Many people have been asking questions about Sue Dixon and Thinking Child - so here are a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions, answered honestly by Sue herself.
What caused you to set up Thinking Child?
Starting Thinking Child is a relatively recent development in my life. After a career in teaching and advisory work (and at the age of 50 -must be mad!) I decided to start a business.
I always wanted to write and develop resources that make a direct link between thinking and learning skills and the ‘core essentials’ of literacy and numeracy. And also incorporate ways to teach in interactive, interesting ways.
The gap in the market seemed to be equipping like-minded schools and parents with practical, ‘do-able’ ideas that resonate with, and spark their own creativity.
Put it this way, anyone looking for photocopiable worksheets will have to look to the many other publishers and I accept that Thinking Child might not be their first choice. I hope they still have a look though, to see what we are all about.
In what ways do Thinking Child resources help pupils to develop?
All Thinking Child resources have an inbuilt and deliberate intention to develop children’s core skills of THINKING & LEARNING.
By that I mean they offer regular practice at things like problem solving, they encourage children to brainstorm ideas and exercise creative thinking.
It is really important that children grow the ability to ask questions, to consider many possibilities and understand there might be more than one ‘right answer’. Making mistakes is integral to good learning and our resources encourage all this and more.
Even our new grammar pack: Who’d have thought grammar could be such fun?
The Thinking Child Network is your new subscription service. Why have you introduced it?
The Thinking Child Network has been introduced to offer a really affordable way for more teachers to access our resources. For an annual membership fee ALL the staff in a school can enjoy access to everything we produce – yes, the whole catalogue in digital format via a password protected part of the website. In addition we send a new member school our Literacy and Numeracy Boxes as a welcome gift (worth over £300). Also any resources produced by us in the year of membership will also be included. (P4C, literacy & more outdoor stuff planned for the near future)
To also help any small schools (fewer than 100 pupils), individual tutors or home educators - there’s a half price option.
I’m also hoping that the Network grows into a place where good practice is shared between us and other schools.
‘Is this just too good to be true?’
It does seem that way at first glance I know. But no – it really is unbelievably simple and genuine. I promise.
I just want to share our resources as widely as possible. I’m now running a business, something I wouldn’t have thought possible 5 or 10 years ago; so giving them all away isn’t an option – I’d love to be able to do that. But they cost money to write edit, print etc.
However, making them affordable is possible and I hope as many people want to be involved in the network.
There will always be a Free area on the Network part of the website, which will be added to all the time whilst at the same time new catalogue publications will be added for TC Upgraded Members.
What do you want for Thinking Child in the coming year?
I want to bring on board more talented writers and trainers. Anyone can approach us with an idea for a new resource or training course. So long as it fits with the aims and ethos of Thinking Child, I’m listening.
In my heart I’m still a teacher. I visit schools regularly and teach – individual lessons or a series of P4C sessions, for example. It helps me stay in touch and helps me shape new ideas for future resources. Listening to teachers on the ground is key to us moving forward.
If anyone has any follow up questions or ideas for resources please email Sue Dixon directly - firstname.lastname@example.org