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A 2-day course run over 9/10 weeks, fully funded by the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme

Do your students produce new and innovative ideas to solve problems? Can they reflect critically and make effective decisions?

Develop critical thinking and problem solving (CTPS) in your school or college through this comprehensive 9-10 week core skills training which offers a blend of 2 face-to-face sessions and online support. Suitable for all teaching staff from state schools including EYFS, primary, secondary and FE, including special schools and PRUs based in England.

As CTPS is an important skill used in STEM subjects, this course can be tailored to be subject specific by the trainer and through resources provided.

View/download programme (PDF)


  • Explore referenced evidence of how CTPS can be taught and assessed
  • Receive practical examples how to develop CTPS
  • Identify opportunities within your schools to develop CTPS skills
  • Receive an internationally referenced basic theoretical understanding of CTPS
  • Develop leadership, project management and self-evaluation techniques to embed CTPS in your practice
  • Try out one of these ideas in a structured way between days 1 and 2 and establish its effectiveness, with the support of our course mentors
  • Share the results of your test with colleagues from day 1 and discover the impact their ideas had back at school
  • Have the opportunity (if you wish) to apply for further funding from the British Council to complete a study visit in schools in another country on this topic

The programme will focus on four key features of CTPS:

  1. Solving non-routine problems and questions
  2. Considering different perspectives on issues
  3. Evaluating evidence for and against different positions
  4. Understanding the deep structure of issues

To develop these features of CTPS, three teaching strategies will be practised:

  1. Asking questions to develop deeper thinking and check for understanding
  2. Modelling how to think critically and solve problems
  3. Providing systematic feedback and corrections

Between days 1 and 2 you can explore any area of stretching students that suits you and your school, but past topics participants have explored include:

  • The use of inquiry based learning
  • Non routine problem solving
  • Predicative skills and risk assessing
  • Developing independent thinking skills through CoRT techniques
  • Challenging questions and metacognition

Download PDF: Teaching critical thinking and problem solving


This course will benefit anyone with an interest in developing the use of critical thinking activities in lessons to raise the achievement of your students, whether this be within a classroom setting or across a whole school. It is suitable for any school or college that teaches children between 4-19.


Nothing. The course is completely funded by the British Council as part of its Connecting Classrooms programme. In addition to the fully subsidised course you also have the opportunity to apply after the course for a study visit to explore this topic in another country.


PLEASE NOTE: The following courses are oversubscribed. There is the possibility that a current delegate will drop out before the day. By clicking ‘book your place’ and completing the following form, you are submitting your interest to attend and will be placed on a waiting list. By submitting the form you are are not automatically enrolled on the course.

Location Course type Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
St. Helens 2 days | 9am-4pm Thu 12 Oct 17 Wed 20 Dec 17 -
Plymouth 3 days | 10am-4pm; 4-6.30pm; 4-6.30pm Fri 20 Oct 17 Wed 10 Jan 18 Wed 24 Jan 18
Torquay 2 days | 9.30am-3.30pm Fri 20 Oct 17 Tue 02 Jan 18 -
Essex 3 Afternoons | 4-7pm Thu 02 Nov 17 Thu 09 Nov 17 Thu 01 Mar 18
Essex 2 Days | 8am-2pm Wed 03 Jan 18 Thu 29 Mar 18 -
Birmingham 2 days | 10am-4pm; 12-4pm Mon 08 Jan 18 Mon 16 Apr 18 -
Birmingham 2 days | 8.30am-3.30pm Mon 08 Jan 18 Tue 20 Mar 18 -


Only schools funded by the government are eligible to take part. Individuals are only permitted to attend one course. By taking part in the programme you agree to attend both training sessions and record the results of your tested idea between days 1 and 2. Further funding for research visits is at the discretion of the British Council and co-ordinated through an application process that can be taken after you have attended your course.


As a result of completing a fully funded CPD training programme, teachers in the UK can apply for a £3000 grant to visit a partner school overseas to facilitate face-to-face international collaboration. It’s a fantastic way to improve your teaching credentials, share ideas and compare good practice with international colleagues.

The grant can be used to:

  • Connect with a new or existing partner school in Africa, Asia or the Middle East
  • Fund a visit to your partner school for a teacher and school leader
  • Work collaboratively to implement core skills within your classroom
  • Offer students practical opportunities to collaborate with peers internationally

To find out more about the Connecting Classrooms programme and professional partnership opportunities available to your school click here.

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