School Welcomes Eminent Thought Leader in Education
Girls' Division Guest Speaker

As part of Bolton School’s Culture Festival fortnight, the Girls’ Division was especially delighted to welcome Professor Bill Lucas, an expert on educational thinking, to their whole school assembly.

Professor Lucas of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester shared the stage with Mrs Winder, Deputy Head of the Girls’ Division and both spoke about the professor’s five creative habits of mind model and how its tenets can supercharge learning. The Creative Habits of Mind are drawn from the five-dimensional creative thinking model developed in Professor Lucas's work with Professor Guy Claxton and Dr Ellen Spencer, which has been adopted by schools in over 30 countries around the world. The habits offer a great tool for tracking the development of creativity in students of all ages and provide a scaffold for educators to develop the creativity of students across the curriculum.

Pupils aged 11 to 18 were reminded how the traits – of being inquisitive, imaginative, persistent, collaborative and disciplined - can be and are applied at Bolton School, both within and beyond the classroom.

Mrs Winder said that the adoption of the habits leads to us all becoming better learners, creative thinkers and more rounded individuals. Being inquisitive and having a desire to learn are important characteristics, she said, and cited the current Year 7 creative thinking project that sees them investigating around school for one square mile as being an excellent example. She also spoke about collaborating, daring to be different, being persistent, having good self-discipline and of being able to shed our bad habits.

Professor Lucas described how our world is quickly changing and how, in order to succeed in it, we need to move quickly and creatively, to have the ability to collaborate and communicate and to think critically – particularly when it comes to determining what is true on social media. He said that whilst, as educators, we value students who do well in exams, having a strong set of soft skills is also really important. In fact, he said, it always has been, as he referenced a Canadian book from the 1890s. He went on to explain how the five habits can underpin our lives and how having an ability to think for yourself is important at university and in life beyond.

Professor Lucas spent two days in Bolton. The evening before his assembly talk, he delivered a lecture to educators from across the region entitled Creativity: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Develop It In and Beyond Schools; his focus being on how to support students as learners. He also spent time with Junior Girls’ School pupils, old and new, discussing why their Habits (the Hesketh House Habits of Mind are based on Professor Lucas’s) are so important for learning and life.

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