The Portsmouth Academy Recognised as Advanced Thinking School

The Portsmouth Academy Recognised as Advanced Thinking School

Students and staff at the Portsmouth Academy are celebrating the Academy’s accreditation as an “Advanced Thinking School” by the University of Exeter.

The Academy, which is part of the high-performing Thinking Schools Academy Trust, is one of only seven schools in the country to receive the prestigious Level 2 “Advanced Thinking School” accreditation.

The report by the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, issued as part of the accreditation process, noted that attainment has “steadily increased” at TPA, since its initial accreditation as a Thinking School – demonstrating the positive impact of its cognitive approach to education.

The Portsmouth Academy was rated Outstanding for effectiveness of leadership and management and Good overall by Ofsted in 2017, was previously accredited as a Level 1 “Thinking School” in 2016.


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

  • “A strong programme of staff development is in place throughout the school, which is rooted in the Thinking School ethos.”
  • “Students are confident in using the Thinking Tools effectively to help scaffold their own learning.”
  • “Thinking Skills are fully embedded in the school’s teaching and learning ethos, which is clearly visible in the standard of student work.”
  • The Academy has “extensive links with other schools in the Trust, as well as with the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance”.


Rachel Grey, Principal at The Portsmouth Academy, said:

“I am hugely proud that the efforts of all our staff, pupils, parents, governors and wider community have been recognised. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication, which has played an integral role in our journey to becoming an Advanced Thinking School and we will continue to push for even greater heights.”

Sarah Musson, a Year 11 student, who leads the Thinking Schools Student Drive Team said:

“Using all of the thinking tools, especially the thinking hats and thinking maps, has greatly aided me in my development and learning. Being on the Thinking Drive team is something that I am really proud of and gaining the advanced status is a real achievement for us all.”

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

“We are delighted that The Portsmouth Academy has achieved “Advanced Thinking School” accreditation.

“This is a testament to the hard work of all the fantastic staff and pupils and their commitment to our cognitive approach to education and embedding thinking skills in the life of the school. TPA also plays a key role in sharing best practice across the Trust and with other local schools in Portsmouth to foster an open, critical learning environment.”