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Opportunities for Excellence

Date: 26th October 2004

Head start for able and enthusiastic Year 11 pupils from schools in North Devon who gained an AS Level in Critical Thinking 18 months early

Results Day for Back row: Tom Gammon, Daniel Polak, David Latchham, Hayley Saunders, Laura Bowman Seated: Stephanie Wright, Alice Danielson, Jessica Miller, Bon O'Donovan, Tom Dove who gained between them 4 grade As, 3 grade Bs, 2 grade Cs and 1 grade D.

These ten students from Braunton, Park, Pilton and South Molton schools took part in a new initiative for 14-19 year olds allowing pupils to fastrack. In year 10 they began extending their thinking skills by attending a weekly twilight class in Critical Thinking at North Devon College with lecturer Jacquie Thwaites, who is a Principal and Chief Examiner in the subject. Throughout the year the pupils displayed a great enthusiasm for learning, eagerly taking part in the group exercises designed to help students assess reasoning and become confident in creating their own arguments. They managed to fit this around all their other activities: County music ensembles, Ten Tors Training, Duke of Edinburgh Award and Drama productions.

These pupils hope to continue their enrichment by taking the Advanced Extension Award in Critical Thinking in their first year at College and to use the thinking skills they have learned to help their other subjects. Critical Thinking is a popular AS Level at North Devon College where last year 97% of the students taking the exam gained grades A - C. The initiative continues this year with nineteen year 10 pupils who hope to follow this success.

For further information contact: Jacquie Thwaites North Devon College 01271 338036

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