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What is a Thinking School?

A Thinking School takes an explicit, evidence informed, whole school approach to developing pupils’ cognitive capability and intelligent learning behaviours.

The late Professor Bob Burden, arguably the first educator to coin the phrase 'a Thinking School' back in 2006, had a definition which still underpins Exeter University’s accreditation requirements today:

‘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 student’s 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)

Richard Cummins, former CEO of Thinking Matters, describes a Thinking School in the following video -

A fuller and deeper exploration of what makes a school a 'Thinking School' can be seen here - Thinking Schools - What are they?