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Critical Thinking AS Level at Brine Leas School

Course description

Now, not a lot of people know this, but the English word Critical comes from the Greek word Kritikos ... and kritikos refers to someone who has the ability to tell the difference between what’s important and what isn’t. And that’s kind of what Critical Thinking is all about. Instead of just having a gut reaction to situations or concepts, critical thinkers look at the whole problem, from all points of view, and arrive at a rounded conclusion. They use reasoning to shift the unimportant parts out of any scenario.

A lot of emphasis in Critical Thinking is about reflection. You can observe your own feelings on a subject from emotional and logical perspectives ... and try to understand the views of others, even if you don’t agree with them. So critical thinking is about arguments. Not shouting arguments (usually), but reasoned arguments.

Critical Thinking is run as part of the enrichment programme at Brine Leas. Pupils have the opportunity to opt into AS Critical Thinking as an extra to run alongside their other four AS subjects. The AS is traditionally run over the two years, with pupils sitting one exam at the end of each year. There may be the opportunity for some pupils to sit the whole AS in just one year.

Course content

AS level includes two main parts. In year 12 there’s the introduction unit which is your primer for Critical Thinking. It includes skills like recognising reasoned arguments, and examining the language used within arguments. Year 13 is about the analysis of arguments, and provides you with the skills to identify flaws and fallacies within the arguments of others.

In critical thinking you will also be required to draw on all your previous critical thinking knowledge in order to analyse and create your own complex arguments.


F501 - Year 12

Section A – The Language of Reasoning
Section B – Credibility Criteria
75 marks (50% of AS marks)
1hr 30mins

F502 - Year 13

Section A – Multiple Choice
Section B – Analysing & Evaluating Arguments
Section C – Developing Your Own Arguments
75 Marks (50% of AS marks)
1hr 30mins

You will gain an AS Level qualification over 2 years.

Future opportunities

Critical Thinking could take you to places that right now you aren’t even aware of. And that’s because critical thinking changes the way you think and the way you perceive things. But that’s a conceptual answer to the question. Maybe right now it’s more useful to say that critical thinking underpins just about any career, from business to teaching.

Critical Thinking unlocks a number of personal skills:

  • Develop clear communication skills to influence people with sound reasoning
  • Discover new ways to use and analyse information from different sources
  • Become a ‘problem-solver’ and make good decisions
  • Develop an analytical brai

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brine Leas School directly.

Last updated date: 04 October 2016

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