At Thornton Primary School, we ensure that our curriculum is engaging and motivates children to learn. We firmly believe that children should come to school excited about what they might discover and must be provided with opportunities to develop a love of learning.
As soon as children start school in EYFS, reading is at the heart of the curriculum. Each class’s learning environment is vocabulary rich and provides opportunities for children to develop a wide range of reading knowledge and skills, sequentially. Children take part in a wide range of reading lessons on a daily basis including phonics, guided reading, 1:1 reading, independent reading for pleasure and listening to their Class Teacher read. We aim for all children at our school to make accelerated progress in reading and develop into lifelong readers.
Throughout school, we utilise Power Maths to ensure a consistency in the teaching and learning of maths across all classes. Although we are a small school with mixed age classes, for maths lessons, all children work in their year groups, reducing class sizes to 20. The approach we adopt is a mastery one that aims to provide a broad, deep understanding of maths concepts for all children and allows for those working at greater depth to extend their learning whilst ensuring the vast majority of children have access to a maths curriculum appropriate for their age.
All subjects have a high importance and value in our school. In Key Stage 1 and 2, each new History, Geography and Science unit the children learn about begin with the 'Big Questions'. The children decide on these questions which are then used as a stimulus for their learning. As the unit of work progresses, the children update their own knowledge and vocabulary organisers; regularly refering to them to help ensure they remember key information.
We believe that it is vital that the children at our school have the opportunity to develop good subject knowledge across all areas of the curriculum and do everything we can to ensure that a wide range of learning opportunities are available for all children. Learning should be memorable which is why we aim to provide all children with a wide range of experiences that relate to what they are learning about, both inside and outside of the classroom. Memorable learning, which is constantly discussed and referred to, ensures children learn more and remember more. Developing children’s knowledge and skills sequentially ensures that each week/term/year, a child is provided with the opportunity to build on what they know and understand. All children, no matter what their prior learning, are challenged to achieve their best in all subjects and provided with the knowledge and skills they need to move on to the next stage of their learning.
Subject leaders and Class Teachers constantly develop their teaching practice to ensure the children at Thornton Primary School receive the best possible education they can. As a school, staff work in collaboration with other local schools and Teaching and Learning Consultants to share ideas about how best to educate children and take part in research to better improve practice at Thornton Primary.
Children at our school are provided with the opportunity to develop a secure understanding of the world around them; this then enhances a variety of different areas of learning from reading to science to history. Our world class Forest School, for instance, provides all of our children with the opportunity to apply a wide range of different skills and is used to enhance teaching and learning. This is a bespoke component of our exciting, engaging curriculum. In addition to a specialist teacher for Forest School, we also employ specialist teachers for PE and music as well as each area of SEND so all children have access to the best possible start to school.
Although we are a small school, we are one that is constantly growing, going from less than 100 children in January 2018 to 140 including Pre-School in July 2021. This means we have to adapt our curriculum to ensure all children have access to a sequentially planned curriculum.
We are very determined that all children will achieve their best at our school and are confident that our reflective approach to curriculum planning will enable this for all.