Thinking smart

Are your children thinking smart?

A few years ago, Hinchley Wood Secondary School began to use the RSA’s Opening Minds Curriculum to transform the way the children learnt in their school. Starting with telling all Year 7’s that they are smart, ‘Thinking Smart’ then explains that they are all different and therefore smart in different ways, and enables them to evaluate their own skills. How they are ‘Thinking Smart’.

In this way, the emphasis has been taken off the knowledge that they soak up, and put onto the ‘Thinking Smart’ skills they are practising. All these skills are transferable across the whole school curriculum and referred to and used in each lesson. They are also skills which they will need in life. The children know what they’re good at and what they need to work on. They are more confident and completely engaged in their learning because they are discovering who they are, what their peers are like and they are bringing more energy to their lessons. The school has even noticed a 50% drop in behaviour problems and an 80% drop in exclusions!

All this ‘Thinking Smart’ has been achieved through using RSA’s ‘Opening Minds’ Curriculum, which is now used in 200 schools across the country. It’s based around the 5 key competencies of:

  1. Citizenship
  2. Learning
  3. Managing Information
  4. Relating to people
  5. Managing Situations

RSA Opening Minds is designed to promote innovative and integrated ways of thinking about¬†education and the curriculum. Each school uses these key competencies to design and develop a curriculum for their own schools, to create a way for every pupil to be ‘Thinking Smart’.

With much success, including approval from Ofsted, this approach also meets the CBI’s requirements of what skills they are looking for in school leavers, enabling these children to develop and excel in these, while learning and applying core skills across the curriculum.

Find out more about Opening Minds