Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

In St. Mary’s, we aim to equip pupils with the skills and capabilities that will enable them to become independent, reflective, lifelong learners.

As a school, we are committed to engaging pupils in active learning contexts across all areas of the curriculum so that they may develop:

  • personal and interpersonal skills;
  • capabilities and dispositions; and
  • the ability to think both creatively and critically.

IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES, WE AIM TO:

  • develop pupils’ appreciation of the learning process rather than focusing only on the products of learning;
  • develop pupils as active, independent learners rather than passive absorbers of information;
  • enable pupils to go beyond the mere recall of information to develop deeper understanding of topics;
  • create positive dispositions and habits for learning;
  • provide pupils with a new range of criteria against which they can evaluate their progress in learning;
  • develop pupils’ understanding of the transferability of their skills and capabilities; and
  • encourage pupils to take ownership of their learning and to recognise the role of the teacher as a facilitator in the learning process.

In summary, we want our pupils to learn how to learn. In the Northern Ireland Curriculum, Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities have been divided into five strands:

  • Managing Information;
  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making;
  • Being Creative;
  • Working with Others; and
  • Self-Management.

These skills underpin the curriculum, along with the Cross-Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT.

In St. Mary’s, opportunities for pupils to develop Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are incorporated into programmes of study in each subject area. Throughout Key Stage 3, each subject area will assess and report once on pupils’ progress in at least one of the five strands of the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities Framework. The information will be included in the End of Year Report for Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10.

REPORTING ON THINKING SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES

YEAR 8

SUBJECT THINKING SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES

Home Economics

  • Being Creative (Experimenting)
  • Managing Information (Planning)

PE

  • Self-Management (Managing Progress)

Science

  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making (Examining Evidence)

YEAR 9

SUBJECT THINKING SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES

History

  • Working with Others (Empathising and Taking Responsibility)

Geography

  • Managing Information (Finding Information, Sourcing, Selecting Information)

RE

  • Self- Management (Managing Tasks, Reviewing)

Technology

  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making (Adapting, Taking Responsibility)
  • Being Creative (Building Ideas, Making Ideas Real, Challenging)

YEAR 10

SUBJECT THINKING SKILLS AND PERSONAL CAPABILITIES

Music

  • Self-Managment (Managing Time, Seeking Advice)

Art

  • Being Creative (Challenging, Trying New Things)

Modern Foreign Languages

  • Managing Information (Recording, Presenting)
  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making (Questioning)

Drama

  • Working with Others (Reaching Agreement, Evaluating)

Further information on Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities within the Northern Ireland Curriculum may be found by clicking on the following link: