At Hartley Primary Academy we believe that teaching children about their thinking and how to be successful learners is just as important as teaching them the necessary elements of the curriculum. This life long skill means that children can apply themselves to any situation or problem they face in life. We have a whole school approach to teaching thinking skills so whether your child is in Reception or Year 6, they will be encouraged to think about how to develop themselves as thinkers and learners.
We are striving to become an accredited thinking school (through the University of Exeter) and we use a number of techniques at Hartley Primary Academy to demonstrate our thinking ethos. We refer to ‘Habits of Mind’ to make children aware of the different elements to the thinking process; we use ‘Thinking Maps’ to give children a visual aid to display their thinking; and we have created our own take on P4C (Philosophy for Children) by having all children taking part in ‘Thinking Families’ to help children pose questions and solve problems. Thinking Families take place fortnightly and the children mix with children from other classes in their key stage to discuss and question current events. Alongside these three elements our STAIRS to Success (Self-Confident, Tenacious, Aspiring, Independent, Responsible and Sensible) are well-established in the school.
We have recently introduced a ‘Passport to Thinking’ to all children in the school. This passport documents the five STAIRS to Success and gives children a specific place to record evidence of when they have used these STAIRS. This allows the children to take more ownership over the development of their thinking and to strive to become a successful learner.