Thinking Schools

Leads: Mrs Kearney & Mrs Jennings “I think, therefore I am” Rene Descartes

Over the past year, Eaves has been working towards becoming a ‘Thinking School’. Our school ‘Drive Team’ have led the project with the aim of embedding the Thinking School approach across the whole school, ‘a desire to develop independent thinkers and learners’

At Eaves, we aim to enable each and every child to be able to think critically and independently and to understand how they learn best.  When pupils fully understand how they think and learn they make greater progress, grow in resilience and become much more adaptable to change and in the face of challenge.  They are also more equipped to make informed choices in life.  All of these skills will serve them well in their future – a future within a rapidly changing digital world.

  • A Thinking School takes a whole school approach to developing pupil thinking and their cognitive (mental) capability to:
  • think in a creative, critical and reflective way
  • plan, reason, solve problems and tackle complex ideas
  • understand how they learn best and use this knowledge and the associated skills and techniques throughout a much more meaningful curriculum
  • learn quickly and from their experiences.

Our Aims

In embarking on this exciting journey, our aims and ambitions include:

  • The development (with all staff and members our learning community) of a clear, common vision and set of beliefs – a set of beliefs based on the biggest difference makers in terms of transforming outcomes for our learners.
  • Inclusion and acceptance that all children are capable of thinking and improving their capacity to think – we just have to create opportunities and levels of challenges that fire them up and ignite the pathways in their brains
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of metacognition and its impact upon attainment, progress, independence and future success for our children
  • Children thinking (and cognitively, working harder than staff) in all lessons
  • Thinking, independence and co-operative learning skills become explicit and visible and the curriculum makes sense to pupils
  • Increase in pupil enjoyment and satisfaction in learning – this in turn impacts positively upon pupil interactions and the levels of understanding and consideration they are able to show to their peers
    Improved levels of achievement and attainment for all learners
    Benefits  felt by both staff and pupils alike in terms of positive psychological wellbeing

Thinking Frames

This year we have introduced Thinking Frames in lessons across KS1 and KS2. The Frames can be used by all age groups across all subjects.

Thinking Frames are organisers that offer our children a way to improve knowledge recall and explicitly see, develop and reflect on their own thoughts. There are a range of different frames, which you can see below, which develop ‘higher order’ thinking.

Our children find they help to view their ideas more clearly and develop an independence in their learning.


This year we have embedded the use of Flashbacks in both KS1 and KS2.
They have formed part of all our lessons across the curriculum. They can be used in a range of ways to practice the skill of retrieving previous knowledge from our long-term memory.
We have studied our brain and looked at how much we can hold in our short-term memories. We now understand the rest of our learning is stored in our long-term memory and we need to practice the skill of retrieving when we need previous knowledge in our current tasks.
Below is an example of a range of flashbacks we have used this year. In some lessons, verbal Flashbacks have been used instead.
Flashbacks have been really beneficial in moving our learning forward.

Thinking Schools - Gallery

Thinking Schools - Links & Downloads