I'm Jason Buckley, founder of P4HE. I do most of our Philosophy, Debate, Philosophy Explorers, Writers' Room and Book Club sessions. Many moons ago, I briefly home-educated myself for my A-levels before studying philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. I now live in Cambridge again, on a narrowboat, so if I'm at home when I zoom, you might see the odd swan flying past, or hear me voicing the boat's shrieks of pain as an incompetent rower scrapes the paintwork.
Before going into teaching, I ran various businesses including a firework shop. I taught English at secondary schools for a few years but prefer being my own boss, so I run P4HE, Gift Courses (long history of residentials for bright, curious youngsters, hoping to get back to that soon), Outspark (DofE and such for schools) and The Philosophy Man, where I write and train teachers to do philosophy in schools.
I'm currently in the "Oh my goodness what have I bitten off" stage of writing a series of young adult novels involving time-travel, climate change and the occasional riot. My hobbies mostly revolve around slow inconvenient ways of moving from one place to another for no good reason - narrowboating, sailing, kayaking, cycling and caving. Also musical improv and writing riddles.
Charlie hosts Improv, Chatterboxes, Shakespeare and Dungeons and Dragons, and sometimes Debate or Explorers.
He is an actor, improviser and teacher. A leading actor with the Australian Shakespeare Company and recognised as “a master of improvisation... a leading force in Melbourne’s improvised comedy world” (Herald Sun), Charlie moved to London to complete his MA in Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Since graduating, Charlie has been endorsed by Arts Council England for the Global Talent visa and performs across the UK with Impromptu Shakespeare, teaches improvisation with the Nursery, and acts and directs for Inventive Productions’ series of immersive experiences. Charlie has taught for Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, the Australian Shakespeare Company’s Young Bards, 16th Street Actors Studio’s Youth Program, the Victorian School of Performing Arts, the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts and The Improv Conspiracy Training Centre.
“Charlie is stupidly talented – quick, smart, with acting chops and an infectious joy. He’s a pleasure to workshop with and super fun to play with.” Cale Bain (Managing Director, Improv Theatre Sydney; Improv Director, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Australia)
Ruth Stanway Woodings, Course Coordinator, Parent of Gifted Children
Hello, mine is the voice you're likely to hear if you phone GIFT.
I have two gifted children - one in mainstream school and one home educated. My eldest was introduced to GIFT by Potential Plus UK several years ago and we've been passionate advocates ever since. I've been working with Jason since 2017 to support the GIFTers we have and to reach out to the ones we haven't met yet.
I didn't have a great time at school - I was always in trouble for asking questions or staring out of the window. The headmaster wrote in my leaver's report that I had "a cavalier attitude." Fortunately I was able to bumble through until university, when someone (a properly bearded professor) sat me down and explained that some people have brains that work a bit differently - sometimes faster, often taking a different route to a conclusion, able to link ideas that other people might not connect.
I wish I had known this stuff as a child and had the peer network that GIFT gives these kids.
I've worked in theatre, in corporate strategy, business intelligence, with dementia patients, on international conferences, for famous newspaper, in the energy sector, as a lobbyist in a Whitehall office, for a giant PR firm, for a tiny charity....and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!