Thinking Schools

We are delighted to have gained Advanced Thinking School Accreditation in July 2016.

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The award is testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication that is demonstrated by the staff here at Barbara Preistman Academy.

You can read more about Thinking Schools International by clicking here.

The latest report is written here : barbara-priestman-advanced-report-july-2016

We have been featured in the recent Thinking Schools Newsletter, to see more, please click here.

 

Thinking Schools Conference Friday 13th October 2017

Friday 13th October 2017 saw the first regional Thinking Skills Conference hosted jointly by Barbara Priestman Academy and Thinking Schools International (TSI).

It was a thought provoking day, where the focus was on cognitive education and different thinking processes/ strategies that could be used in the classroom.

Gordon Poad was our first keynote speaker. He shared with us his experience of working with some of the hardest to reach students and to consider why we do what we do in the classroom and the interventions that teachers use that really make a difference. His key message was to ‘be fully present and teach with your heart and your head.’

Delegates then took part in two workshops which looked at various thinking tools and methodologies that can be used in the classroom to help students think about their thinking and to help them transfer their learning from one area of the curriculum to another. Workshops were practical and designed to make delegates think about how they could use the strategies with their own students in their own setting.

The day was rounded off with our second keynote speaker; Professor Steve Higgins from Durham university. Steve is a former primary school teacher whose research interests include the areas of effective use of digital technologies for learning in schools, understanding how children’s thinking and reasoning develops, and how teachers can be supported in developing the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in their classrooms.

He talked about different pedagogies for thinking and the benefits of each and how often it is not the structural stuff but the relationships and interactions between staff and students that makes a difference to students’ learning.

The conference is just the beginning of the partnership work between Barbara Priestman and TSI and there will be a range of training opportunities on offer over the next two terms.

 

 

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Thinking Maps

Thinking Maps® were developed as a language for learning in 1988 by Dr. David Hyerle. There are eight maps in this language that are used by teachers and students for reading comprehension, writing process problem solving, and thinking skills improvement..

Each of the eight Thinking Maps is based on a fundamental cognitive skill such as comparing and contrasting, sequencing, classifying, and cause-effect reasoning. Much like carpenters using a set of tools, multiple Thinking Maps are used as a eight maps icon toolkit by students for constructing knowledge: for improving the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics as well as for problem-solving and the development of higher-order thinking abilities.

The Eight Maps are:
Circle, Tree, Bubble, Double Bubble, Flow, Multi- Flow, Brace, Bridge

thining-maps

Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats® is a tool that has been used by people in the business world and the educational community. This methodology of thinking was invented by Dr. Edward De Bono. He is considered an expert in the field of creative thinking and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill.

Dr. de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats® is a tool that can empower teachers to motivate students to use critical thinking and problem solving skills, while expressing inner creativity. The Six Hats® focus on a specific thinking skill. Students associate the coloured hats with key words and questions that will direct or redirect their thinking resulting in a richer learning experience. By implementing the Six Hats® into lessons, teachers can help students explore their own potential by taking an active role in their learning and enhance their creative thinking!

 

Questioning & Bloom’s

Information coming soon

Dramatic Enquiry

Dramatic Enquiry is a fusion of drama and Philosophy for Children.  In Dramatic Enquiries learners are placed in the centre of a fictitious dilemma and they have to decide for themselves about the questions they need to ask and the rights and wrongs of the given situation. It encourages all participants to be active, inquiring individuals.

The Enquiry provides a context for learning; different areas of the curriculum can be brought together rather than trying to teach them separately and current issues can be addressed in an active, engaging way, e.g.  We have addressed issues such as radicalisation through an enquiry where students interviewed four anonymous historical figures and discussed the question, “Is one man’s terrorist another man’s freedom fighter?”

Dramatic Enquiry challenges our students to see things from other people’s perspectives and to put themselves in other people’s shoes and think about how they would feel or react in certain situations.

Dramatic Enquiry is ‘drama’ based, so that students develop ways to ‘see through other eyes’, something that many people with ASD find particularly challenging. It is a valuable approach for students with ASD to practise and develop some of the skills relating to flexibility of thought, in particular theory of mind and emotional intelligence.

Staff and students enquiring together, helps students develop ownership over their enquiry. They are motivated by the challenge of making the enquiry work.

The impact Dramatic Enquiry has had on the school as a whole has been incredible. From the staff’s perspective they have all been enthused by this way of working and it has actively encouraged them to step out of their comfort zone and take risks with their teaching, reflect with colleagues, and then go back and try again! There has been an heightened understanding of how learning is best facilitated and the level of discussion around school has become much more precise and challenging, the staff relating experiences/ideas etc. to academic research/educational theory. From the students’ perspective they are much more engaged with learning as it is student led. They are becoming more articulate, self-aware and able to develop and move ideas on. They use the words: “fun”, “exciting” and there is an evident degree of urgency in their work – they see it as meaningful and relevant to the world around them.

The Court Case

The Court case was the most recent Dramatic enquiry that we participated in was the court case, which was aimed at the sixth formers. It took place on 13th April 2011. The subject of the court case was Human Rights. Previously, we had had discussions in groups about important issues in the world and eventually […]

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Alien School

Prior to having this dramatic enquiry, a group of people, including myself, gathered into the D.T. room and helped create some Aliens! The Aliens would be based on various personality traits of of people. We looked at certain characteristics and finally decided on four Aliens called Vol, Splodge, Strob and Loggy. Vol would be a hyperactive […]

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Plenty More Fish

This dramatic enquiry took place in the hall of Barbara Priestman; the dramatic enquiry was set on an island, where a group of people (the students) are suffering a shortage of fish, when they find a victim of a shipwreck from another island, where that island has better technology than the island the students are […]

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The Museum of Perfect Futures

This “Dramatic Enquiry” was mainly based outdoors, as we (the students) were shown an “Artefact” from the museum, which eventually was broken (completely by accident.), upon putting the “Artefact” back together, the map led us into the “Forest School” enclosure within our school. Following that we were introduced to a woman who happened to live […]

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The Memory Box

The Memory Box dramatic enquiry took place on 12th March 2009 during the events of Science Week. Jean played the role of a woman who had had an accident and lost all of her memories. We had to try to help her to remember who she exactly she was. We tried doing this in various ways such […]

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Solo Thinking

Information coming soon.l.

Philosophy for Students

Philosophy for Students (P4C), otherwise referred to as Community of Enquiry, is an approach to learning and learning that was founded by Professor Matthew Lipman.  P4C has developed over 35 years, and is practised in approximately 60 countries.

Students are taught how to create their own philosophical questions – a question to which there is no right or wrong answer. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue.  For example the question might be ‘is it ever ok to steal?’

The teacher, as facilitator, supports the students in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the students speak and listen to each other in the dialogue.  After the enquiry the students and facilitator reflect on the quality of the thinking, reasoning and participation, and suggest how they could improve; either as individuals or as a group (community).

P4C is intended to be a regular activity so that the students develop their skills and understanding over time.  The role of the facilitator is crucial to ensuring quality dialogue and progress and to encourage students to think more deeply about issues.

It is well documented that P4C has an impact on students’ cognitive, social and emotional development. P4C is about getting students to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves.