Newbridge Junior School Recognised as Advanced Thinking School

Newbridge Junior School Recognised as Advanced Thinking School

Newbridge Junior School in Portsmouth has become only the third primary school in the country to receive “Advanced Thinking School” accreditation from the University of Exeter.

The report by the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, issued as part of the accreditation process, praised Newbridge for its “focus on the development of the whole child”. It also noted how learning at the school is tailored to student’s individual needs and “developing autonomy and individuality in pupils’ approaches to problem-solving”.

The school, rated Good by Ofsted and part of the high-performing Thinking Schools Academy Trust, was previously accredited as a Level 1 “Thinking School” in 2017. Newbridge’s “Advanced Thinking Accreditation” recognises “the significant and sustained progress the school has made in its on-going journey as a thinking and learning community.”

Newbridge Junior School leads Thinking Schools’ Portsmouth Primary Thinking Hub – a group of schools within the Trust taking a whole school approach to the teaching of thinking, who meet regularly to share best practice and expertise on embedding thinking skills.


The University of Exeter’s report highlights a wide range of other strengths, including:

  • “Questioning strategies are used in alignment with a common cognitive language such that pupils are clear about the demands placed on them”.
  • The school is “highly inclusive of all children, regardless of background.”
  • The school “receives requests for school to school support from a variety of schools outside TSAT aimed at developing thinking approaches via curriculum development and pedagogical approaches. This is illustrative of the high-quality developmental provision and impact at Newbridge.”
  • “There are continuous formal and informal critical evaluations of Thinking Skills, Approaches and Tools… This is a clear indicator of the way in which a culture of thinking has developed within the school.”


Jack Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Newbridge Junior School, said:

“To receive Advanced Thinking School Accreditation is a true testament to how engaged and reflective our pupils are in their own learning. It confirms what reflective learners they are and how they strive for the best in everything that they do. The shared language of learning at Newbridge is part and parcel of what we do and something that we all take great pride in.”


Anna Webb, Senior Headteacher at Newbridge Junior School, said:

“I am exceptionally proud that the endeavours of all our staff, pupils, parents, governors and wider community have been recognised. This accreditation demonstrates the thinking journey that we have all been part of, and it is one we will certainly continue to pursue.”


Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive Officer at The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“To be named one of only three Advanced Thinking Primary Schools is an absolutely fantastic achievement for Newbridge Junior School, and one that all the staff and pupils should be extremely proud of. As the lead school for the Thinking Schools’ Portsmouth Primary Thinking Hub, Newbridge also plays a central role in helping schools both inside and outside our Trust to foster an open, critical learning environment.”