The Thinking Curriculum at Teesside High School

Tuesday 12 September 2023 | By Megan Connor

Teesside High School is proud to deliver a unique, curriculum-enhancing programme, designed and built by Assistant Head and teaching and learning specialist, Mr Adam Meyerhoff: The Thinking Curriculum.

Providing students with the opportunity to develop the skills they need to become successful lifelong learners, equipped with the independence, initiative and self-sufficiency required to thrive in today’s world is given the utmost importance at Teesside High School. 

Mr Meyerhoff has taught across the globe, in schools in countries such as Singapore, and is passionate about pupils becoming effective learners, with a deep personal awareness, a repertoire of technical learning skills and an understanding of their personal and social responsibility in a globally interconnected world.

It is within this environment where our next generation is expected to showcase a wide repertoire of independent skills such as critical analysis, working effectively within teams (that are often spread across the globe) and to understand not only how to think but also consider why they and others think in the ways they do. Simply learning to pass examinations, without an understanding of why concepts work and how they are applicable to the real world, is not enough. 

Mr Meyerhoff said: “Understanding The Thinking Curriculum might initially sound challenging, but for me its principle is very simple. I am passionate about pupils not simply being taught how to pass exams. Spoon-fed pupils who walk away from years of lessons with little understanding about what they are being taught, and how it can apply to them in their futures, will not thrive in today’s society.

“I want my pupils to challenge the information they are given, to present their arguments clearly and concisely, to learn how to analyse information (and its origins) and effectively internalise this and become efficient at revision, skilled in proofreading and with the ability to make informed choices about their learning.

“These skills will not only set them apart in education and in employment, but it will prepare them for a successful future in an increasingly socially conscious and interconnected world.”

Pupils in Year 1 and above at THS are engaged in the innovative Thinking Curriculum, and in both the Prep and Senior School pupils have a specific Thinking Curriculum lesson as part of their fortnightly timetable, cultivating creativity, challenging their logic and supporting analytical thinking. Pupils are then taught and encouraged to apply these developed skills across the broader curriculum, for example, using their critical thinking skills to explore vested interest in a History source, and the same tools to find weaknesses in the results of a particular Science experiment. Teachers then encourage the pupils to unpick how these fundamental learning skills underpin all good learning.

Mr Meyerhoff continues: “Academic performance is extremely important, but results cannot be the only thing a pupil takes from years in education. It is our moral responsibility as educators to not only provide a thirst for knowledge and a love for our subjects, but to also provide the basis for a lifelong love of learning; to do this we must provide them with the essential skills to make them lifelong learners. 

“Built into the very fabric of Teesside High School is the drive to ensure our students leave us as well-rounded and resilient individuals ready to take on any challenge in any context.

“In both the months and years to come our pupils will benefit from the incredible skills they have embedded during their time engaging with The Thinking Curriculum.”

The Thinking Curriculum is unique to Teesside High School, and Mr Meyerhoff will be sharing more about its benefits at our upcoming Open Day on Saturday 23 September. Register for an appointment here.