The COGS course was introduced in September 2007 and has been developed by Mr Lennon, Deputy Headmaster. The aim of the course is to focus on higher order thinking skills, encouraging meta-learning (thinking about thinking), developing positive personal attributes and habits of learning. Different aspects of learning and intelligent behaviour are explored through challenging and sometimes philosophical tasks so that students are equipped with a set of behaviours from which they can choose when approaching a task or problem. Year 7 students have a weekly 1hour COGS lesson. Students benefit from this programme by being more able to think for themselves; they think about the way they learn; and think creatively about solving problems and presenting ideas.
‘Intelligence is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’ (Piaget)
Quotes from Year 7:
‘I would say. COGS is about thinking about your thinking and also using different habits of mind for things you think you need them specifically for. Also in groups and at work what you need to become a fully working and communicative team. I have learnt a lot about how to work in a team and I would say that this helps anyone to become more focused and understand life and its questions as well as what to do. It also enhances you ability to learn more.’
‘It is a course to help you use your mind to its full potential, and make you think how you think. An example of using your mind well is getting into habits of mind such as: persisting, finding humour and questioning and problem posing. The word ‘COGS’ is the sound your brain might make when faced with the difficult types of questions and tasks you are asked to do. Through fun but challenging activities we can learn to know what do when faced with difficult problems, start to get into good habits and it involves lots of teamwork. However, ‘Thinking is one of the hardest things, that is why so few people engage in it’, the famous quote by Henry Ford, is true. COGS is one of the most challenging but also most enjoyable subjects. It is probably more beneficial than any other lesson and I hope you get the opportunity to do something like it.’