The power of collaborative learning

#BreakfastClub Let’s Think! 

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Chris Jenkins has been Head of English and Media Studies at Aldenham School since 2006, and has nearly 20 years of teaching experience in the independent sector. Chris’s pastoral background includes being Housemaster at Sutton Valence School  and a Sixth Form tutor for over 16 years, assisting students through the challenges of Y12, Y13 and the UCAS preparation process.

Chris recently led a Breakfast Club session on the Let’s Think programme, and how it works.



All Cognitive Acceleration programmes are rooted in the cognitive psychology of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, from which has been derived a teaching approach which challenges students’ current level of thinking, which encourages the social construction of knowledge (students making knowledge co-operatively), and which encourages ‘metacognition’ – students’ reflection on their own thinking and problem-solving processes.

Over many years of rigorous evaluation, it has repeatedly been shown that Cognitive Acceleration has substantial, positive effects on students’ cognitive growth, and subsequently on their academic achievement. King’s College London has been involved in developing the programmes.

Each of the programmes has a set of curriculum materials, but the secret of their success lies in the pedagogy – that is, the way that the teacher uses the materials. For this reason, we consider that effective use of Cognitive Acceleration methods depends heavily on the adequate professional development of teachers.

Let’s Think

*Majority of research and work is currently in English, Maths and Science but the approach is potentially adaptable in all areas of curriculum

*Let’s Think lessons should occur once every two weeks

*Follow a set routine/pattern and involves individual and group work

*Main Sequence of a lesson includes: – Concrete preparation – Cognitive conflict –Metacognition (reflection) -Bridging




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