Thinking Schools International Growing thinking schools from the inside out

Update from Richard Cummins, March 2017

Posted on the 09th March 2017

Spring is just around the corner and there is much activity in the garden – as there is also in schools here in the UK and also abroad. Schools are coming together to undertake joint training in order to share ideas as they take a whole-school approach to the teaching of thinking. Recently we began work with ten schools in Hillingdon and they will form small groups of two and three schools as they introduce and embed new thinking tools.

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Students from Amnuay Silpa – Thailands first thinking school

Abroad there is much activity in Thailand where the pilot schools are making good progress. Each school is funded by a company and receives five days of training each year for three years.  The training is led by our colleagues based in Amnuay Silpa School. Recently the school recruited a number of British teachers and opportunities to teach at the school will occur next year.

I recently visited Barbara Priestman Academy in Sunderland, which caters for students with complex learning difficulties. A truly uplifting experience and the opportunities to talk with students revealed how important the development of thinking skills is for the young people. A number of people have visited the academy and visitors are always welcome.

thinking pointsYou may be interested to know that Dr David Hyerle has developed a new set of visual tools, called Thinking Points. These are now available for use in the UK and we are introducing them to our partners in other countries.

Our plans for this year’s Annual Conference (12 & 13 June) are well underway and we are delighted that our two keynote speakers will be Professor Vivienne Baumfield from the University of Exeter and Andy Griffith who has a strong reputation as a speaker and education innovator.  Have a read of Andy Griffith’s Newsletter article on Metacognition here.  In addition we will again have some 25 workshops, mostly led by practitioners.   More information on workshops will be out soon, and booking details can be found here.

Finally, I have been very impressed by the work of Herts for Learning and their Parent 2 Parent (P2P) programme, focused on developing school and parent partnership.  Having met a number of parents myself it was clear that they had gained significantly in their understanding of the development of their children and how they can help and become more involved in their children’s education. See here for further details of the programme.

Richard Cummins
CEO 
Thinking Schools International