Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skip Navigation Linkslit4woodmuirthinkingskills Higher-order thinking skills and literacy at Woodmuir Primary School

Search the National Improvement Hub

Higher-order thinking skills and literacy at Woodmuir Primary School

Last updated:
9 June 2016

What is this?

​The video demonstrates  how staff in Woodmuir Primary School develop children’s skills in reading. Staff also describe how they develop children’s higher-order thinking skills across the curriculum. Children explain how higher-order thinking skills are helping them to learn.

Who is this for?

​This video is for staff in primary involved in the development of literacy and higher-order thinking skills.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

Watch this example of practice exemplifying how Woodmuir learners develop their skills in literacy. Then, use the reflective questions to help you improve your practice:

  • What extra support is provided to enable children to progress from whatever level they are working at?
  • What techniques do you use to enable learners to have a good understanding of how to interrogate text?
  • In your setting, how do you encourage children to structure and develop an argument and then analyse and take forward the results? 
  • Is there room to improve how children use higher-order thinking skills to enhance literacy across the curriculum?

​Explore this exemplar

What was done?

Staff put in place an early-morning readers group to support the children. Over the years, they had realised that some children needed a little extra support for a variety of reasons. Some children were perhaps not getting the right kind of support from home, maybe because it was a busy home and they were not getting enough quality time practising their reading skills. For others, this extra work helped challenge them further. For some of the school’s older pupils, who have really good comprehension but perhaps need a little bit more of the mechanical side of reading, they get support with that in the early-morning readers group. After their work in the early-morning readers group, children can can contribute to literature circles on a par with their classmates and their peers. Staff consider that really important, since some of the children who have difficulty in fluency in reading may still have a good understanding of text.

Can't view this video? You can also view this clip in Glow (log-in required).

What brought about the change?

Staff did this to give particular learners a bit of extra support, to enable them to perform better amongst their peer group. They also wanted to enhance particular learners' understanding of higher-order thinking skills.   

What was the impact?

Through this work, children are becoming more confident about asking questions in class and they are also exhibiting increased skills in understanding how to evaluate text. 

This work has developed children's literacy skills, especially in reading. They also have a better understanding of the higher-order thinking skills they need to develop across their learning to prepare them for life and work in the future.

Download video transcript

Word file: Woodmuir Primary School - Using higher-order thinking skills to improve children's progress


Practice exemplars; Literacy; Primary; Learner Support; Assessment; School Improvement; English

​Related links

Literacy across learning