Critical Thinking

Educationline has recently sponsored the production of a Scheme of Work for curriculum subject PSHE. The scheme entitled Psychology for Children encourages primary school children to understand why they feel and think the way they do. Taking information from mindfulness, CBT, and psychological studies, through a series of six workshops children look at self esteem, resilience, inclusion, jealousy, stereotyping, and happiness.


The overarching themes of the workshops are critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Promoting critical thinking is used to encourage children to look for evidence for their thoughts, prompting them to be curious and questioning about why they think the way they do. This is explored both in relation to themselves and other people, and includes looking at messages conveyed through the media. Emotional intelligence is used to encourage children to be curious about their feelings, to recognise them, and to understand how they are linked to thoughts and behaviour.


The aim of the workshops is to increase children’s understanding of the way in which the brain works in order to develop healthy and constructive ways of dealing with difficult thoughts and emotions, both in themselves and others. 


The scheme of work was developed by Sarah Mitchell-Smith BA (Hons) Social and Cultural Studies, Dip. Psychology (Conversion for Postgraduates) in conjunction with Helen Mitchell QTS PGCE Primary. Sarah also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Psychology from Reading University and a Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills. 


Sarah, Director at Educationline Ltd, says ‘I was motivated to develop the scheme of work after realising that without exposure to these ideas, some children grow up with little interest in, or understanding of, the way in which their brain works. This in turn means that unhealthy ways of coping and communicating in childhood are often taken into adulthood. After struggling with negative thought patterns myself as an adult, I was lucky enough to experience CBT, which in turn drove my enthusiasm to undertake a psychology conversion course and further post-graduate study. I am passionate about enabling children to explore the workings of the mind so that they can develop a curiosity about why they think the things they do, and learn how to relate those thoughts to emotions and behaviour.  I very much hope that the children will embrace the tools they learn during the workshops and apply them to situations outside school and in later life’.

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