A Thinking School

Nurturing our children to think critically and creatively within a collaborative community.

We are proud to be the only nationally accredited Thinking School in Merton and the surrounding local boroughs.

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)

For more information visit the University of Exeter website. Click here; Thinking Matters to access their website which has a range of videos and articles on the benefits of being a thinking school

At Hillcross, we ensure that the Thinking Schools ethos is at the heart of everything we do. Our curriculum has been designed and adapted to ensure all children develop independence in Creative, Critical, Caring and Collaborative skills.

What it means to be an accredited Thinking School

As a Thinking School, we use a range of thinking tools to equip the children with the ability to think flexibly, freely and in more depth.  They also provide the children with the framework for individual and group problem solving and reflection. 

The following thinking tools are embedded within teaching and learning methods and within the day to day practices of the wider school community:

  • Blooms Taxonomy to support higher order thinking and questioning, which supports and challenges thinking.
  • Thinking Maps to provide a range of frameworks to organise and understand the eight thinking processes.
  • Philosophy for Children (P4C) creates a space for exploring critical and creative thoughts freely within a caring, collaborative community.
  • Thinkers’ Keys enable children to think flexibly and unlock creative thinking.
  • Thinking Hats create opportunities to think in more depth by helping the thinker to focus on specific thinking processes collaboratively. 
  • Habits of mind supports problem-solving, self and peer reflection and develops emotional intelligence and supports positive learning and behaviour choices.

These tools stimulate and extend children’s thinking and deepen their understanding so that they can confidently and fluently express their thoughts and ideas.  All members of the school community value each other’s contributions.

Children from Nursery to Year 6 use thinking tools across the curriculum and we encourage parents to become familiar with and to use the tools to support children in their home learning activities.

To ensure everyone within the Hillcross Community understands the tools we have developed some helpful presentations (see links to the right hand side of the page). These are designed to support families to understand the different thinking tools that we use thus enabling them to support their child to use them at home.

Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936