Accredited Thinking School

Goodwin Academy is part of a global community of Thinkers

At Goodwin Academy we believe passionately in providing our students with the best foundations on which to build their academic and personal success. As part of this, we utilise a cognitive approach to education through Thinking Skills and Tools.

Studies have show that on average, an English school with a Progress 8 score of zero (the UK national average) would move up to a score of one if they showed the same progress as an accredited Thinking School. (David Walters, 2018). We firmly believe this approach to learning develops students into confident, well-round young people and we are delighted with our recent accreditation from the University of Exeter. 

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.

The report from the University of Exeter highlighted the positivity our community of thinkers has procured:

  • 'Pupil progression through phases has high priority at Goodwin Academy. Mental health and psychological wellbeing also have a high profile at the school and there are strong support structures in place.'
  • 'Thinking tools are used to covey Goodwin’s thinking approaches to parents in a visual and interactive way. As a consequence of these actions, parents are well equipped to support their children’s learning at home.'
  • 'Goodwin has a rich extra-curricular offering designed to build children’s cultural capital.'
  • 'The school is very astute in attributing this impressive trend to a rich blend of educational provision whilst recognising the contribution of its whole school approach to the teaching of thinking.'
  • 'The Goodwin Academy training model has created a very supportive lesson study climate that has undoubtedly fostered creative and innovative practice.'

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