Critical Thinking

‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ Albert Einstein

In Reception and Key Stage 1 girls are introduced to critical thinking through the teaching of Philosophy. The programme enables even very small children to think big. Philosophy is often praised because of its 'effects'. It is thought worthwhile in so far as it improves scores in literacy, speaking and listening and maths tests. It is also praised for its effects on emotional awareness and thinking skills. However, it is also true that philosophising with children and young people is a good thing in itself. Philosophy calls on imagination and reasoning and puts these capacities to work exploring values, assumptions and vital concepts like justice, truth, knowledge and beauty. Children become reasonable in both senses of the word - they are adept at reasoning and they are open to the reasoning of others.

An introduction to ‘Thinking Skills’ in Key Stage 2 is a structured enrichment programme to promote critical thinking. It was developed to realise the potential that individual students have of being self-directed and capable of rigorous and original thought. Thinking Skills aims to foster creative, thinking pupils, not exam-passing automatons.

Across the whole school…

  • We encourage our pupils to believe that there is no one ‘right answer’. We encourage them to offer their ideas with confidence and not be put off by the fear of getting it wrong.
  • We develop pupils’ ability to respond to a rapidly-changing world, where the ability to problem solve and think creatively are increasingly valuable.
  • We encourage children to stand out from the crowd, to take risks and to put forward their own ideas.
  • We do all we can to keep alight the curiosity and creativity found in young children.