Why Thinking Schools? - Barton Court Grammar School

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09/05/24

Late in March, students enjoyed our latest careers fair. Thank you to the local businesses and course providers for coming along to inspire our students. Read about the event at: pic.twitter.com/4d8FyqTefK

06/03/24

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12/12/23

Thank you to Abbie from , one of our school charities, for coming in last week to talk to our students about the work they do.We are looking forward to continuing to raise lots of money to support their cause. pic.twitter.com/6fWGNjA7FO

12/12/23

We're extremely proud of Toral in Y12 who was selected to play for the first ever U18 female Barbarians squad this weekend. The team was selected to play against Rugby School to celebrate 200 years of rugby union. An amazing experience and an excellent achievement. pic.twitter.com/mMtZfPMjyf

17/11/23

There's a real & growing concern re how many young people share inappropriate images online, leading to potential exploitation, blackmail & harm from a young age & leaving a lasting digital footprint. If you share it, you're involved. Speak to the DSL team if you've concerns. pic.twitter.com/LNQ3U09XeH

16/11/23

We were delighted to welcome the BBC Bitesize Careers Roadshow last week. Students learnt about a wide variety of career pathways in fashion, TV production & academia which many found very helpful and interesting pic.twitter.com/dhjOOePsQ0

09/11/23

Y12 Health & Social Care students enjoyed a visit to Medicine, Health & Social Care Dept's Simulation Suite. With dummies that can be programmed to simulate different disorders students practiced their CPR skills & saw who was the most accurate with compressions! pic.twitter.com/UCylXt9upM

09/11/23

We are looking for three new Exam Invigilators so if you, or anyone you know, is interested please click the link below:

08/11/23

We were delighted to open the Schools’ Lunchtime Concerts at this year's Canterbury Festival. Y7-Y13 students presented a variety of styles & the Barton Manor Djembe Drummers, who were the opening act joined us. The organizers described it as “a hard act to follow". pic.twitter.com/RwxQqiyS24

30/10/23

Y11 enjoyed a great trip to The Globe last term to see a production of Macbeth. They really enjoyed the immersive experience of being a "groundling" with some having lines delivered directly to them! pic.twitter.com/3EVO0LLwpB

25/10/23

🚨 it’s coming 🚨 We know it’s a ‘bit’ early but we have to get ready. Team up with family/friends/colleagues this November to help us help those who need it pic.twitter.com/UxfWbgwEgD

25/10/23

We are seeking an Attendance & Cover Officer to work term time only. Should you, or someone you know, be interested, please click the link below.

24/10/23

Amazing self portrait from a student in Y8 in the style of Kehinde Wiley who the year group have been studying.#art pic.twitter.com/VbI9F0kuyB

23/10/23

🚨 it’s coming 🚨 We know it’s a ‘bit’ early but we have to get ready. Team up with family/friends/colleagues this November to help us help those who need it pic.twitter.com/UxfWbgwEgD

17/10/23

Y5 students from local primary schools discovered last week what it's like to learn languages at BCGS. They did a language session on pets & a cultural one on the Festival of Lights! Workshops are held regularly for primary school students to discover what life is like at BCGS. pic.twitter.com/C19F3HmDcu

12/10/23

We're very proud of this group of students who won the KSSA Annual Regatta School Trophy at Whitstable for BCGS! All the hard work and dedication paid off. pic.twitter.com/pBdlLrFrk1

12/10/23

The ever-popular Spanish Exchange took 30 students ranging from Y9 to Y13 to Madrid last week to learn all about Spanish lifestyle & culture. While immersed in the language they enjoyed an amazing week full of activities with great weather & fantastic traditional Spanish cuisine pic.twitter.com/r3qXMkfw1v

09/10/23

Congratulations to two of our Y13 students who were short-listed for the Canterbury Festival Poetry Comp 2023. Gideon was awarded 1st place & Alicia 2nd place in the 16-18 category from a field of over 400 poems submitted from a host of other Kent schools. pic.twitter.com/gbg8f5YxoQ

09/10/23

We are looking for an Attendance & Cover Officer to start at BCGS as soon as possible. If you, or someone you know, is interested please click the link below for more information.

28/09/23

Yesterday's guide summarized what trusted adults need to know about the potential dangers of vaping for young people. pic.twitter.com/0U9RSSGOnO

23/09/23

The BCGS community raised a massive £18,789 for our chosen charities last year & This exceeded our target of £15k and as a result we are aiming to raise £20k this academic year for the charities students choose in the coming weeks

23/09/23

Our talented Asst Site Manager has been at it again taking fantastic pictures of the Canterbury skyline from our roof! pic.twitter.com/uNSZnMj6pZ

02/08/23

We're delighted to be awarded status which recognises the value we place on music both within the curriculum & through extra curricular activities & events. Thank you for recommending us. We'll use this to develop links with partners & expand our provision pic.twitter.com/m1DoNrxNRQ

27/07/23

Students had a brilliant time visiting .Yet another great activity filled day in our Enrichment Week at the end of last term. pic.twitter.com/ewM3W3xSrD

24/07/23

We were delighted to welcome students from Zhangjiagang Liangfeng International School in China at the end of term. They shadowed their BCGS buddy & participated in enrichment activities, such as Sports Day, calligraphy, cooking, the cinema, orienteering & a tour of Canterbury. pic.twitter.com/EtazSo9Lvu

Admissions & Enquiries 01227 464600or

Why Thinking Schools?

