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Overview

We are privileged to work in a stunning learning environment with excellent resources. Our belief is that each person is unique – every member of our community has gifts and talents that we seek to grow and channel. Our job is to find and foster these for all. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum geared towards ensuring that your child will be a dynamic member of society when they leave the Academy.

We want our students to flourish and this can only happen with the support of our parents and staff working together. We know our approach and ethos changes lives and pathways. We are an inclusive Academy committed to excellence with a passion.

 

Academy Values

The Victory Values are:

  1. RESPECT for ourselves and our community
  2. PRIDE in ourselves and our community
  3. BELIEF in ourselves and our community
  4. ASPIRE and ENDEAVOUR to ACHIEVE our PERSONAL BEST

At the Academy, we seek to create an environment in which students and staff feel able to explore and express themselves. Over time we hope to reassure students that rather than forcing them to believe certain things, or act in certain ways, we are merely providing opportunities for them to investigate what they themselves believe.

Working for Us

Joining the Thinking Schools Academy Trust means you will be working in an inspiring environment with colleagues that are committed to sharing their skills and experience to transform all our schools to outstanding and supporting each other to reach their personal goals. With an outstanding reputation for CPD and training, The Thinking Schools Academy Trust’s founding school The Rochester Grammar School is the lead school in the New Horizons Teaching Schools Alliance, offering training and support to over a thousand teachers in Medway and Portsmouth.

We are always interested in hearing from enthusiastic people wanting to work in our schools – Please join our talent pool and we will ensure you get updates on suitable roles.  School Talent Pool Benefits of working for TSAT: Career Development Teacher Training Programmes New Horizons Teaching Alliance Thinking Skills training For more information on working for The Thinking Schools Academy Trust please click here

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) is a non-profit making charitable trust that has successfully grown over the past few years to include a diverse range of academies in Medway and Portsmouth.

The lead academy is the Rochester Grammar school which is not only an outstanding school but has a rich history and inspiring reputation as one of the country’s leading state Grammar Schools.

To view more information please click here

Becoming a Teacher

Becoming a Teacher is a rewarding and fulfilling career. At the Thinking Schools Academy Trust there are many different avenues you can follow to become a Teacher. 

School Direct / Initial Teacher Training: You will need to apply directly to the organisations listed below that act as a SCITT in partnership with TSAT. We would love to meet you and would be happy to support your application by providing experience days or hosting placements across our trust. A lot of trainee teachers who work with us want to stay with us and we have a high rate of finding them permanent employment within our Trust.

 http://www.kmtraining.org.uk/index.php/home

 http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-education-and-continuing-studies/courses/pgce-teacher-training/

Teach First: Teach First is an education charity that runs a two-year course for outstanding graduates where you can earn while you train and work in a challenging school in a low-income community.  This is a fantastic opportunity to get onto a high profile and challenging programme designed to propel you up the leadership ladder and ensure that students in low income areas received top quality education. Teach first is run in a number of our academies across Medway and Portsmouth. 

For more information or to apply please visit http://www.teachfirst.org.uk/

Newly Qualified Teachers ( NQT ) We will support you through your first year accreditation, offering a balance of classroom teaching, time with mentors and theoretical training. TSAT is a registered body to complete accreditation and therefore we can offer ITT training and NQT accreditation. We also have a comprehensive NQT+1 programme where  support is tailored to becoming and outstanding teacher and leadership training which varies depending on whether you wish to follow the pastoral or academic route.

Susan Daye joined us as a NQT at All Faiths Children’s Academy, she was supported through leadership programmes and has now been appointed as Headteacher of New Horizons Children’s Academy, our new school in Medway.   

Jennifer McGuigan who was a Specialist Leader of Education  (SLE) with our teaching school alliance has been appointed as our Headteacher of Gordon schools Federation.

Professional Development

At TSAT we are passionate in supporting staff with their professional development and vehemently believe that the more investment we put into staff the more successful we are as a Trust of schools.  There are a number of different opportunities available to staff with in the Thinking Schools Academy Trust.

As the lead school within a Teaching School Alliance we have access to a lot of support and funding that is not available to other schools and our extended network means there is always support available to further professional development.http://www.newhorizonstsa.com/ 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

We work closely with other schools and Trusts within the local areas to organise quality CPD and Teach meets allowing opportunities to network with other schools, share good ideas and have quality input for outstanding practitioners.  We have also bought in top quality CPD sessions within the local areas, most notably Pivotal Education who ran a Twilight session focussing on outstanding teaching and learning.  We run subject network opportunities to allow the sharing of good practice and planning on a subject level with local schools which are very successful and create strong networks within the Trust and alliance.

