Advanced Accredited Thinking School

A Cognitive Approach to Education

As part of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, we take pride in the unique approach we take to education: we provide our children with the skills and tools they need to think in a variety of ways and become lifelong learners. The transferrable Thinking Tools that we teach our pupils are designed to prepare them for the range of scenarios, dilemmas and circumstances that they may face in later life as part of modern society.

“To become a thinking school requires (shared) vision, skillful in-service training and a great deal of hard work. In one sense, the process is never-ending, but we do believe that schools demonstrating that they can match a certain number of basic criteria can rightfully claim to be a thinking school.” – Professor Bob Burden, of Exeter University.

We were delighted with University of Exeter's report, which highlighted the positive impact our thinking culture has had for our students:

  • 'Children are encouraged to strive for high standards through awards and displays of high-quality pieces of work.'
  • 'Outcomes in Reading, Writing and Mathematics are all consistently above national figures. The school’s own internal analysis and presentation of these outcomes reflect this trend, together with internal growth, and demonstrates transparency and aspiration for further improvement.'
  • 'New Horizons Children's Academy 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.'
  • 'Children are encouraged to strive for high standards through awards and displays of high-quality pieces of work.'

What is a Thinking School?

A Thinking School is unique in their focus to share with your child the tools to become a life-long learner, and to develop the best possible habits for success in life. It is an educational community which involves both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively. A Thinking School is more than just a title, to become one the school has to earn the Thinking accreditation from Exeter University.

We want every student in our schools to be inquisitive and confident in themselves. Our thinking toolkit is how we support them through this journey. These tools are used in tandem with an approach to teaching that instils a growth mindest and ‘can do’ attitude. Through their time in a Thinking School, students will develop the right habits to ensure they are successful throughout education and beyond.

More information on Thinking Schools, including our ‘Habits of Mind’ and ‘CoRT Tools’ can be found on our Trust website:

Thinking Tools and Strategies