At NHP we believe there are essential thinking skills that are crucial to learning and life beyond school. Through our curriculum, we strive to develop in our pupils the ability to think critically, collaboratively and creatively and to adopt these skills when reflecting on their own learning, and even behaviour. We aim to develop responsible, reflective and resilient individuals who have a good sense of community and their role in the wider world. We do this in a caring and supportive environment by providing practical ways of developing good thinking, questioning and communication skills.
We consider ourselves a ‘thinking school’ in which all members of our community share a common language where strategies and tools are used in all aspects of school life enabling teachers, pupils and parents to have a deep understanding of how to learn and think effectively and efficiently. Pupils develop an awareness of themselves as learners and thinkers and put into practice ways to develop the dispositions and learning habits that are
the hallmark of successful and responsible young people.
The ‘NHP Thinking Skills Toolbox’ provides everyone with a framework to articulate their thoughts effectively and to develop good habits of learning. Teachers, children and parents can dip into the toolbox and, depending on the problem or task, pull out a range of strategies to support their thinking from De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to NHP Habits, Thinking Maps, questioning techniques, graphic organisers, Bloom’s taxonomy and so on.
Every class has a weekly Philosophy for Children (P4C) session where the teachers and children can, through questions and discussion, explore
philosophical concepts, big issues, rights and wrongs - and in so doing learn to respect the views and opinions of others. Deeply embedded in these sessions are all the skills necessary to interact effectively in the modern world: listening with understanding and empathy, being resilient, thinking flexibly, managing impulsivity and taking responsible risks. It enables our children to communicate with clarity and precision. We have found that what children gain from P4C sessions informs all curricular areas and approaches to learning.