We are committed to ensuring staff within Trust schools have a comprehensive internal CPD programme which places a strong emphasis on the importance of joint planning to share outstanding practice and put it immediately into action rather than just attending sessions.  This has had a large impact on the quality of teaching and learning within our schools.

We realise that sometime the answer is not always internal CPD and all TSAT schools commit strongly to sending their staff on externally run CPD days by subject professionals.  This additional commitment is welcomed by staff who come back and share with their teams the additional knowledge they have gained.

Leadership

We are committed to further people’s leadership ability and aspirations supporting staff to attend a wide range of courses.

Leadership Suite in conjunction with the IOE – “supporting world class educational professionals” These courses run 4 sessions across the year and are led by Headteacher and IOE lecturers.  They focus on the skills associated with different levels of leadership and culminate in a celebratory event in the summer term.  There are three levels of courses – early (aimed at those just beginning their career), developing (aimed at established or new middle leaders) and widening (aimed at those aspiring or newly appointed for senior leadership.

National Professional Qualifications We work with the IOE on the delivery of the national professional qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL and NPQH) and many staff that have completed these courses have gone to achieve promotion soon after showing the impact it has had on their leadership development.

Teaching Leaders We work with the Teaching Leaders organisation on their middle leadership course.  This is an intensive but highly successful middle leadership course that is run over two years and aimed at schools in low income areas.  It is challenging and not all participants get accepted onto the second year, showing the high expectations of the course, however all those that do have found not only have their skills developed immensely and therefore the improvement in the life chances of the students they work with but also their promotion prospects due to the high level of challenge exhibited in the course.http://www.teachingleaders.org.uk/

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) For those who want to stay in the classroom and get more opportunities to work with other schools we have our Specialist Leaders of Education positions. Positions are appointed by the Teaching School in conjunction with the National College of School Leadership.  Successful applicants to the roles, build their skills and have the opportunity to work with students and staff across the Trust and Alliance.

National Leaders of Education (NLE) The Trust will also support our most senior systems leaders to become National leaders of Education. We currently have four NLEs working within our Trust.

Thinking Schools

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust embrace the development of thinking skills within our students, making thinking the heart of the curriculum. 

A Thinking School is ‘an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place.  This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities.  Successful outcomes will be reflected in student’s across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and co-operative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning. (Burden, 2006)

A Thinking School is an environment whereby students are encouraged to work independently but also learn through working interpedently. Students and teachers alike develop the skills of successful collaboration, creativity and innovation. The whole school vision encompasses many tools which are skilfully selected and incorporated into lessons to aid students’ knowledge and understanding of specific topics. 

Much recent research suggests that there is some disparity between what schools provide for the workforce and indeed what the workforce want and need. In this sense successful people need to have developed dispositions throughout their school life to equip them for the requirements of an ever changing twenty first century. Although it might not be Shakespeare that will answer life’s questions, it will be the transferable skills of communicating ideas with clarity and precision, thinking flexibly and being analytical that will stand the students in good stead for future challenges.

All Thinking Schools will map out their own journey depending upon their specific context and needs as a school. The key features remaining constant within all schools include the successful integration of selected Thinking Tools which are to engage and motivate learners but also help them to think logically and structure their work. Students develop more independence and less dependence upon the teacher as the sole provider of knowledge, they become enquirers of their own learning in a structured environment which supports the development of their own thinking. They take charge of their learning, building the ability to self-reflect and transfer skills between curriculum areas. 

The Benefits of Thinking Skills: Creative thinking is becoming more and more important as we continue in the age of advanced technology. The environment is constantly changing and there is not fixed future, students today are competing in a global market and their ability to use higher order thinking skills will make them more sort after. 

It has been recognised in a recent study from Exeter University that students become more independent, more creative, reflective and motivated. Teachers were found to enjoy benefits such as improvements in quality of lessons, the attainment and progress achieved within lessons and also a common language to facilitate professional development. The inclusivity of the language for the community allows for transparency across all school areas and fluency to develop which enables students to access all learning opportunities.

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