Becoming a Thinking School transformed our pupils' learning

TES | January 31, 2019

Becoming a Thinking School transformed our pupils' learning
Like many schools, our delight at our showing in the provisional Progress 8 scores, published in November, has been tempered by the knowledge that the first findings should be treated with caution. But now that the final ones have been published, our ‘quiet confidence’ has been repaid. Our schools – separate but co-sited single-sex academies – recorded a score of +1.0 (Glenmoor Academy – girls) and (Winton Academy - boys) +0.60, respectively. Our P8 English and Maths attainment figure show remarkable progress. At Glenmoor, we’ve moved from +0.48 in 2016 to +0.85 in 2017 to this year’s +1.05. Over the same period, Glenmoor’s percentage of grade 5s in English and maths have moved from 65 per cent to 78 per cent. At Winton, the P8 figures for English and Maths attainment have moved from +0.37 in 2016, +0.75 in 2017 and +0.51 this year while the grade 5 English and maths attainment figures have gone from 44 per cent to 61 per cent.So how have we done it?A key part of our progress has been becoming a ‘Thinking School’, one of a growing number accredited by the University of Exeter.While there’s never a golden bullet to improving learning, the Thinking School approach has permeated every part of our school culture. We’re sited in a predominantly white, working-class area of Bournemouth. At Glenmoor, 27 per cent of pupils are eligible for pupil premium (PP) funding, 17 per cent have English as an additional language (EAL), and 12 per cent have special educational needs (SEND). At Winton, the PP students number 18 per cent, while 17 per cent have EAL and SEND.

Spotlight

U.S. private sector education appears poised to rebound. This $120+ billion industry—serving the childcare, K-12, postsecondary, and corporate training segments—is a small component (roughly 8.8%) of the estimated $1.37 trillion to be spent on education in the U.S. in 2016. However, we believe private sector education has had a major impact on how traditional providers operate (e.g., greater acceptance of online education). Although annual growth slowed earlier this decade—owing to economic and regulatory issues, among others—we believe growth rates are starting to recover, though not to mid- to high-single digit rates seen in the sector’s heyday last decade.

Spotlight

U.S. private sector education appears poised to rebound. This $120+ billion industry—serving the childcare, K-12, postsecondary, and corporate training segments—is a small component (roughly 8.8%) of the estimated $1.37 trillion to be spent on education in the U.S. in 2016. However, we believe private sector education has had a major impact on how traditional providers operate (e.g., greater acceptance of online education). Although annual growth slowed earlier this decade—owing to economic and regulatory issues, among others—we believe growth rates are starting to recover, though not to mid- to high-single digit rates seen in the sector’s heyday last decade.

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