Leading the Way in Thinking
In 2009 Amnuay Silpa School embarked on a Thinking Journey designed to transform the way in which learning took place at the school. We recognised that the world is constantly changing in terms of technology, communication and global opportunities and therefore understood that the education that we provide for our children must reflect this change.
In 2013 ANS was accredited by the Department of Cognitive Education at Exeter University as the First Thinking School in Asia. In January 2017 ANS was accredited for a second time and awarded Advanced Status. This truly confirms that ANS is leading the way in thinking.
What is a ‘Thinking School’?
There are many definitions as to what exactly a Thinking School is. At ANS, we aim to create a school where all members give careful thought to everything that takes place. We aim to encourage both students and staff to think critically, creatively and reflectively. We aim to ensure that our curriculum is meaningful and focuses on skills and techniques and not solely on content. We aim to help our students to develop and demonstrate independent and cooperative learning skills by using a range of thinking tools and strategies. We aim to create an atmosphere where pupils experience high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in lifelong learning.
Why do we need to teach thinking?
At ANS we believe that by teaching thinking and encouraging pupils to think about thinking, they will become better learners. Understanding the thinking processes will enable pupils to learn faster and more effectively. Our teachers aim to support pupils in recognising how they learn and therefore enabling them to achieve their potential. Thinking about thinking better prepares pupils for lifelong learning and the changing workplace.
How are we achieving this at ANS?
At ANS we are modifying our teaching to promote thinking. Teachers are challenging pupils through effective questioning to understand what they are learning and why. The curriculum promotes the development of skills, including thinking skills, placing less focus on the coverage of content. Our classrooms enrich and encourage thinking through the range of strategies that are implemented in lessons and the displays used to reinforce thinking concepts. Lessons are becoming more practical and skill-based with a high emphasis on thinking about a task rather than just completing it. Pupils are continually encouraged to think reflectively about what they have been doing, recognising where they have been successful and how they can further improve. Our Thinking Curriculum includes the following aspects:
- The use of visual tools (Thinking Maps/Points)
- The development of Habits of Mind and a Growth Mindset
- Enquiry-based learning through Philosophy for Children and Higher Order Questioning
- A range of other thinking tools such as 6 Thinking Hats, Thinkers Keys and many others.
How is ANS helping to share good practice?
In 2013 ANS formed a partnership with UK-based company -Thinking Schools International. Thinking Schools International Asia (TSIA) was created to provide training and support, resources and networking opportunities for schools in South East Asia and beyond who are looking to transform their education community. ANS was established as the Hub of Excellence in Asia and many schools from across Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have visited Amnuay Silpa to observe good practice and receive training. TSIA trainers have also worked with a number of schools both nationally and internationally.