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Thinking Matters - CEO's Update March 2019

For a variety of reasons, this term has seen an increase in interest from organisations in the UK seeking to have their own internal trainers accredited.

Our team have therefore been across the country with the likes of the Aquila Diocese of Canterbury Multi Academies Trust where we have been working with a focused group of primary heads who, in turn will now lead the training in all the schools within their own MAT. This approach will have saved the MAT a significant amount of money from getting each school trained individually, as well as enabling a centralised platform from which to deliver their thinking vision.

We have also partnered with Leventhorpe School in Hertfordshire who, having seen such a difference in their own pupils since starting their journey to becoming a Thinking School, have now got their own team of excellent trainers who will work with their feeder primary schools.

Donaldson Review
Donaldson Review - New Curriculum for Wales

With Wales introducing a forward thinking, new curriculum in 2020 we are working with schools across the country, such as the inspirational Danescourt Primary, to help them prepare for this significant change. It is very refreshing to see the increased emphasis on ‘future proofing’ pupils by developing them holistically as both thinkers and learners.  An increased emphasis on thinking is also coming into the new Norwegian curriculum and we are delighted to be working with a team of trainers based in Oslo who will shortly be able to provide support to schools throughout Norway. These countries are part of an international recognition of the importance of developing a range of skills, attitudes and dispositions, in addition to academic attainment.

We are adding the final touches to our annual Thinking School Conference and are delighted to have three keynote speakers this year Professor Howard-Jones, University of Bristol, Professor Rose Luckin, UCL and author Alistair McConville as well as sixteen workshops led by teachers. We will have delegates from Norway, Thailand, China, Nigeria, Egypt and Jordan as well as from UK schools. This is our eleventh conference and the only one in the UK where so many people from Thinking Schools come together both in the UK and abroad.  This is their opportunity to share good practice and to hear how cutting-edge developments in fields such as Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence can inform best practice in their classrooms.

Induction training developed Nisai Learning

Together with our partners at Nisai Learning, we are currently trialling an on-line Induction programme for teachers moving to Thinking Schools. This programme will be available to all schools next term. In addition our Membership programme will be available to schools this summer and will provide resources dedicated to embedding thinking and learning within the curriculum, relevant research articles as well as discounts with organisations we recognise as providing quality services that will be of use to Thinking Schools.

Finally we are delighted that the latest evaluation undertaken by the University of Exeter has been published. Three years of data has been examined and the results demonstrate 

  1. The significant impact on Progress and Attainment in schools taking a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking.
  2. The remarkable achievement of disadvantaged students within Thinking Schools

Take a look at the full report here ...

Enjoy the other articles in our Newsletter and we very much look forward to seeing you at our Conference in June.

Richard Cummins
CEO, Thinking Matters