A Thinking School
We are currently working towards Radnor House becoming an accredited Thinking School Via Exeter University
Click this link to the Exeter University Website to find out more: Exeter University Thinking School
Why become a Thinking School?
At Radnor House, we want to focus on developing the tools that our students need to become lifelong learners in the dynamic world we live in and to develop habits and skills that can help forge a successful independent life.
What is a Thinking School?
Let our partner Thinking Matters describe a Thinking School:
Thinking Matters defines a thinking school:
“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 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 across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and cooperative learning skills, high levels of achievement, and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning.”
For more information about Thinking Schools, please see: Thinking Matters Website
Step 1 – The main focus was Thinking Frames
Thinking Frames are a set of dual coding, graphic organisers that offer our students a way to improve knowledge recall and explicitly see, develop and reflect on their own cognitive processes. A separate frame exists for eight key thinking processes that are the fundamental scaffolds behind a pupil’s ability to answer exam questions, solve problems and develop ‘higher order’ thinking at Radnor House.
The Frames are used by all age groups across all subjects at Radnor House.
The benefit of Digital Thinking Frames is explained in this video:
For examples of how we have used Thinking Frames within teaching and learning for our pupils and in our staff development sessions, please see this document:
Step 2 – The Main focus was Bloom's Taxonomy
Blooms is a hierarchical system that shows the basic thinking skills of students from recalling information right to the top which involves evaluations via judgement and solutions. We believed that Blooms is an effective tool in developing teachers and students to become deeper and more critical thinkers, as well as developing the level of challenge for students. Our departments have designed and revised their own subject-specific Blooms Taxonomies for their subject, to help develop students to become critical thinkers who can come up with solutions for real-world problems. Blooms Taxonomy is used by exam boards when setting exams, so there is a benefit to be gained by using it effectively across the school. Look out for our Blooms Taxonomies in classrooms and corridors when on site.
To see examples of Blooms Taxonomy in our classrooms, see this document:
Radnor House Blooms Displays
We have continued to train staff and students each year on Thinking Frames to ensure Step 1 is embedded year-on-year, and is the first step in our student metacognition journey.
In summer 2023 we will be pursuing accreditation as a Thinking School by the University of Exeter.
Our journey beyond accreditation has already begun, both within Radnor House and externally with other schools. Watch this space for our digital pupil development tool.