sure nothing is available for anyone else to access.

It doesn’t cost the school anything, and it gives a good lead to parents and the students when they see what the school is achieving.

Equipment that can be removed includes computers, screens, printers, cables, PC base units, CRT monitors, TFT monitors, servers, laptops, server racks, switches, telecom switches and printers.

The only requirement we have is that you have at least 30 items for collection and that they are all gathered together in one easily accessible place for our driver to pick up.

Indeed, as long as you have 30 of these items we will take away other IT equipment at the same time, such as keyboards, cabling and telecoms.

At the end of the process we issue you with free certification evidence so you can see that the correct procedures were complied with.

Not surprisingly, Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP was quick to join in and associate himself with the firm as “an example of a good British business that is coming up with new solutions and offering real value at a time when we need to challenge the system, which spends so many billions of pounds of our money, to be more efficient and effective.”

For more information on free secure services provided by PRM Green Technologies, please call on 0800 840 9195 or visit our website at