Critical Thinking Day

The infants had a very creative critical thinking day! Working in mixed groups of Reception, Form 1 and Form 2, the children completed a series of challenges across the day. They built marble runs and gingerbread person rafts out of recycling, came up with imaginative ideas to transform simple circles into a whole array of items and prioritised the items they would need for a desert island. Alongside these activities there were plenty of opportunities for creative play and problem solving. The children showed brilliant resilience, focus and teamwork throughout the day and we were so impressed with their thoughtful approach to all of the tasks.

Year 3 enjoyed a range of ‘Critical Thinking’ activities. Critical thinking happens when children draw on their existing knowledge and experience, as well as on their problem-solving skills, to do things like: compare and contrast, explain why things happen and develop reasoning skills. Some of the activities included: ‘Brain Buster’ maths games, word anagrams and History and Maths Escape Rooms.

Anywhere Island: Year 4 started their Critical Thinking Day on the laptops using Google Earth and other maps to think about the location and geographical elements of their very own islands. They worked in pairs or groups to design the island, come up with an environmental agency and create a new species which was found on the island. Throughout the day they revisited the skills of working collaboratively, posing critical questions and thinking thoroughly about suggestions and improvements to the project they were working on. In the afternoon, each group worked to create a Trailer using iMovie, showcasing the best parts of their island and introducing the work they had produced throughout the day. A great deal of fun was had and all groups were successful in their projects- well done Year 4!

Year 5 spent the day immersed in a variety of activities, all designed to develop their critical thinking skills. Gathering information, analysing, evaluating, reasoning, justifying and communicating were all skills that the children were required to use throughout each session. The first task involved the children solving a series of 'odd one out' puzzles, with the condition that their answers had to be as imaginative as possible. They then designed their own 'odd one out' challenges, trying to develop puzzles that contained a variety of solutions. Next the children had to choose a maths critical thinking investigation. 

There were two options: a variety of tasks and challenges linked to measuring time and a climate change project which involved the collection of climate data from different parts of the world and then using this information to predict and make climate forecasts about the likely change in temperature over the next ten years. In the afternoon, the children were split into mixed-class groups of 3 or 4 children and they were tasked with creating a country report about an imaginary country which was closely linked to one of our learning dispositions. At the end of the afternoon the children prepared a brief presentation which they shared with the rest of the year group. The children were great throughout each session and produced lots of impressive work. Well done!

The children in Year 6 were tasked with organising our residential trip to Liverpool. Next term they will all be spending a week in Liverpool and although this destination has been decided upon there is so much that has yet to be explored. From how to get there – should we take the train or a coach – to what activities should we sign up to – Mersey cruises, escape rooms, museum trips and much more. Working in small groups and using their iPads to aid their research, Year 6 were able to compare the duration and cost of the various transport options; build their ideal itineraries taking into account journey times and the need to stop for lunch and supper, and even check out the reviews of the YHA accommodation. They have also furnished Mrs Beith and Mrs Mynors with lots of questions and things to find out during our recce later this month. What a super start to independent travel!