Our Thinking Schools Journey
“Education is not learning the facts, but the
training of the mind to think.”
We are currently in the first year of a three year journey towards becoming an accredited Thinking School
Why do we want to become a Thinking School?
At Bedford Primary School, we aim to enable each and every child to be able to think critically and independently and to understand how they learn best. When pupils fully understand how they think and learn they make greater progress, grow in resilience and become much more adaptable to change and in the face of challenge. They are also more equipped to make informed choices in life. All of these skills will serve them well in their future - a future within a rapidly changing digital world.
A Thinking School takes a whole school approach to developing pupil thinking and their cognitive (mental) capability to:
- think in a creative, critical and reflective way
- plan, reason, solve problems and tackle complex ideas
- understand how they learn best and use this knowledge and the associated skills and techniques throughout a much more meaningful curriculum
- learn quickly and from their experiences.
In embarking on this exciting journey, our aims and ambitions include:
- The development (with all staff and members our learning community) of a clear, common vision and set of beliefs - a set of beliefs based on the biggest difference makers in terms of transforming outcomes for our learners.
- Inclusion and acceptance that all children are capable of thinking and improving their capacity to think - we just have to create opportunities and levels of challenges that fire them up and ignite the pathways in their brains
- Gaining a deeper understanding of metacognition and its impact upon attainment, progress, independence and future success for our children
- Children thinking (and cognitively, working harder than staff) in all lessons
- Thinking, independence and co-operative learning skills become explicit and visible and the curriculum makes sense to pupils
- Increase in pupil enjoyment and satisfaction in learning - this in turn impacts positively upon pupil interactions and the levels of understanding and consideration they are able to show to their peers
- Improved levels of achievement and attainment for all learners
- Benefits felt by both staff and pupils alike in terms of positive psychological wellbeing
How will we achieve this goal?
In order to achieve this goal, a whole school approach will be necessary whereby all members of our Bedford learning community (including parents and school governors) are kept fully informed and involved in our Thinking School journey.
Our team of dedicated staff will need to be specially trained and methods will need to be introduced into the curriculum for teaching the skills of thinking and metacognition. Metacognition is: Thinking about thinking, learning about learning and knowing how you learn best. It also involves knowing your own strengths and being able to identify the thinking strategies you can use to address any gaps or areas for development. The greater the understanding, the greater the independence and the progress that can be made.
The Thinking School principles are founded in the very latest and most robust 'evidence-informed' approaches to teaching and learning, feedback, recording and marking .