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The Thinking Families scheme has continued to play a prominent role in developing thinking at Oaklands. We run a Thinking Families session every half term, alternating between a Thinking Families lunch, when families sit together to discuss a range of topics and share opinions, and the Thinking Families Day, where we have a specific focus that is approached in a range of styles to engage all children in their thinking and learning. Take a look at the photo gallery of recent Thinking Families activities. Recent dates of Thinking Families days:
Diversity of Celebration – 15th December 2015
Democracy Day – 24th May 2016
The Christmas Story – 13th December 2016
Get Active – 21st March 2017
Taskmaster – 27th June 2017
Around The World – 18th December 2017
Science Day – 19th March 2018
P4C in maths
We have been looking at ways to develop our use of P4C across the curriculum. Mrs Jones has been sharing what she learnt from her recent courses with staff and we are already using ideas in class. Click on the link below to see how our understanding of what helps us learn is particularly applicable in maths. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3icoSeGqQtY
Learning is inextricably linked to how we approach the act of learning. There has been plenty of recent development in understanding and developing a positive mindset towards learning. At Oaklands, we decided that we already had a solid base for developing an Oaklands Mindset using the key aspects identified in the Oaklands badge – Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn. Based on the 6 core attitudes: Challenge, Ambition, Independence, Communication, Enjoyment, Friendship We have been developing our vision of what underpins our learning at Oaklands Junior School. Staff and children have had to opportunity to contribute to building the template and fleshing out the details through INSET days, assemblies and the School Council. The details of this exciting development will be shared with our school community during the Summer Term, and we will be inviting input from all members of our community as we continue to develop our ethos. For an insight into the rationale behind developing a positive mindset, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTXrV0_3UjY
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
Our first ‘Thinking tool’ began with P4C in 2012. Teachers and teaching assistants attended training from ‘The Philosophy Man’ Jason Buckley where we learnt how to develop children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration of ideas. Children have embraced this learning knowing that their ideas and the ideas of others have value. There is not always a right or wrong answer – the important part is that children gain the confidence to have an opinion, ask questions and learn through discussion.
At Oaklands Junior School, we use P4C for stand-alone enquiries, based on a stimulus, as well as in lessons that are based on a topic that we are studying as part of the new National Curriculum. Paula Jones is our P4C leader and has undertaken further training to support this role.
Our second ‘Thinking tool’ was introduced in 2013 and parents were invited to an information evening to learn more. Parents, governors and staff were all inspired by Alison Penstone’s presentation and enthusiasm. This is a powerful tool which is used to aid children’s thinking. The consistency in using the language of ‘Thinking Maps’ throughout all subjects enables children to become more independent in their learning and more importantly take their thinking on to a more complex level! It was a great evening that really got everyone Thinking!
Click on the image to see our parent information presentation.
Write from the Beginning … and Beyond
Our third ‘Thinking tool’ which was introduced to staff and children in September 2014 is a writing program called ‘Write from the Beginning… and Beyond’ using ‘Thinking Maps’ as a starting point for planning and developing writing. We are using this program to encourage children to be creative, whilst at the same time, teaching them to structure their ideas coherently.