Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities in the classroom

Whether you are preparing to include the skills and capabilities at whole-school or at classroom level, you will need to plan your approach. When starting to include the skills and capabilities for the first time, teachers often try to include or cover too much at once.

Ideally, you should consider a whole-school approach to developing the skills and capabilities. This ensures a strong emphasis on the skills and consistent coverage of the strands and the specific skills within each strand. You will need to review current practice at a whole-school level and to identify new and/or additional opportunities for developing the skills and capabilities.

There is no ‘right’ way to plan for including the skills and capabilities into learning and teaching. Some teachers might introduce and focus on one strand at a time, for example Managing Information. Others might introduce elements of the five strands as they become relevant to the topics and themes being covered.

The five strands overlap and are interrelated. At the start, introducing the strands step-by-step may be more manageable. Build the skill into an activity based on one of the Areas of Learning. This makes pupils aware that they are focusing/learning about an aspect of Managing Information, as well as learning about, for example ‘Bridges’ or ‘The Irish Famine’.

You should be aware of the specific skills involved in each of the strands of the framework. For example, what are the specific skills involved in Managing Information?