Best Practice

Becoming a thinking school

Senior leadership
Rochester Grammar is an Advanced Thinking School. Denise Shepherd explains how and why the school has put thinking at the heart of its curriculum.

Last autumn, Rochester Grammar School became the first English secondary to gain accreditation as an Advanced Thinking School, an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to think reflectively, critically and creatively.

The initiative is used to promote independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning.

Rochester Grammar is a selective girls’ school with a mixed 6th form in Medway, an area with its fair share of socio-economic issues. The decision to put thinking at the heart of our school was taken when the school had just achieved some of its best results ever at
A level and GCSE. It was felt that somehow we were still not challenging the minds and creativity of the students. Ges Hartley, the deputy head, began by planning and implementing a number of cross-curricular projects, or “rich tasks” as they are now known.

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