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St Edmund's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

St Edmund's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

Parish, Family, School

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

We follow a Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities Framework where progression is mapped from EYFS to Year 6. 

All parts of the curriculum emphasise the development of Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. These skills help pupils to think critically and creatively. They also help them to develop personal and interpersonal skills and dispositions that are essential for functioning effectively in a changing world.

This framework requires teachers to focus on developing aspects such as 

  • Managing Information
  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making
  • Being creative
  • Working with others
  • Self-Management

aspects we feel are important for our pupils’ development.  

Developing skills and capabilities is important for several reasons. They: draw attention to the processes of learning and not just the products; are more likely to engage pupils in active rather than passive learning; enable pupils to go beyond the mere recall of information and to develop deeper understanding of topics; create positive dispositions and habits for learning; and they provide a new range of criteria against which pupils can evaluate their progress in learning. Essentially, they enable pupils to learn how to learn.

What Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities should we develop?

A distinctive feature of the framework is that it integrates a range of different types of thinking skills and learning dispositions with collaborative learning (working with others) and independent learning (self-management and taking responsibility). Most of our thinking is developed informally as we engage in both everyday and school activities. Developing thinking skills means designing learning so that pupils will think more skilfully than they would otherwise do – to engage them in better quality thinking. Thus, thinking skills are tools that help pupils go beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge in order to deepen their understanding and apply ideas, generate new possibilities and make decisions as well as to plan, monitor and evaluate their progress.

Personal and interpersonal skills and capabilities underpin success in all aspects of life. Developing personal capabilities means creating opportunities for pupils to experiment with ideas, take initiative, learn from mistakes, work collaboratively and become more self-directed in their learning.

An example of progression within the strand - Working with Others

Nursery & Reception (EYFS)

Year 1 & 2

Year 3 & 4

Year 5 & 6

develop confidence to join in and to participate

Be willing to join in. Learn to work and play co-operatively

Develop the routines of listening, turn-taking, sharing, co-operating

Be able to learn from demonstration and modelling

Be aware of how their actions can affect others. Learn to behave and to use words to suit different people and situations

Develop confidence at being with adults and other pupils in a variety of contexts

recognise different roles that can be adopted in groups and develop some capacity to participate in and learn from these different roles

Develop further habits of collaborative learning. Become more adept at turn-taking, sharing and co-operating when working in a group or team

Decide what needs to be done in a group and take responsibility for aspects of the work

Show the ability to learn from shared and modelled activities

Adapt behaviour and language to suit different situations

Show fairness to others. Recognise and respect other people’s feelings and ideas

pupils participate in collaborative work and begin to take advantage of the opportunities for learning afforded by social situations – learning from others,

Become more independent in their social and interpersonal skills

Show that they can work in different roles in a group and take responsibility for appropriate tasks

Be willing to help others with their learning

Understand and learn to respond to feedback

Work with their peers to reach agreements and begin to manage disagreements

pupils participate in collaborative work taking advantage of the different roles of others

give and responding to feedback, taking the lead and helping others to develop their roles within a group

Be capable of harnessing resources for the purposes of learning

Take increasing responsibility for work assigned in teams

Be willing to change the approach in a group if necessary. Be willing to take the lead in demonstrating learning to others

Give and respond to feedback from peers and adults and understand its importance for learning

Be willing and able to reach agreement through compromise