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School Achieves Advanced Thinking School Status

School Achieves Advanced Thinking School Status

New Horizons Children’s Academy are awarded Advanced Thinking School Accreditation!

We are delighted to announce that New Horizons Children’s Academy has been accredited as an Advanced Thinking School by the University of Exeter.

As part of the Trust, we take pride in our unique and effective approach to learning and education. We provide our students with the skillset and tools they need to think in a variety of ways and become lifelong learners. These transferable Thinking Tools prepare our 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. New Horizons Children’s Academy was accredited as a Thinking School in 2017 and were 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 academy had to provide evidence that they have continued to develop on their previously submitted processes and were assessed on; Dissemination of Practice, Evaluative Research, Professional Development, Differentiation, and Whole School Assessment. The report from the University of Exeter recognised that “The school’s aims and ethos have a clear focus on high aspiration and achievement for all children. […] The school seeks to make learning irresistible by developing children as creative, adaptable and resilient thinkers so that they become committed lifelong learners.”

New Horizons has fully embedded Thinking Skills into the school’s teaching, assessment, evaluation, and staff development while 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 that “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.”


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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 accreditation, in recognition of all the brilliant work our staff do to offer our children the best possible cognitive education. Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this award!” so says Mandy Gage, Director of Education.

This is a proud moment for New Horizons Children Academy and 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 school will continue to grow through staff development and training and embedding cognitive education, supporting our children to become skilled, independent, and reflective learners.