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Critical Thinking at Malbank School and Sixth form College

Course description

Critical Thinking has only recently been established at Malbank and is becoming increasingly popular with Gifted & Talented students. Results are consistently good with the majority of students achieving grades A*-C.

So what is Critical Thinking? It is a form of reflective reasoning that analyses and evaluates information and arguments by applying a range of intellectual skills in order to reach clear, logical and coherent judgements. It is skills-based, as oppose to content-based, curriculum. It is all about reflection. You will analyse arguments and evaluate evidence in order to reach a logical judgement. It will challenge you to really think about what you read and hear people say.  It will also challenge you to communicate effectively and consider arguments/evidence in a logical way.

Course content


Unit 1: ‘An Introduction to Critical Thinking' - the language of reasoning and assessing credibility - Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 
50% of AS, 25% of A2
Unit 2: ‘Assessing and Developing Argument' - evaluating arguments and developing a response - Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 
50% of AS, 25% of A2


Unit 3: ‘Ethical Reasoning and Decision Making' - responding to dilemmas and developing moral 
& ethical principles - Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of A2
Unit 4: ‘Critical Reasoning' - analysing and evaluating complex arguments and developing a response - Written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of A2

NB: At present, it is not possible to select Critical Thinking as one of your four options. Rather, it is delivered using ‘spare' sessions and during lunch times/after school. As a result, students who wish to sit both AS exams or study the A2 course will need to dedicate several hours of their own time each week to ensure that the material is covered and examination skills are developed.

Entry requirements

Critical Thinking is a challenging academic course with rigorous and demanding assessment procedures. It requires high level, flexible thinking skills and you should only opt for this course if you have achieved a grade B or above in English and related subjects such as History and RE.

Future opportunities

As aforementioned, Critical Thinking is about the development of a range of skills that can be transferred to and implemented in a wide range of professional settings.

Further information

What Extra Opportunities are available?

Over the coming year, the aim is to establish links with local organisations that will give students the opportunity to apply their skills in a purposeful way such as policy making, debating and public speaking.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Malbank School and Sixth form College directly.

Last updated date: 16 August 2016

Key information