As part of the Trust, the school takes a unique and effective approach to learning and education and provides students with the skillset and tools they need to think in a variety of ways and become lifelong learners. These transferable Thinking Tools prepare students 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. Rochester Grammar School has a “long history of Thinking School development and accreditation and has been at the core of the Thinking School movement for many years”. The school originally received Thinking School status in 2009 before gaining their Level 2, Advanced Thinking School in 2011 and reaccreditation in 2016 and now 2022.
To achieve Level 2 Thinking accreditation, the school was 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, no matter their starting points.
The school has fully embedded Thinking Skills into the school’s teaching, assessment, evaluation, and staff development which was recognised throughout the school’s review, as the University of Exeter documented, “The school’s cognitive education development journey has moved forward unswervingly since its previous accreditation […] Rochester Grammar School has embedded thinking and meta-cognitive approaches in all aspects of school life in order to ensure that its aims and ethos are a reality.”
The report from Thinking Schools @ Exeter praised the school for its high aspiration and achievement for students stating “[Rochester Grammar] is clearly a school that prides itself in achieving and maintaining the highest educational standards […] it is a school where every individual is encouraged to achieve excellence and this is captured well in its ethos statements: ‘Excellence for All’, ‘Raising Aspirations’, ‘Delivering Excellence’, and ‘Transforming Life Chances’.”