How cultivating critical thinking can empower your child

How cultivating critical thinking can empower your child

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Choosing the right international school is a challenging decision that many families face. Of course, academic achievement matters; but in today's complex and globally connected world, equipping your child with the skills to thrive is just as important. HSV International School explains.

The right school for your child's future is one that sparks curiosity and teaches them to think critically.

Cultivating deeper learners

Deeper learning empowers children to analyse information critically, ask insightful questions, and solve problems creatively. Here's how it ignites young minds:

Academic advantages

Strong critical thinking skills will lead to better performance across all subjects. Children learn to actively engage with the material, grasp concepts, connect ideas, and apply knowledge in new situations, fostering a deeper level of understanding.

Lifelong learners

Deeper learning develops a love for exploration and a thirst for knowledge that extends far beyond the classroom. Students become independent learners who are intrinsically motivated to seek out new information and experiences, setting them on a path of lifelong learning.

Empowered problem-solvers

A better understanding equips children with the tools to tackle challenges head-on. They develop the ability to think creatively, analyse situations from multiple perspectives, and adapt to new situations they encounter throughout life.

Global citizens with empathy

International schools bring together students from diverse backgrounds, creating a dynamic and enriching learning environment. Deeper learning fosters empathy by encouraging students to consider different perspectives, collaborate effectively, and find solutions that benefit everyone.

HSV International School students

The International Primary Curriculum: A framework for deep learning

Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and Jacqueline McEachen, in their book Deep Learning: Engage the World, Change the World (2018), highlight the importance of project-based learning as a key strategy for deeper learning.

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) aligns with this philosophy, allowing children to explore real-world issues and global challenges through thematic units and a project-based approach. The IPC framework provides several pathways to deeper learning. Some of these are:

Making connections

The IPC curriculum emphasises connections across all primary subjects. Children are encouraged to see the bigger picture and understand how different areas of knowledge interweave.

For example, in the “Vanishing Rainforests” unit, children might explore the diverse plant and animal life of rainforests in science, investigating the reasons for their decline. This knowledge could then be used to create poems about the beauty and fragility of these ecosystems.

Geography lessons might delve into the impact of deforestation on a global scale, whilst art projects could involve creating awareness campaigns using posters or murals made from recycled materials.

Asking powerful questions

IPC units are designed to spark curiosity and ignite a thirst for understanding. Open-ended questions encourage students to delve deeper into topics, seek out new information, and develop strong research skills.

Solving problems creatively

IPC activities often conclude in projects where children work together to showcase what has been learnt. This not only reinforces critical thinking but also hones their communication and collaboration skills.

Imagine a classroom being transformed into a bustling marketplace where children work together to research and create products as well as figure out how to make their product attractive to buyers - their peers, family members and teachers. Marketing skills are developed in a meaningful context for learning and children develop valuable 21st-century skills.

Finding the perfect fit: Prioritising deeper learning

As you research which international school is the right one for your children, delve deeper into their approach to fostering critical thinking. Here are some key questions to ask:

Is curiosity celebrated?

Does the school environment celebrate thoughtful questions and encourage exploration? Look for classrooms where inquiry-based learning is valued and students feel empowered to ask "why?"

Is problem-solving visible?

Are there regular activities that challenge students to think creatively and find solutions? Does the curriculum incorporate project-based learning experiences that allow students to ask questions and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems?

How are multilingual learners supported?

If your child is learning English as an additional language, will the school provide adequate support to ensure they can fully participate in deeper learning activities? Does the school celebrate multilingualism and offer resources to help students thrive in a diverse learning environment?

Find out more about HSV International School and their curriculum at an upcoming Open Day. Meet their children - their greatest ambassadors - and see first-hand how their focus on deeper learning can spark curiosity, foster critical thinking, and empower your child to become a confident and adaptable global citizen and lifelong learner. Visit the website to register for an Open Day and find out more about the school.

Anna McFarlane


Anna McFarlane

Anna McFarlane was born in Hong Kong and moved to the UK in the 90's. Anna graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Hons degree before completing a postgraduate...

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