Our recent International Conference was yet another success with delegates from the UK, Norway, Thailand, Nigeria, China, and Bulgaria - many from Thinking Schools. Along with the twenty workshops our two keynote inputs by Melissa Benn and Dr Joni Holmes gave us all plenty to think about - have a read of our feature Thanks for the Memory to find out more about Dr Joni Holmes's important research.
As part of our rebranding to Thinking Matters we have been busy revisiting our thinking schools model and have made what we believe to be some positive amendments, based on our experience and feedback from schools. We will be giving additional support to school Drive teams as it is these people who have responsibility for ensuring that the tools are thoroughly embedded across the school. They are also responsible for managing the change in culture which inevitably occurs once thinking becomes central. We'll be sending out updates about this support in the near future.
We are very encouraged by the recent evaluation by Dr. David Walters, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, which is very significant. It shows that the progress being made by pupils at accredited Thinking Schools is delivering an improvement that is the equivalent to well over a GCSE grade beyond what was predicted of them. Grade improvement is not the focus of the Thinking Matters approach but we understand the importance of it to schools. So to see a whole school approach to thinking delivering this significant benefit is the icing to our ambition of arming children with the thinking skills and learning behaviours required to succeed.
We continue to expand into other countries and we now have a licensee in Nigeria and are in discussions with organisations in two other countries. This brings the number of countries where we work to seven. In Thailand the nine pilot schools are making good progress and the first has now completed its training and is acting as a focus for other schools wanting to become thinking schools.
Here in the UK we have been busy providing training and support to a number of schools across the country. I will be very happy to arrange for you to visit an accredited school and to talk with teachers and pupils. The accreditation continues to be available through the University of Exeter and several schools have recently been recognised for their achievements.
I am sure you are looking forward to the summer holidays and I do hope you have a lovely break to recharge batteries.