Key Dates:

Tuesday 25th June: Early Closure, Students Dismissed at 12:30pm

Wednesday 26th June: Year 9 Progress Evening 3:40pm - 6:30pm Click here to book now.

Advanced Accredited Thinking School

At The Portsmouth Academy we believe passionately in providing our students with the best foundations on which to build their academic and personal success. In doing so we draw on the very latest pedagogic research to place cognition and Thinking Skills at the heart of our teaching and learning provision.

As part of our journey toward being acknowledged as a centre of best practice in this field, we gained Level 2 Advanced Accreditation as a Thinking School from University of Exeter’s prestigious Cognitive Education Development Unit in 2020. We are delighted to be part of this illustrious company with only a handful of schools in the country having received this accreditation. 

The report by the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, issued as part of the accreditation process, noted that attainment has “steadily increased” at TPA, since its initial accreditation as a Thinking School – demonstrating the positive impact of its cognitive approach to education.

The University of Exeter’s report highlights a wide range of other strengths, including:

  • “A strong programme of staff development is in place throughout the school, which is rooted in the Thinking School ethos.”
  • “Students are confident in using the Thinking Tools effectively to help scaffold their own learning.”
  • “Thinking Skills are fully embedded in the school’s teaching and learning ethos, which is clearly visible in the standard of student work.”
  • The Academy has “extensive links with other schools in the Trust, as well as with the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance”.

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. 

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:


“Using all of the thinking tools, especially the thinking hats and thinking maps, has greatly aided me in my development and learning. Being on the Thinking Drive team is something that I am really proud of and gaining the advanced status is a real achievement for us all.”

-Sarah, Year 11 

Thinking Tools and Strategies