Learning how to think and developing positive learning habits are integral to everything we do.
You’d think we all know how to use our brains but thinking is a skill like any other – there are infinite variations and they all improve with practise.
Our Thinking Toolkit
By gently sowing the seeds of critical thinking and encouraging creative and reflective learning, we introduce and practise thinking skills from an early age .
Active thinking begins with our ‘thinking toolkit’ which we use to introduce big concepts in easy ways. Getting our girls and boys thinking also means capturing their imagination and encouraging them to explore new ideas.
It’s hard to think in the abstract at this age, so we discuss the characteristics of good learners with the children and choose a familiar character who embodies their ideas.
Take Alice in Wonderland as an example. She’s our route into curiosity and enthusiasm – her interest in finding out what’s happening and persevering when there isn’t an easy answer took her down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
Tigger exemplifies humour and the ability to laugh at yourself if something goes wrong – he’s always into something new and always smiles and tries again, even if things don’t go according to plan.
Our poster boy for resilience is Nemo, who shows that if you want to have exciting adventures, you have to keep going even when the going gets tough.
Other qualities we explore include creativity (using our imagination and dreaming), independence and initiative, which involves building a mental portfolio of different strategies that we have the confidence to try, even in unexpected situations.
Our children really enjoy creating, organising and evaluating their own work – a process known as Plan-Learn-Do-Review, where they take charge.
The children might decide to embark on a project to build their very own space rocket! Starting with their ideas, they draw a detailed design and plan what they would need, from yoghurt pots and shoe boxes to glitter and glue. Next comes the learning through online or library research and an opportunity to refine their plan. Then it's the exciting 'do' day when the children bring their ideas and projects to life. Finally, the children assess how closely their final creation resembles the original pictures and ideas that sparked their imagination.