Courses offered by Will Ord

All course times, content and resources may be customised to suit your particular requirements.  Just email ( or call (07876 020150) to discuss the details.

All courses are interactive, usefully challenging, and very practical.    Colleagues will leave the day feeling inspired with lots of techniques and activities to apply in the classroom.  There is no limit on delegate numbers, courses can be cross phase, and teaching assistants & governors are always welcome.

Apart from the 6 'core' courses offered below, Will provides keynote speeches at conferences, as well as long term projects.  Courses can be booked by an individual school, school clusters, local authorities, or other education networks.  Enquiries are welcomed from both the UK and abroad.

The average course feedback score – calculated from hundreds of courses with thousands of teachers over 11 years – is 4.75 out of 5 (95%).

There are six 'core' courses:

Outstanding Lessons:

Who For? All Teachers and Teaching Assistants

What are Outstanding Lessons actually for?  What exactly is an Outstanding Lesson?  What does Ofsted want?  How can colleagues work together to achieve outstanding lessons in manageable, efficient, and enjoyable ways?  The day takes colleagues on a journey from the 'Big Picture' (Why), through clarifying the concept of an 'outstanding lesson' (What), to the details of real classroom practice (How).

Embedding Outstanding:

Who For? Heads, Leadership Teams & Curriculum Designers

How can schools develop outstanding practice, and how can they maintain it?  What are the main blocks to 'outstanding', and what strategies can help?  How can 'school evolution' be co-ordinated in the most efficient, practical and motivated ways?  The course will draw on ideas & research from Guy Claxton, John Kotter, Carol Dweck & John Hattie in particular.  In essence, sustainable school development needs to be collective, incremental, strategic and experimental.  How can we all achieve those things in manageable, inspiring, and practical ways?

Great Learners:

Who For? All Teachers and Teaching Assistants

What is a great learner?  What skills, attitudes and dispositions do children need to succeed in school & in life?  What can teachers do to build great learning in their classrooms?  This course will explore many practical strategies for developing confidence, independence, engagement, risk taking, thinking skills, good dialogue, reflection & memory in both the staff and classroom. 

Philosophy for Children:

Who For? All Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Introductory day:  What is P4C and how can teachers develop this pedagogy with their pupils?  How does P4C support the school curriculum?  What are the practical techniques that teachers can use to develop challenge, thinking, communication and social skills in the classroom?  This course draws on Will's 26 years as a P4C practitioner and as one of the country's leading specialists in this area.     

Follow Up day:  A second day of P4C training can be arranged to give participants the "SAPERE Level 1" CPD qualification in P4C.  Will Ord was chairperson of SAPERE (the UK charity for P4C) from 2003 – 2006.  Will also can provide training on the SAPERE Level 2 & 3 courses if colleagues wish to become coaches or trainers in P4C in the longer term.

Introduction to Mindfulness

Who for?  The whole school community; teachers, pupils, support staff, & parents.

Mindfulness is about training the mind to be a "wonderful servant rather than a terrible master" (old Taoist saying).  Isn't it strange that we learn about hundreds of topics at school, but never about the actual thing that does all the learning / experiencing / feeling / thinking itself – the mind!  Mindfulness helps to redress this extraordinary omission in education.

This course is a very practical introduction to Mindfulness:  What is (& isn't) Mindfulness?  How can you & others practise it?  What's the evidence base for it?  How can it really benefit people?  What are the best resources? 

Will Ord interviews The Dalai Lama – 1995Will Ord interviews The Dalai Lama – 1995

Will has practised meditation for over 26 years, and began teaching pupils to meditate 18 years ago as an RE teacher.  He has been trained by masters in two major traditions, and has attended many retreats. 

Forget the media hype.  Come and find out about Mindfulness for yourself!


Parent & Governor Evenings:

Schools are increasingly interested in involving parents and governors in educational training.  The sessions can also directly contribute towards the new Ofsted requirements (2019).  These evenings can be for parents, or governors, or both groups together.  The evenings must follow a school INSET on the same day.  Areas that are covered include great learning, growth mindsets, great dialogue at home, and questioning.  The audience also gets a chance to appreciate the work and direction of the school.

Longer Term Projects:

These projects can last from just a few months to several years.  The aims, structure, content, and input levels are all flexible to suit the specific needs of the client.

Two Recent Examples: 

The Independent Learner Transition Project.

A two year project with the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) network of independent schools.  The aims focus on 'transition' from junior to senior school (& other Key Stage transitions) with a particular emphasis on independent learning.  A series of specialist training days are provided for a pair of project leaders from each school who develop the ILTP in their own context.  The training input includes work on the "5 Bridges of Transition", Carol Dweck's fixed & growth mindsets, the Philosophy for Children pedagogy, and John Hattie's work on Visible Learning.

The Great Learner Project

A one year project with 15 Buckinghamshire County Council schools (primary & secondary) that aimed to develop 'great learners'.  Pairs of teachers attended a series of specialist input days exploring 'great learners' and attained the SAPERE Level 1 qualification in P4C.  Each school also received a tailor made training to support colleagues in their context.  An Impact Conference concluded the year and the results were very impressive.  Here is just one of the many positive outcomes of the GLP:

"Two schools were inspected in the course of the project. Both schools achieved outstanding and in both cases the GLP/P4C was cited as a main factor, not least because of the engagement, involvement and enthusiasm of the pupils in their learning...  As one teacher said – "this needs to continue. It is the best thing I have ever been involved in as a teacher".

(Extract from BCC Report on the GLP – Bill Moore, County officer)