Schools in Chatham Celebrate Advanced Thinking School Status!

Schools in Chatham Celebrate Advanced Thinking School Status!

There’s a lot to celebrate at the Thinking Schools Academy Trust as The Victory Academy and New Horizon’s Children’s Academy, two of our Chatham Schools, have just been awarded Advanced Thinking School status by the University of Exeter.

The Trust takes pride in its unique and effective approach to learning and education. Students are provided with the skillset and tools they need to think in a variety of ways and become lifelong learners. These transferable Thinking Tools prepare children for a range of situations, dilemmas and circumstances that they may face later in life as part of modern society.

Thinking Schools @ Exeter leads the way in research in Metacognition, Thinking Skills, Creativity and Dialogue in Education – providing a structure for schools to become recognised Thinking Schools. The Victory Academy was accredited as a Level 1 Thinking School in 2018. It was identified as a “school with a clear vision of the attributes that it wants all children to develop and is relentless in its pursuit of this vision.” New Horizons Children’s Academy was accredited as a Thinking School in 2017 and was the first school in Kent to gain additional accreditation through the SEND Inclusion Award in 2019. “These achievements reflect the school’s drive for sustained holistic development, together with an unwavering commitment to lifelong learning for all.”

In order to achieve Level 2 Thinking accreditation to become an Advanced Thinking School, the academies were assessed on; Dissemination of Practice, Evaluative Research, Professional Development, Differentiation, and Whole School Assessment. These areas identify the school’s continued work to support lifelong learning and holistic growth for all students.

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Both schools have fully embedded Thinking Skills into their teaching, assessment, evaluation, and staff development which was recognised throughout the reports. The University of Exeter documented, “It is clear that The Victory Academy has an exceptional commitment to its continued development as a Thinking School, both in terms of ethos and pedagogy. […] there are effective strategies in place across subject areas that encourage and support evaluation and reflective practice of learning and teaching approaches and impact.”

 

Principal of The Victory Academy, Michelle Smith, says “The staff at The Victory Academy work tirelessly to transform the life chances of our students, support their progress and develop their thinking. I couldn’t be prouder that the University of Exeter’s School of Education recognises our commitment to our young people and awarded us the Advanced Thinking School Accreditation. Thank you to everyone involved who worked so hard to achieve this award.”

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New Horizons was praised for providing additional work on a national level, supporting schools across Plymouth and Portsmouth, and running a number of workshops at Trust conferences. The school “is working with the Assistant Head of a school in China on using meta-cognitive language aligned to Thinking Tools” and have recently been a part of a “research group for a new book on Retrieval Practice.” The University of Exeter states, “There is a clear and effective programme of dissemination across the whole multi-academy, the Thinking Schools network, regionally, nationally, and internationally which includes contributions to conferences and publications.”

 

Cormac Murphy, Principal of New Horizons Children’s Academy, says, “I am thrilled to have our commitment to the development of staff and students at New Horizons recognised by the University of Exeter. We strive for excellence and aim to provide an education for our children that will transform their life chances and help them thrive as they continue to learn. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this process and for your incredible hard work in achieving this award.”

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We are delighted to have been awarded the Advanced Thinking School accreditations in recognition of all the brilliant work our staff do to offer our children the best possible cognitive education within our schools. Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this award!” says Mandy Gage, Director of Education.

 

This is a proud moment for the two schools and is the result of all the hard work the staff and students have put into understanding and applying the Thinking School ethos to all aspects of school life. The schools will continue to grow through staff development and training and embedding cognitive education, supporting our children to become skilled, independent, and reflective learners.