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Thinking Skills & Engagement Steps

Thinking Skills

At the Ridgeway School, we have developed a unique curriculum that underpins all learning called Thinking Skills. It is taught from Nursery through to Key Stage 4, taking account of the abilities and learning styles of the students. By improving the pupils Thinking Skills, the aim is to increase their confidence and independence which in turn leads to greater self-esteem. There are twenty-one thinking skills from pre-requisite skills through to higher order skills to support the students learning at their level of development. Thinking Skills should be embedded across all lessons and form the basis of learning any subject or topic. This links to the EYFS Characteristics of Learning.

We realise the importance of engagement and we acknowledge that deeper learning can only occur when pupils are fully engaged and have resources matched to their personal learning styles.

Thinking Skills sits within the Science Faculty and once a term there is an Independence day across the whole school which promotes both whole school and individual class activities that focus on using Thinking Skills to promote independence for the students without the daily pressures of timetabling and time pressures.

We assess Thinking Skills at Ridgeway through our online assessment tool; COMPAS which captures the student’s Linear Milestones, Thinking Skills and Engagement Steps. By assessing the Thinking Skills in this way we can track the depth of learning achieved by the students as well as the Thinking Skills they are using to engage in new learning.




Engagement Steps

In July each year, the 7 Practice Indicators (© Crown Copyright 2011) for each child is completed by the staff working with a student.  The 7 Practice Indicators formerly known as the Engagement Profile showcases what the student looks like when they are most motivated and engaged in any area of the curriculum, this is then passed on to the next class team.

Pupils levels of Engagement can be measured in Mathematics, English, Science and PSHE through our online assessment tool: Compas.

The Engagement Steps – 7 Practice Indicators (© Crown Copyright 2011) are:

  • Responsiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Investigation
  • Discovery
  • Anticipation
  • Persistence and
  • Initiation

For further details on how we monitor Engagement please ask your child’s Class Teacher.