Thinking Points Training
(Sessions led by a consultant from Thinking Schools International)
Over the course of two half days, the staff at Redden Court School, including Learning Facilitators were introduced to a set of visual tools which we believed would make a difference to learning outcomes for the students. We had heard from other schools that visual tools, each related to a specific thinking process had helped them to make a breakthrough in terms of student independence and ability to structure ideas and thoughts, making their thinking visible. We felt that this would provide an essential skill set for the students.
During the second half day the consultant noted that staff had grasped the fundamentals of Thinking Points, as they are called, and applied them creatively to their subject content. Even before this second session in which the use of visual tools are extended and explored more fully many teachers had begun to use the Point Patterns in combinations so that students could identify several thinking processes within one activity that required higher order executive functions. Some teachers were able to show that students had themselves been able to make these combinations and the session led teachers to see how the Point Patterns could also be used to deconstruct and therefore more fully comprehend text, both factual and fiction.
We had begun to collect evidence of the understanding and application of the visual tools across all subjects and create opportunities for staff to share innovative use of them. This continues, but now with emphasis on student mastery, confidence and deployment of the tools. We are seeing evidence of more ‘cross curricular,’ identification of thinking processes, essential to our growth as a Thinking School and more importantly as a tool kit for students in the stages of their education yet to come.