Barton Court has chosen the Thinking School Approach because it is “transformational”.

Why?

  • “It is hard to achieve and therefore worth doing”
  • It has, at its heart, a complete focus on transforming learning rather than just teaching
  • It has sustainability
  • If successful it creates a common language of learning
  • Students use thinking tools independently
  • It has helped create an environment of “continuous improvement” and striving for the next challenge
  • “It breaks down geographical, political, cultural and financial disparities and barriers” (RGS)

In order to try to explain our decision to become a Thinking School, the information below has been organised using the De Bono’s 6 Hat Thinking Strategies. This Thinking Tool allows us to analyse and evaluate information from a variety of perspectives. The green and red hat thinking poses questions for you to consider.

Thinking Hat   WhiteThe White Hat (Facts and Statistics)

We are committed to the development of cognitive education and we invest, time, energy and money into research, development and evaluation of a broad range of thinking tools and activities. We have a team of teachers who are committed to develop the Thinking School approach. We have a Thinking Map accredited trainer who has trained all staff on the use of the 8 Thinking Maps and we have Lead Practitioners working on the development of Thinking Hats, Habits of Mind and Thinkers Keys. Whole staff have been trained in the use of the 6 Hats. We are proud to say that we have embedded the 8 maps in our curriculum, pastoral and leadership programmes and are starting to do the same with the Hats. We have been attending the International Thinking School Conference for the last two years where we have been given the chance to work with TSI (Thinking Schools International) and Kestrel Education. This allows us to make connections with other schools and to work with external consultants providing excellent CPD.

Thinking Hat   BlueThe Blue Hat (Organisational Aspects)

The idea of a Thinking School must transcend the entire organisation from the Head teacher and Governors, Senior/Middle Leaders, teachers, support staff and students. The Thinking agenda is largely driven by the Assistant Head teacher (Mrs Benard-Grosso) together with the Senior Lead Practitioner (Nick Harvey) and the Lead Practitioner team and Staff Drive Team driven by the Head teacher. We also have a team of motivated and committed Thinking School Representatives who are part of our Student Drive Team.  All these individuals have a real passion for developing cognitive education within the School.

All members of staff are expected to help with the implementation, development and assessment of thinking strategies. This applies to Form Tutors, Curriculum Leaders, the Senior Leadership Team, teaching staff and administrative staff. The commitment to cognitive education and ways of thinking are part of performance management for ALL staff.

Thinking Hat   YellowThe Yellow Hat (All the great things!)

So what has happened as a result of introducing these strategies and ideas?

  • Work has become more visual, structured, concise and more personalised
  • There are more transferrable skills between curriculum areas
  • There is a clear school vision
  • Increased dialogue between curriculum areas and teaching staff
  • Clarity of CPD and performance management
  • Student understanding of different thought processes
  • Lessons are more varied and more interactive
  • Students and staff are becoming even more reflective
  • Higher level questioning has become natural
  • Students are beginning to take more ownership and responsibility for their work
  • Our message is spreading to other secondary schools, partnership schools and feeder schools
  • Students are moving from what they know to how they know
  • Students are becoming more fluent in how to explain their own thinking
  • A pastoral programme that is meaningful and reflective

Thinkin Hat   BlackThe Black Hat ( The Challenges and Barriers/ Problems)

  • Implementing new ideas to begin with seems forced, disingenuous and ironically leads to a lack of originality in lessons
  • How to train whole staff and students? Through enrichment day?
  • Maps can be used as a graphic support and not as a thinking process.
  • Once a new strategy is embedded along comes another!  When do we stop and how do we sustain what we have?
  • Training new staff ( incl. NQTs, PGCEs)
  • New students - how do we induct them without increasing work for ourselves?
  • How to ensure consistency?
  • How to engage everyone without creating confusion/ irritation and lack of independence
  • Performance management – encourage teachers even if they do not agree with the principle of cognitive education.  The issue of the tick box approach?
  • Sustainability – staff turnover?

Thinking Hat   RedThe Red Hat (Emotional Response)

  • As a potential teacher/ leader, how do you feel about our thinking skills approach?
  • Ask yourself how well you would fit in. Does the thought of this inspire you or the opposite?
  • How do you feel about delivering this in the classroom/ curriculum/ pastoral?
  • What is your immediate reaction? Your “gut feeling”?

Thinking Hat   GreenThe Green Hat (Creativity/Solutions)

  • Take a look at the Black Hat again. What ideas could you bring to knock down some of these brick walls?
  • What experience have you had with similar problems? How did you solve or approach these?
  • Have you used any thinking strategies in your previous jobs? Were they successful? What can we learn from your experience
  • What can you offer to BCGS as a thinking school?