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Critical thinking and problem solving – core skills training

Do your students produce new and innovative ideas to solve problems?

Suitable for: Any qualified teaching staff, from all sectors of state schools and colleges ranging from EYFS to FE, including special schools and PRUs. Unfortunately we are only able to accept teachers based in England.

Phases suitable for: Primary / Secondary / Further Education / Special


As part of Connecting Classrooms you can 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. This course is suitable for all teachers from state schools including EYFS, primary, secondary and FE, including special schools and PRUs based in England.

Completing this course makes you eligible for Connecting Classrooms Professional Partnership funding to deepen your learning through an international visit.

During this programme you will:

  • Explore referenced evidence of how CTPS can be taught and assessed
  • Receive practical examples how to develop CTPS
  • Identify opportunities within your school or college 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

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

Download PDF: Teaching critical thinking and problem solving

Hosting a course

Can’t see the dates or area you need? Why not consider hosting a course as an INSET event at your school?

We are always looking for schools to host core skills programmes. There are two ways that hosts can receive training:

  1. Host school exists within a cluster/academy chain/local network and holds the selected core skill course for staff across their group of schools.
  2. Host school selects course/dates of their choice, but extends an open invitation for external delegates to attend the course. In this instance, we would be happy to advertise the course via our website and would accept bookings on your behalf.


  • Minimum of 10 delegates must be registered for host events

In return we provide a Connecting Classrooms accredited trainer, the course materials and we cover the subsistence costs for all external delegates attending your event.

Benefits of hosting a core skills course:

  • Act as a Connecting Classrooms hub within your local network of schools
  • Meet and work with staff from your cluster group of schools over the duration of the course
  • Flexibility -When setting up your course, you are able to set the dates and the timings of the day (e.g. twilight hours) to ensure that the face-to-face events work seamlessly around your school calendar
  • We are able to ensure that the core skills course is tailored to suit the needs of your group

If your school is interested in the possibility of hosting a future core skills course, please complete this form and return to Roxanne Spalding. If you have any questions call the team on 020 8253 8249.

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