Thinking Matters

A project by: PAULA BARR

pledged of £3,605 target

This project did not reach its target.

Completion Date: Fri 05 Jul 2019
A thinking school will allow us to rise above the robots.


Number of students that will benefit: 60

Age of students: P1 - P7

Percentage eligible for free school meals: 50%


About us

We are a small community school based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. We currently have just 60 pupils but that doesn't stop us striving to be the best 😁. We nurture our children in a secure, friendly, caring community where everyone is valued for their important contribution. We are staff, parents and children working in positive partnership.

We believe if children are happy they will achieve.

We encourage busy minds and busy hands, aiming to engage, inspire, challenge and support our children. We show respect for ourselves and each other and value all our cultures and beliefs equally.

With open hearts and open minds, we enjoy learning and achieving together

What do we want?

I am applying for funding for a programme known as “Thinking Matters”. At present no other school in Northern Ireland is registered for this programme. Although we currently have just 60 students we want to be the first accredited thinking school in Northern Ireland and set the way for other schools to follow suit. All teachers will receive 5 days of training in the fields of cognitive development, neuroscience, intelligent learning behaviours (and more) in much greater depth. In this way the Thinking School Teacher is equipped with a richer and deeper level of understanding of how to promote successful thinking within their students.

The programme will start in September 2019 and runs for three years. The total cost of the programme is £3,500 which is paid in stages over the three years. I am asking for £1,200 to help us get this programme off the ground with the view the PTA will work to secure the funds for the following two years.

Who is this for?

The whole school will benefit from this project. We also envisage that each child's family will also benefit from this project, especially from the mental health and wellbeing aspect which is so important.

Why do you want it?

In order to succeed in a future full of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, we believe we will increasingly have to think in ways unique to humans. We will have to develop the intelligent learning behaviours that will set us apart from robots.

Across the globe, through training educators to use a pedagogy which enables students to master a range of thinking skills and intelligent learning behaviours, our unique, whole school approach results in organisations that forge independent thinkers and learners who develop the attitudes and dispositions to succeed in an ever-changing future.

Thinking Schools in the UK have shown that the equivalent of a GCSE grade increase against those starting at the same point at non Thinking Schools. Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well- being of both students. It has been proven that thinking schools promote social and emotional skills and play an essential role in successful lifelong learning. Children who are lucky enough to be part of a thinking school shows benefits which range from increased exercise, healthier diet, better sleep pattern and an increased in confidence. Children who have completed the three year programme have said they feel better equip to cope with many different situations and unfamiliar challenges like exams, relationships and the other pressures of growing up. Teachers said they seen a difference in the children’s mental health and wellbeing as a result of the mindfulness element of the course and how it has changed how the children see themselves and their lives. The Thinking Matters approach incorporates many of the other cognitive development and attitudinal strategies available this saving the need to pay for any of those separately.

As children grow, we should encourage then to develop the thinking skills that they will need for secondary school, college and in their chosen careers. Teaching kids to think for themselves gives them the opportunity to practice important skills that they will need to become independent adults.


The total cost of the programme is £3,500 which is paid in stages over the three years.  

Sub Total = £3,500 (incl VAT* & delivery)

+3% payment processing fees (charged by the payment provider)

Grand Total = £3,605


If we're fortunate enough to raise more than our target, then we would also like to bring Autism NI into the school to speak with the children and Fresh Little Minds.


Please do donate, but if you can't donate right now you can help us in other ways! Share this project with anyone you think would support us. Share the link at the top of the page on Twitter, Facebook, email, your website, blog, mention us in a phone call or even just a chat over the fence! Please support us and help make a difference to our students.

Rocket Fund is a pilot project by Nesta. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833