Ethos & Values

Be Your Best

At Goodwin, we are committed to transforming the life chances of our students, ensuring that all are supported and encouraged to achieve their personal best.

We deliver this through the BEST Agenda -‘Be Your Best’ with BEST being an acronym for B = Brilliance, E = Enrichment, S = Society and T = Thinking.


At Goodwin Academy, you will be supported to be brilliant in everything you do.

Our ethos is to encourage our students to be their best self, striving for brilliance in all areas of their learning. Students at Goodwin develop an understanding that in order to achieve there has to be challenge. Overcoming these difficult times and building resilience is part of the journey towards any form of success, small or large. Brilliance is the reward of having the right habits of mind, which our students will develop through the Gateways to Success. 

'The overarching ethos is one of care, compassion and high expectations dedicated to the holistic development of every student as lifelong learners, equipped for the challenges ahead.' 

- University of Exeter 2022

We live in a society, which bombards our young people with images of superficial ideals. Rather than promoting the idea of quick wins we aim to instil the habit of resilience.  Winston Churchill said “success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Examples of Brilliant activities include:

  • Commitment to academic studies
  • 100% attendance and punctuality
  • Representing the school
  • Raising personal aspirations


At Goodwin Academy, you will encounter a variety of educational opportunities outside of the classroom.

Learning does not only take place inside the classroom, instead we encourage our students to see each experience as a learning opportunity. At Goodwin, we want our students to engage and embrace the world around them. Cultural Capital is an important part of a well-rounded education, encouraging students to take themselves out of their comfort zone and see a world of opportunities. Transferable knowledge is key to being able to contextualise our learning; the wider our experiences, the more able learner we become due to our broader understanding. All of us have preferred interests and ideas, but unless we are provided with the opportunity to explore new experiences we will be unable to develop our knowledge limiting our pathways to success.

Examples of Enrichment activities include:

  • Trips and visits
  • Sporting activities and Duke of Edinburgh
  • Performances and productions
  • Work Experience


At Goodwin Academy, you will be encouraged to develop as a responsible, active and informed world citizen, demonstrating mutual respect, empathy and community spirit.

We live in a global community, therefore it is essential that our students understand their role and responsibilities that come with living in a democratic society. Students at Goodwin are active not only in the immediate community of Deal, but also working with national and international agencies to support those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Society can be likened to a watch mechanism, made up of different cogs and leavers that enable the watch to tell the time effectively. Each and every one of us is a cog, if society is to work for us then we need to ensure that we know and understand what our role is in order to be effective citizens. At Goodwin, we believe to become effective individuals in society, it is essential that each of our students aspire to be the best citizen and develop the fundamental values that are key in British society today.

Examples of Society activities include:

  • Charity events
  • Student leadership
  • Community outreach
  • Political engagement



At Goodwin Academy, you will join a global community of thinkers.

A “Thinking School” is an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to providing careful thought to everything that takes place. This involves both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities. Students are supported to think for themselves through the development of a thorough understanding of thinking tools that are used to aid and monitor their own progress. Research from the University of Exeter highlights that students who attend a “Thinking School” on average achieve one GCSE grade higher in comparison to pupils starting at the same point at a non “Thinking school”.

The “Thinking School” approach arms learners with skills that better prepare them for the ever-changing world we live in. Students achieve this through developing their confidence to map out their ideas independently and reflect upon these processes. As students become more confident, their motivation improves, enabling vibrant and collaborative learning environments.  With the fear of failure removed, students develop their confidence through improved communication and the ability to utilise learnt coping strategies.

Examples of Thinking activities include:

  • Thinking Maps – to visualise thinking
  • CORT Tools – to focus thinking
  • De Bono’s Thinking Hats – to organise thinking
  • Thinking Keys – to engage and motivate thinking
  • Questioning – to encourage thinking
  • Goodwin Gateways – to develop thinking dispositions

Goodwin Gateways

The Goodwin Gateways aim to instil positive habits of mind to enable students to become independent and creative learners, providing them with transferable tools that can support them on the journey to achieving their goals. Each of the Gateways has been chosen specifically to fit the needs of Goodwin Academy students, so that they become confident, well-rounded and contented individuals.

Persistence is a hard habit to develop but at Goodwin the teaching and support mechanisms allow students to grow in confidence. Therefore, when faced with a challenge or experience with a sense of falling short, young people must be able to pick themselves up and carry on the journey to success.

Striving for Accuracy allows our students to gain an understanding of the importance of doing a job well, when entering a world full of competition our young people need to stand out by hitting the mark.

Listening with understanding and empathy is probably one of the most important habits of mind, the world is shrinking and our young people will encounter others who are not from the same background or who hold the same values as them.

One mind can conceive amazing inventions, but just think what many minds working together can innovate, this is what thinking interdependently is about. Sometimes sharing thoughts and ideas can be daunting but as with any walk of life team work enables individual success as well as team achievement.

Those who communicate well and who can convey their thoughts clearly can achieve beyond their capability. We take it for granted that people know how to communicate or to comprehend what is being said, this is not always the case and we need to allow our students to be confident communicators in whatever situation they may find themselves.

Transferable knowledge allows us to use what we already know to help us learn something new. At Goodwin Academy, we aim to lay foundations of learning across subjects upon which students can build strong knowledge bases.

Are we always truly clear about our thought processes and about the ideas that form our opinions? We will understand others better and therefore empathise more successfully if we have an understanding of what shapes us and thinking about our thinking is key.

Our children will leave school and enter into jobs that do not currently exist. Therefore, it is important that they are encouraged to create, imagine, innovate and stretch traditional ideas so that they are the engineers, inventors and employers of the future.