This e-bulletin continues our exploration of how the QCDA personal, learning and thinking skills framework can be put into practice. For the summer term, our focus is on the final key competence of the framework: that of ‘effective participators’

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The word heuristic derives from the Greek word eurisko meaning ‘I discover’. It is used to describe an intuitive way of meeting challenges and solving problems – exactly what young children do when they are engaged in heuristic play

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This week begins a series on how to help young people develop as ‘Reflective Learners’

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Jenni Clarke, early years consultant and author, looks at the importance of practitioners’ planning to support young children’s self-initiated learning

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Does combining SEAL, Philosophy for Children (P4C) and thinking skills seem like a recipe for effective independent student learning? If so, read Kate Mawer’s description of William Parker School’s curriculum development for Year 7s

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Hanneke Jones looks at the Philosophy for Children method of introducing thinking skills. This method of learning, developed by SAPERE, develops cognitive skills and philosophical methods

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The Philosophy for Children programme has great potential benefits for intergenerational dialogue. Michelle Whiteworth, coordinator of Age Concerns’ intergenerational project in North Tyneside, discusses those benefits for pupils — and also the challenges

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How can pupils’ self-awareness, one of the principal domains of the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) initiative, contribute to improving their behaviour? Dave Stott explains

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Introducing learning logs can help pupils to reflect on their learning by identifying their attainment and progress says Steve Gibson, director of music and public performance at Carmel RC College, Darlington

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How does your school approach ‘learning to learn’? A bit of ‘accelerated learning’, a few ‘thinking skills’, some ’emotional intelligence’ and a commitment to ‘assessment for learning’ for good measure? The QCA has acknowledged that schools need a coherent, consistent approach to learning – Graham Powell examines how to do it

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Anne de A’Echevarria explores Kagan’s Cooperative Learning pedagogy as part of her in-depth focus on the ‘Team Workers’ strand of the QCA’s Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills framework

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Are you eager to explore new ways of learning? For six years Fallibroome High School has been trying new ideas. Deputy headteacher Francis Power describes what they’ve learned along the way

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When teachers and students work together, they can learn a lot about learning. In a ‘Learning Together’ project at seven schools, students and teachers researched the link between pupil behaviour and learning

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A teaching activity that will encourage pupils’ enquiry, thinking and participation skills. Suitable for key stages 3 to 5.

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This free resource will encourage pupils to recall and record their past learning experiences. This will help teachers gain an understanding of pupils’ individual learning preferences

How can the process of developing thinking skills be put into practice? A glimpse into the environment within a day nursery in south-east England shows how read more

If the spirit of creativity were allowed to flower, could we cope? David Leat looks at the way that everyday constraints leave schools ill-equipped to teach creativity and the way that it can flourish when those constraints are removed

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Staff at the Grammar School for Girls, Wilmington, decided it was time for a change. Six months later there is a real sense of staff and students working together for the future. Chris Love describes how learning to learn was introduced to his school

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Lesson study is a form of classroom enquiry from the Far East that focuses on improving an aspect of teaching and learning through collaborative long-term study. Pete Dudley describes its background and how it has been adapted for use in England

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Kate Wall and Elaine Hall explore some of the commonalities and difficulties with concepts associated with learning to learn read more

David Allen and Iona Towler-Evans look at an innovative system of teaching thinking skills through drama

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Guy Claxton invites debate on his eight character strengths and virtues for the learning age

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Mandi Horwood describes how a project to investigate how students saw their learning and how they can have a say in it revealed the vital contribution that they have to make read more

Helen Boyle, AST and lead teacher for Opening Minds, Campion School, describes the school’s successful development of a competency based curriculum with L2L at its heart read more

Jackie Beere looks at how schools can help learners to become self motivated and independent

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Lorraine Barber, a numeracy adviser from Worcestershire, explains the importance of effective and exciting maths teaching read more

Pedagogy is back on the agenda after a long period of neglect, with new guidance encouraging professionals to think about what should be taught and how it should be taught, writes Cliff Jones read more

Kate Wall describes the main findings of the Learning to Learn in Schools Phase 3 project evaluation and looks at some of the implications for schools

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What are the right conditions for teacher learning? Teachers need a working space where they have freedom to think, innovate and learn, say David Leat and Kate Wall read more

Christine Fanthome outlines practical strategies for students to aid examination success read more

Staff soon discovered that it was more than just a ‘learning to learn’ scheme. Liz Solomon describes the challenges and insights gained from trialling Thinking Through School. read more

In this month’s in-depth focus Anne De A’Echevarria talks about the Thinking Through School approach to learning-focused innovation. She describes the model and, using examples, explores successful implementation in schools and how the impact can be seen to be more than school-wide

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Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton explore ways to use the children’s curiosity about their world to become self-motivated, independent learners

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Charles Dietz examines the work of Guy Claxton, professor of education at Bristol University and fellow of the British Psychological Society. read more

Howard Gardner will forever be associated with his theory of multiple intelligences. Charles Dietz discovers that the Hobbs professor in cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has a lot more to say on the nature of giftedness. read more

Cooperative learning strategies aim to promote feedback loops relating to assessment and reflective learning in the classroom at Fallibroome High School. Jane Gormally and Francis Power describe the developments.

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Former headteacher Tim Small, a member of of ViTaL Partnerships, introduces some excerpts from his colleague Ruth Deakin Crick’s new book on learning power and the effective lifelong learning inventory (ELLI)

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Child abuse can affect a child’s ability to learn. In the second of two articles, Jenni Whitehead looks at ways of helping such children in the classroom. read more

Do students have something constructive to say about their own education? Putting pupil consultation at the forefront of her research into tacking underachievement allowed Helen Lee to highlight some new areas of concern for her school

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Dr Tracy Packiam Alloway of the University of Durham has researched the difficulties faced by children who have a low working memory

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Sarah Treneer and Claire Kendall describe how they developed a technique for encouraging children to reflect on their own and others’ learning through the use of peer feedback.

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Steve Mynard opens a series of articles on educational thinkers who have influenced our approaches to early education. read more

“I have come to see that the real and pressing issue underpinning an effective school system is the recognition that learning is learnable. In this article, I want to persuade you that you can actually teach pupils how to learn (and watch their performance and confidence levels soar as a consequence)”. read more

Andy Bowman explores strategies to begin to develop independence and resourcefulness in young learners. read more

Garry Burnett explains how different types of question can improve thinking skills read more

Every child has enormous potential for learning and is capable of progress. If this is not happening, it is most probably because we, the childrens’ teachers, have not yet found the right keys to their hearts and minds, writes Eva Hoffman

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David Leat reflects on the contribution of cognitive acceleration through science education (CASE) and the way in which initiatives such as this can contribute to thinking communities

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Empowering students by developing their understanding of how they learn. read more