Thinking Skills at All Faiths
At All Faiths we aim to give pupils the tools to take control of their own learning. A major part of this is our focus on the development of thinking skills. We believe that cognitive education is vital for pupils to confidently solve problems and apply their learning across the curriculum and in the wider world. Our belief is that we have a responsibility to make sure our pupils are fully able to make the most of their time at school and beyond. We do this by providing secure foundations and support systems on which pupils can structure their thinking in any given situation. We hold De Bono Thinking School status and are accredited by Exeter University as a Thinking School in recognition of the teaching and learning techniques used from Nursery to Year 6.
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6 Thinking Hats
Teachers and TAs have been trained in the use of Dr Edward De Bono’s “6 Thinking Hats”. They are a tool used to structure thinking and remove the confusion that can come during creative thinking. Pupils must control their thinking by using one mode of thinking at a time.
Teachers and TAs have also been trained in the use of Tony Ryan’s “Thinker’s Keys”. A toolkit of strategies used to foster creative thinking; the “Keys” are statements or questions which reinforce the principles of DeBono’s green hat thinking. They provide a way for pupils to think about issues in a different way so fostering creative thinking. We provide a positive environment because an idea can never be wrong, pupils feel reassured that if they put their ideas forward, they will be nurtured and developed.
Every 2 weeks pupils are set a philosophical question to answer using the “Thinking Skills” approach. As there usually is no wrong answer to a philosophical question, it is the perfect chance for pupils to unleash their inner creativity and work together with their families to have a really good think!
Thinking Homework Club
An ever evolving club, this year has the seen the invitation of whole families and parents/carers to Thinking Homework Club. Pupils are given the opportunity to complete their homework using the resources available at school. They are invited to explore the full depth of the question in small groups, usually family based, while members of staff share their strategies and guidance with parents/carers.
P4C – Philosophy 4 Children
Staff have been trained in the delivery of P4C, a thinking tool designed to allow children of all ages to explore the philosophical nature of their thinking. The children are initially trained in the techniques before control is handed over fully and they have the power to shape conversation and thinking. You’d be surprised how deeply philosophical conversation can become!
The Wider Curriculum
As part of our curriculum pupils are encouraged to use their thinking skills to explore aspects of new learning or events. We give pupils the chance to investigate the choices available in the development of their school and curriculum.
In an age where the internet has fast become the most significant source of data and information, it is ever more important that children grow into confident and able thinkers. At All Faiths, we are sure that the work we are doing is a significant contribution towards this becoming a reality.