Evaluation and Outcomes
Weald of Kent Grammar School - A Thinking School
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
As a forward looking school, the Weald of Kent Grammar School is always looking at ways to improve our students’ education and the methods of teaching that we employ.
That is why in 2011, we decided to become a “Thinking School”. In other words a school recognised by the University of Exeter as:
‘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 students’ development 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, taken from the University of Exeter Cognitive Education Development Unit website)
We were given accreditation by the University of Exeter in 2014 and to see our story so far please click on the link below.
Over the last few years we have developed four main tools within the school:
Thinking Maps – Visual aids to help develop learning styles.
Thinkers Keys – Tools to encourage creativity in problem solving and learning.
Habits of Mind – Encouraging reflection and learning by focusing on the attitudes and disposition of the learner.
De Bono’s Thinking Hats – Developing a focus on the different ways of thinking.
The benefits have been, and continue, to be numerous, including developing student independence, resilience, creativity, team work and has ultimately improved our students’ chances in life. The students feel they have more tools to tackle learning and examinations and have the skills they need when they leave school on whatever path they choose.
Above is a link showing the Thinking School environment of the school and some of the work that the students have done.
When new students and staff enter the school they are confronted with the images and methods of the thinking tools from day one. They are then shown how to use the various tools in separate sessions and across the whole curriculum by knowledgeable staff, led by the Thinking Schools Drive Team which is made up of staff from all areas of the school.
It is our belief that the ideas behind Thinking Schools help to develop our students to become all round learners who are able to transfer their learning into their future lives.
Cognitive Education Co-ordinator