Advanced Accredited Thinking School

Cognitive Approach to Education

As part of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, we take pride in the unique approach we take to education: we provide our children with the skills and tools they need to think in a variety of ways and become lifelong learners. The transferrable Thinking Tools that we teach our pupils are designed to prepare them for the range of scenarios, dilemmas and circumstances that they may face in later life as part of modern society.

The University of Exeter’s School of Education – which leads the way in research on Metacognition, Thinking Skills and Creativity – provides a framework for schools to become recognised Thinking Schools. We are proud of our Level 2 accreditation by the University and this award is testament to application of both staff and students to the Thinking School philosophy.

We were delighted with University of Exeter's report, which highlighted the positive impact our thinking culture has had for our students:

  • The Pupil Drive Team strongly reflects the school’s focus on pupil voice, independence and empowerment, and is instrumental in advocating the school’s thinking ethos.
  • The school has extensive practices to develop children’s social and emotional attitudes and skills
  • As a founding member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, the school is very (pro)active in disseminating their practice within the Trust
  • There is a clear commitment throughout the school to ensuring that the thinking tools and approaches are used in ways that are meaningful for pupils and staff

What is a Thinking School?

A Thinking School is unique in their focus to share with your child the tools to become a life-long learner, and to develop the best possible habits for success in life. It is an educational community which involves both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively. 

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. These tools are used in tandem with an approach to teaching that instils a growth mindest 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.

Thinking about Our Thinking: Hats, Maps and Keys

A core part of Cognitive Education is the use of 'Thinking Tools'. Students in our classroom will learn to structure and organise their thinking through the use of Thinking Hats, Maps and Keys. 

Each tool helps navigate students through three distinct pathways: Hats Organise thinking; Maps Visualise thinking; and Keys Engage and Motivate thinking. Together they form a comprehensive and rich structure children utilise for problem solving and creative thinking. It is our aim to develop our young people into lifelong learners and we firmly believe children will find themselves continuing to use this framework when they progress to Secondary School and beyond.