Put simply, critical thinking is the ability to analyse information presented to form a judgement about a topic. In today’s information-saturated world, we believe our DESS children need to develop this skill to survive and thrive. By engaging in critical thinking tasks, our children gain a deeper understanding of the world around them including how they perceive themselves in that world. They learn to analyse, compare, contrast, make inferences, and generate higher-order thinking skills. They also become confident decision makers and learn to determine what they value and believe. At DESS, we endeavour to teach children how to think, not what to think, cultivating an ethos of being open-minded, curious and interested.
Developing Character @ DESS
At DESS, we are fully committed to nurturing the whole child. We pride ourselves, not only on the academics, but also providing our DESS children with invaluable learning skills that are crucial in building both their character and resilience to ensure that they are ‘future ready’.
Our DESS 6Cs Manifesto is our promise to our DESS children, detailing our commitment to developing them holistically.
Our Developing Character: 6Cs learning skills encompass: Critical Thinking, Compassion, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Curiosity. Please read about them below:
Through engaging with the skill of compassion, our DESS children learn how to be kind to themselves and others, and to be patient and to persevere through times of need. Compassion encourages kindness, patience, acceptance and tolerance, important values for navigating successful relationships with others both in the present context and beyond. By encouraging compassionate behaviours at DESS, children make decisions that take them forward in their personal journey, pursuing their daily endeavours with kindness, patience and purpose.
We value creativity as the ability to think differently: to see a problem or issue from a new angle. Being creative is not only attributed to artists and musicians, but to using our imaginations to innovate and create something new. Creative thinking is paramount in conquering our brain’s natural tendency to use information we already know, as well as being integral to problem-solving, innovation and entrepreneurship. At DESS, our emphasis is on child-led, enquiry-based learning which provides the opportunity for creative thinking to thrive, and for unconventional thinking to be embraced.
By having strong communication skills, we firmly believe that our DESS children will be able to navigate their learning journeys, as well as their personal and eventual professional lives with ease and success. Through honed communication skills all interactions and the needs of those around them will be understood more accurately and quickly, leading to harmonious relationships. At DESS, we encourage respect, great listening, conciseness, appropriate body language, confidence and open-mindedness, to allow our children to thrive as excellent communicators.
We promote collaboration to allow our children to work harmoniously together towards a common purpose. Through child-led, continuous provision and project-based learning, our children have an awareness of the importance of working together as one entity with a shared goal. By identifying and drawing on each other’s strengths, each individual child has the opportunity to thrive in their area of interest and showcase their talents. Relying on openness and knowledge sharing, our DESS children can further demonstrate cooperation, compromise, individual and collective responsibility, time-management and conflict resolution; transferable skills that are so vital for later on in life.
Curiosity is quickly emerging as a critical trait and, as a result, our DESS children are continuously encouraged to delve into the unknown, by asking questions about the world around them, through deeper exploration and learning. Intrinsically linked to critical thinking, our DESS children eagerly demonstrate that they are driven in their desire to seek answers and improve, by finding novel ways to interpret new information and explore new experiences. Showing a true curiosity for others, our children further build on their compassion and empathy skills, through asking questions and seeking a greater understanding of those around them. Through a sense of wonder, enquiry and discovering new approaches, our children will further develop their adaptability and resilience, as well as a greater sense of engagement and satisfaction in their achievements.