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thinking schools

Supporting Statement from Head Teacher

I am delighted to announce that the School has begun its journey towards becoming an accredited ‘Thinking School’. This is awarded by Thinking Schools @Exeter (formerly the Cognitive Education Development Unit), University of Exeter.

We believe that thinking plays such an important part in helping students learn as effectively as possible and prepare them for both public examinations and the wider life outside the school. Like all good schools, great importance is placed on the quality of teaching and learning with a focus on long-term acquisition of knowledge and skills,  as well as qualifications that open doors to the next stage of students' lives.  As we work towards becoming a Thinking School, we strive to encourage the whole school community to think reflectively, creatively and critically.  We aim to have cognition at the heart of our practice and we will continue to nurture and develop an ethos of thinking across the school.  We believe this focus on cognition will encourage our students to become more resilient learners who embrace challenge and realise their true potential whilst also focusing on a holistic approach to education.

In his article in the Creative Teaching and Learning Journal, Bob Burden, a previous Director of the Cognitive Education Centre at Exeter, defined a Thinking School as “an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to give regular, careful thought to everything that takes place. This will involve learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities”.

We aim to ensure that students are taught to have the ability to ask perceptive and thoughtful questions and develop high order thinking skills. In addition we seek to ensure that all students can think reflectively, creatively and critically in all aspects of the wider-curriculum. In class we will use a range of “thinking tools” including Bloom’s hierarchy in the form of the ‘Thinking Ladder’.

Our Thinking Schools lead is Gemma Aukett, Head of Windsor House, who is well-supported by Kelly Fairweather who manages Teaching and Learning across the curriculum.

Mr A. Moss

The Drive Team

At Gordon’s we want to ensure that all of our students have the ability to achieve their full potential; metacognition (thinking about thinking) and nurturing a culture of effective thinking and learners will be key to us ensuring that our learners are prepared for both examinations and the world that awaits them beyond the school gates. The Drive Team are working together to ensure that the Thinking Schools initiative is at the forefront of our pedagogy. 

Thinking Schools Lead:

Gemma Aukett

Assistant Head Teaching and Learning (Challenge):

Kelly Fairweather

Deputy Head Teaching and Learning:

Andrew Reeve

Learning Support (Differentiation):

Tegan Jones

Head of Department (DT):

Katie Nash

Link Governor:

Jane Valner

For more information, including the accreditation criteria, please use the link below: