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Alwoodley Primary School

Learning Together, Growing Stronger.

Thinking about Thinking

Alwoodley Primary School has been reaccredited as an Advanced 

Thinking School by Thinking Schools@Exeter at the University of Exeter.

The Advanced Thinking School Status has been awarded until July 2024.  


A Thinking School is, ‘an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place. This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities. Successful outcomes will be reflected in students’ development across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.’ (Burden, 2006)



We are thrilled to that Alwoodley Primary School has been asked and agreed to becoming a Hub school in the Thinking Schools Network. This means we will support visitors in understanding more about developing a whole school approach to metacognition. We have also committed to  sharing best practice and ideas with the network via a variety of mediums. This is a huge privilege for our school and shows our long standing dedication to developing cognitive education and life long learners.

We promote active thinking throughout school. In doing so we hope to help our children to become creative and independent learners.  We have a drive team who lead thinking skills across the school and this team is led by our cognitive education coordinator, Miss J Hill. 


The three main thinking tools we have embedded in our school are:

De Bonos Thinking Hats


These are 6 colour coded hats which encourage children to apply different

thought processes to a challenge.


      Red Hat Feelings

      Yellow Hat Positive points

      Black Hat Things to be cautious of

      White Hat Facts you know and wish to know.

      Green Hat New ideas

      Blue Hat Managing the situation. 

This is linking the hats and identifying gaps.


Philosophy for Children (P4C)


This is used for children to debate, question, reflect, justify and develop their thinking about a range of deeper issues.


Some questions might include:


    •  Is it better to be a child or an adult?


    •  What’s more important family or friendship?


    •  Should animals be kept in captivity?



Thinking Maps

The thinking maps program consists of eight maps that correspond with fundamental thinking processes. The circle map is used for defining in context; the bubble map for describing; the flow map for sequencing and ordering; the brace map for identifying part whole relationships; the tree map for classifying; the double bubble for comparing and contrasting; the multi flow for analysing causes and effects and the bridge map for seeing analogies. These maps are a “common visual language” for all pupils in all subject areas.

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

Winnie the Pooh 


Statement from the Chair of Governors, 2017

Results from perception of self survey

Learner Survey  

A survey to help us understand academic self perception

Questioning techniques

Lesson Study Pro Forma

Monitoring form

Vikings Circle Map


Still image for this video

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If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach please contact the school directly.