CHS Thinking Skills


“Pupils in Years 7 to 9 demonstrate excellent communication skills when they take part in Thinking Skills Projects, which enable them to develop confidence in public speaking.” ISI Inspection, April 2017


The CHS Critical Thinking Skills curriculum (for pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9) is one of the cornerstones of the academic life of CHS.


Critical Thinking refers to the ability to analyse information objectively and make a reasoned judgement. These skills equip students to become more effective and reflective learners and are designed to foster key characteristics of their learning.

The Key Skills are:

  • Analysing: Able to examine a question by using reason and applying knowledge.
  • Evaluating: Able to reflect on personal performance and quality, using different methods to review previous work as a means of self-improvement.
  • Creating:  Able to skilfully able to imagine unique approaches and to realise successful intentions that contain value.
  • Problem Solving: Able to process or act in finding a solution to a problem.
  • Independent Enquiry: To have the ability to develop and engage with a sense of intellectual curiosity to actively extend their learning.  To use metacognition strategies to monitor and reflect their own learning.

While continuing to enjoy the full range of subjects taught by specialist teachers, pupils work on project based learning across Key Stage 3. These assignments, designed to facilitate the development of both independent and collaborative learning, are built into the programme of study each year. In Year 7, pupils complete team projects at their residential at the start of the Autumn Term and all pupils are involved in a taster MUN Day in the Spring Term. In the Summer Term, pupils also start on an individual task based on The Greatest Mancunian Icon, which is completed over the Summer break.

In Year 8, pupils are involved in team activities for The Green Debates (run by the English Department) and a Business Challenge.  Additionally, in the Summer Term all pupils complete an individual research project named the Duncan Matheson Prize on a topic of their choice. This is completed at the start of Year 9.

In Year 9, pupils complete a STEM afternoon (designed by the Physics Department) and embark on the HPQ in the Summer Term.