Our Strood Hub Celebrates Thinking School Reaccreditations across all Schools!

Our Strood Hub Celebrates Thinking School Reaccreditations across all Schools!

Pupils and staff across our Strood schools are celebrating achieving their esteemed Thinking School accreditations awarded by the University of Exeter. The Gordon Children’s Academy has been reaccredited as a Thinking School, while All Faiths Children’s Academy and Cedar Children’s Academy, have been reaccredited as Advanced Thinking Schools. The Thinking School accreditations are awarded by The University of Exeter’s School of Education, which leads the way in research on Metacognition, Thinking Skills and Creativity and provides a framework for schools to follow to become recognised Thinking Schools. 

The Gordon Children’s Academy 

The University of Exeter found that the Academy “conveys a positive, caring and creative atmosphere” and is “an inspirational example of the drive for holistic educational provision geared towards the development of lifelong learners”, praising the “rich extra-curricular offering designed to build children’s cultural capital.” The report commented on the impact of this, stating “achievement continues to rise across the school with attendance and behaviour being of an excellent standard.” 

Commending the Trust more widely, the inspector added “The TSAT family of schools is a good example of how to secure continuity and progression for children as they move through the various phases of provision.” 

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All Faiths Children’s Academy 

The inspector for All Faiths Children’s Academy found that the Academy had a sustained commitment to the Thinking School ethos and Thinking Skills were fully embedded in the school’s culture. The inspector commented, “The school has an explicit thinking strategy running through all they do, which includes new staff training, an extensive programme of CPD, continuous evaluation of tools, assessment of pupil learning and thinking, and strategies to give differentiated support for pupils.” 

The Academy’s parental engagement was also found to be particular strength with the report stating that pupils and parents are fully included within the Thinking School ethos and that the Academy has developed “effective ways of engaging parents using a variety of digital tools, helping to inform and connect with parents and encourage parental support.” 

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Cedar Children’s Academy  

Cedar Children’s Academy’s inspector commended Cedar’s curriculum, stating that it is clearly mapped out and underpinned by research. The report added, “CCA’s curriculum acts to operationalise the school’s mission and include the recognition of close links between emotional wellbeing and academic achievement, encouragement of ambition, curiosity, positivity and resilience and parental engagement.” The report went on to applaud the Academy’s work to disseminate its learning style and thinking tools to its feeder schools. 

The Academy was also commended for its international outlook and effort to develop children as global citizens as well as its inclusive practice and adaptable approach for all pupils, including those with SEND. The report said, “Through thorough and on-going dialogue with pupils, teachers are able to mediate learning such that learning is geared towards the needs of all students at an individual level, regardless of starting point or specific barriers to learning.” 

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Jody Murphy, Director of Education for our Thinking Schools Academy Trust’s Strood Hub, said: 

“What an amazing achievement for each of our primary schools in the Strood Hub, in gaining their Thinking School reaccreditations, with All Faiths and Cedar Children’s Academies gaining advanced reaccreditation. It is testament to the teachers who have worked exceptionally hard embedding thinking into everyday school life, ensuring that our children are developing into lifelong learners and thinkers. 

“The University of Exeter recognised that the Pupil Drive Teams strongly reflects our focus on pupil voice, independence and empowerment and is instrumental in advocating our schools’ thinking ethos. 

“As a Trust we are proud of the unique cognitive approach we take to education and truly believe it provides the best start in life for our children, something that will continue within our new secondary school, Maritime Academy, ensuring their journey continues.” 

Congratulations to all three of our Strood primary academies for these incredible achievements – it is wonderful to see our Trust’s commitment to providing a unique, rounded education to our young people recognised by such a prestigious institution.