The Victory Academy Receives Prestigious “Thinking School” Award

The Victory Academy Receives Prestigious “Thinking School” Award

Students and staff at The Victory Academy are celebrating after the school joined a select group of around 100 schools nationwide which have been awarded the prestigious “Thinking School” accreditation from the University of Exeter.

The school is part of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, one of the leading multi-academy trusts in the country, which now has six schools in the South-East which have received the accreditation from Exeter University’s renowned Cognitive Education Development Unit.

The University’s report recognises that staff at the school “are intent upon raising the achievement and aspirations of all”, and that “the thinking approach has developed a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.”

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

  • Students apply and use Thinking Tools to enrich and enhance their learning.
  • The school is committed to cognitive education through its “Victory Vision” ethos.
  • The “Thinking Schools” approach continues to transform how students and staff view learning, and enhances student achievement.
  • The school’s leadership share the Trust’s focus on cognitive education and thinking skills.

The award marks another important milestone in The Victory Academy’s recent string of successes. In the last year the school has achieved record GCSE results, been ranked the top non-selective school in Medway by the Department for Education (DfE), achieved a “Good” rating from Ofsted, and been awarded the prestigious Platinum Artsmark Award by Arts Council England.

The school has undergone a rapid transformation since joining the Thinking Schools Academy Trust in 2015, when it was rated “Requires Improvement” by Ofsted and had weak GCSE results. The school’s recent success has been led by Principal Mandy Gage, who has been rewarded for her work by being appointed Executive Principal of both The Victory Academy and Holcombe Grammar School from September 2018.


Laura Gladstone, Thinking Skills Co-ordinator at The Victory Academy, said:

“The use of Thinking Tools are embedded within our school’s innovative approach to teaching and learning, and have played such a key role in transforming how students and staff view education.

“By enhancing students’ cognitive capacities and independent thinking skills, our students are able to achieve their potential and overcome any challenge they pursue.”


Mandy Gage, Principal at The Victory Academy, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded ‘Thinking School’ accreditation by the University of Exeter, demonstrating the excellence of our teaching and learning.

“We have enjoyed a tremendous year, achieving excellent academic results and being recognised for our extra-curricular talents, and all of our recent accolades are testament to the hard work and dedication that staff show on a daily basis.

“Our recent successes will only drive us forward to continue providing the best educational environment for our students, so we can transform the life chances of all.”


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

“Being awarded ‘Thinking School’ accreditation is a very important milestone for The Victory Academy, highlighting the open, critical learning environment that has been fostered at the school.

“It is another crucial step on the school’s exciting and transformative journey since we started working with the school in 2015, and we are looking forward to building on its tremendous success over the coming months and years.”