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☰ The Importance of Thinking

Head's Blog

The Importance of Thinking

Posted on February 09 2018

Quick question for you, do you know who David Prowse is? Let me give you a moment to think and reflect on the name and the information stored within your brain as you process the possible answers I may be looking for. Does the name ring a bell? Despite my first caretaker being named David Prowse, that is not the answer I was alluding to in my initial question.

Many of you will know that David Prowse was the actor who played Darth Vader in the original Stars Wars trilogy movies. He was a giant of a man and stood at 6 foot 6 inches tall and started his career as a body builder, so was clearly not someone to besmirch (try telling that to Luke Skywalker though!). No doubt some of you will also know that David Prowse started his acting career as the Green Cross Code Man in a series of public information television adverts in the 1970s and 1980s. Remember those? Well for those of you who are unfamiliar with them, I recommend a watch, if not just to amuse yourself.


Watching those adverts again certainly makes you feel old, but the message was clear to children to Stop, Look and Listen. The same road safety message is transmitted today to children, but with one vital added word – Stop, Look, Listen, THINK. To think about what they are looking for at the roadside, to think about what they are listening out for on the roads. It may be a very subtle change, but, in my opinion, it is an important one. Thinking is an underrated quality that many overlook, even in our schools.

Thomas Browne said ‘think before you act, think twice before you speak.’ Thinking is certainly something we hold dear at Forest Park and we have been actively looking at ways to increase opportunities for our pupils to have time to do just that, to think. A large part of this comes from the questions that we pose our pupils; with an emphasis on higher order thinking, we are posing more open ended questions for them to consider. We ask questions that probe deeper into their minds, because the minds of children are wondrous things – they have unlimited possibilities and it is our job, as educators, to unlock the potential that they hold.

The human brain programmes 1300 – 1800 words every single minute, 24 hours a day, so it is extremely important what kind of thoughts we allow the children at Forest Park to process. It is important what sort of content we put into our lessons, what sort of music we allow them to listen to and what sort of visual aids and videos we allow them to look at. The aim is to ensure that this content is positive in nature, so that our pupils live happy and engaging lives.

We also coordinate the skills and tasks that pupils face into different types of activity. This way we are able to ensure that every sort of learner is catered for at our school; whether they learn in a visual, auditory or a physical way, they are thinking carefully about how best to pose an answer and also explain what, why, or how they came up with an answer. Just this week we held a special thinking skills enrichment day at Forest Park, where classes paired up with one another to focus their thinking skills more clearly. Pupils discussed many different topics and theories during the day and, more importantly, got to think about thinking!

The numerous activities that took place helped develop every child’s thinking skills and they were able to think in a variety of ways; critically, creatively, scientifically, systematically and emotionally. The children were able to talk together, listen together, watch together, create together but most importantly of all, think together. There were some outstanding results achieved and the pupils were able to apply their thinking skills in a wide variety of ways, not just this week, but are able to utilise their minds every single day at school.

This means that our pupils are able to carefully develop their thinking, so that they are fully prepared for the next phase of their education and, ultimately, for the big wide world out there. Just like David Prowse as the Green Cross Code Man, all of our pupils are developing into little superheroes who will grow up to be able to think for themselves and apply what they know to ensure that their decisions are the best that they can be, so that the world that they encounter is a better place to live.

Nick Tucker

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