Thinking School Status and Cognitive Education
Redden Court School is proud to be recognised as a centre for best practice in the field of Cognitive Education. We achieved accreditation as a Thinking School by the University of Exeter in April 2013 and were just one of twenty secondary schools to be so designated at this time. We are currently working towards our re-accreditation and are developing our website so that all information can be made available to everybody in our school community.
A Thinking School – One Definition
A Thinking School is ‘an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place. This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities. Successful outcomes will be reflected in students across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.’ (Burden, 2006)
Outreach and Support
Redden Court School values the importance of making strong links with other schools. Primary liaison has played an important role in the way that we promote thinking skills within the community. This year, we have been sharing good practice with other Secondary Schools in the borough. For more information contact the Director of Cognitive Education, Mrs G Aukett.
Cognitive Education at Redden Court
Thinking Skills - Form Time
We believe form time is an extremely valuable part of the school day and should be used to assist students with their learning. Form timetables have now been introduced for each year group that include a day dedicated to developing cognition. Form Tutors are provided with various materials that allow students to develop their thinking skills during form time. In the first term, we focused on ‘P4C’ (Philosophy for Children) where students had the opportunity to explore a starting point through questioning and purposeful discussion.
We now offer ‘Brain Tech’ lessons on the Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Brain Tech allows students to develop metacognition and develop an appreciation and understanding of themselves as learners. In Year 7, students focus on what it takes to become an effective learner, the multiple intelligences and creative thinking. In Year 8, students focus on Edward DeBono’s ‘Thinking Hats’, emotional intelligence and the development of problem solving and revision skills. All students participate in a ‘P4C’ unit of work that allows them to develop their thinking and questioning skills as well as encouraging them to develop their own opinions and responses towards a topic. Developing a growth mindset is a core principle of both the subject and the teaching and learning culture at Redden Court School. Even though Brain Tech is only taught in Years 7 and 8, the key principles of metacognition are promoted and embraced by both staff and students (across all years) at the school.