What is a Thinking School?
An educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place. This involves both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities. Successful outcomes are reflected in students across a wide range of abilities, demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.
The Six Starting Points
The journey to becoming a Thinking School involves a strong commitment and careful planning.
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Key Points for Our Trust
- Children first: To provide a stimulating learning environment for all where learners feel safe to explore knowledge and understanding. We believe that children learn best when they are motivated, clear about expectations in their work and behaviour, feel valued, secure and confident, are challenged and receive constructive feedback about their performance.
- Aspire: To be the best they can be. We believe that all staff and pupils can aspire for personal and professional prowess and become empowered through the Thinking philosophy.
- Challenge: To actively shape the minds, attitudes and habits of young people through a framework of cognitive education that enables them to become the master of their own destiny. We believe that pupils require an accurate reflection of what they are good at and need to develop personal insight and manage uncertainty confidently. Developing skilled, independent, reflective learners is part of our Vision.
- Achieve: For all stakeholders to demonstrate the highest levels of thinking and habits. We want our pupils to be questioning in nature, achieving the highest levels of independent and interdependent prowess.
Our “Thinking School” approach is consistent with the aims below and helps to ensure that:
- Pupils in TSAT are supported to think for themselves, through the development of a thorough understanding of purposeful thinking tools that they can use to aid and monitor their own progress.
- Staff in TSAT are encouraged to think accurately and reflectively about their practice and understand a range of thinking tools that can be used to support student motivation and progress.
Every partnered school uses a standardised Thinking Toolkit which consists of hats, keys and maps used to focus and guide student’s learning.
These tools are used in tandem with an approach to teaching that instils a growth mindset and ‘can do’ attitude. Through their time in a Thinking School, students will develop the right habits to ensure they are successful throughout education and beyond.
We want every student in our schools to be inquisitive and confident in themselves. Our thinking toolkit is how we support them through this journey. Read more on the relevant pages below for a more in-depth guide through the specific components that comprise a Thinking School.
A Thinking School is more than just a title, to become one the school has to earn the Thinking accreditation from Exeter University.