A Thinking School

ThinkSt. Benet’s Catholic Primary School has achieved recognition as a Thinking School as accredited by Exeter University.

This has been the culmination of three years work, which started with a visit by the head to a course run by Kestrel where Dr. Gill Hubble delivered on Developing a Thinking School. This lead to a visit to Hunter Hall School in Penrith, which is an accredited Thinking School. The school audited its provision for thinking skills and questioning techniques and identified the steps that it could take to formalise the teaching of thinking skills throughout Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Two. The school organised training in David Hyerele’s Thinking Maps for the nine schools that feed into a shared Secondary school.

Following this, the school was involved in seeking accreditation, by working closely with two of these schools to develop a joint plan to develop the skills of children and staff.

The result of this has seen the school gain accreditation through a systematic approach to the teaching of thinking skills, a valuing of creative and innovative thought and an embedding of skills, dispositions and attitudes which enhance standards and provide both children and adults with a range of learning behaviour which can impact beyond the classroom. Jointly, the three schools accessed training on P4C, Habits of Mind and De Bono’s Six Hat Thinking.

St. Benet’s timetabled a “Thinking Hour” for the discreet teaching of the tools, in addition to the use of these techniques across all curricular areas. At this stage the school has fully embedded P4C, Thinking Maps and De Bono’s Six Hat Thinking. The school has a plan to further enhance their use over the next three years and develop alternative forms of assessment.