New Horizons Children’s Academy Given Prestigious “Thinking School” Award

New Horizons Children’s Academy Given Prestigious “Thinking School” Award

Students and staff at New Horizons Children’s Academy are delighted after the school became one of only about 100 schools in the country to receive “Thinking School” accreditation from the University of Exeter.

The school, opened by the Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) in September 2014, has been praised for its “ethos of excellence” in a new report by Exeter University’s Cognitive Education Development Unit, confirming the strong partnership between school and Trust, and the “positive attitude to learning” that has been fostered.

The accreditation follows hot on the heels of the school being rated ‘Good’ all round by Ofsted last year.

Exeter University’s report, issued as part of the accreditation process, recognises that the school has fully embraced TSAT’s innovative cognitive approach, which places a strong emphasis on pupils thinking reflectively, critically, and creatively.

The report highlights a wide range of other strengths, including:

  • Pupils are proud of their school and appreciate its focus on thinking skills.
  • Pupils are confident in expressing their own views and values.
  • Pupils are given the skills to “become analytical, flexible, and independent”.
  • Clear and strong direction is provided by the Head teacher, Jody Murphy.
  • Teachers place high expectations on pupils, and visitors are aware of the value of the “Thinking School” approach as soon as they enter the school.

New Horizons Children’s Academy is the third TSAT school to receive the prestigious accreditation.


Juanita Bacon, Thinking Skills Co-ordinator at New Horizons Children’s Academy, said:

“Our Trust’s innovative approach to thinking and learning enables all children to develop excellent thinking skills and effective learning habits, which result in a real interest and enthusiasm towards self-development.”


Jody Murphy, Headteacher at New Horizons Children’s Academy, said:

“We are all very proud to have been awarded ‘Thinking School’ accreditation by the University of Exeter, demonstrating our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.

 “This achievement shows our continued journey to improve the life chances of all our pupils through a rich, varied, and interesting curriculum.

 “Our accreditation and ‘Good’ Ofsted rating have been extremely important milestones in our development, and we look forward to building on our success over the coming months and years.” 


Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“Achieving accreditation as a ‘Thinking School’ is a hugely important step for New Horizons Children’s Academy, showcasing the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff to foster an open, critical learning environment. 

“We have greatly enjoyed working with the school since 2014, and are very excited about continuing our work together as the school goes from strength to strength.”