Home Page

Serving the whole community

Safety, Learning and Respect - our three values. Welcome to Thornhill Primary School at the heart of our community

Other subjects




The National Curriculum expectations for Mathematics are very clear. As a school we use this to plan lessons and ensure coverage. We use learning from maths projects which include the ‘White Rose Foundation’ and Singapore mathematics. Regular tests reveal areas which the class, group or individual, needs to cover in order to meet the objectives for their particular year group.  Regular tests highlight gaps in learning which are used to plan for weekly feedback sessions and help drill and embed key skills in number and calculation.  Using this approach children are easily tracked, they are aware of how well they are doing and planning and interventions are tailored to need.

We are keen that our pupils are able to use their maths in real life and practical contexts. Where possible practical and problem solving sessions are also used to evaluate pupil thinking and learning processes.


We have adopted the White Rose Calculation procedure to ensure children move from requiring concrete apparatus, through to pictorial and finally have an abstract understanding of number and calculation. We promote the use of bar models to help problem solve pictorially .


The aim is that when children leave school they:

  • Have a secure knowledge of number facts and a good understanding of the four calculation operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)
  • Make use of jottings, diagrams and informal notes to help record steps and part answers when using mental methods that generate more information than can be kept in their heads
  • Have an efficient, reliable, written method of calculation for each operation that they are able to apply with confidence when they are unable to perform a calculation mentally


In order to ensure  pupils rehearse and embed key learning, we expect a daily review to take place in maths. In the Early Years and KS1, this is known as 15 minute maths and in KS2, this is a daily drill of basic calculation.


Moreover, we are keen to use online technologies to aid pupils to embed key facts. For example: Times table rockstars and Learning by Questions.


For information on the methods we use for calculation please see the Calculation procedure.



Science has two key elements which we like to champion in school. The learning of scientific facts about the world and the development of scientific thinking and approach to a problem. Both of these are essential elements of our Curriculum and are regularly taught and assessed.


Our Curriculum overviews show how the Science Curriculum themes are taught as part of a rolling programme of learning. Often links are made between Science and other curriculum areas to help deepen pupil learning.



Computing lessons are used to develop skills and teach key learning regarding programming and using the computer as a communication tool. These sessions follow a similar pattern in that skills and uses of a particular programme are taught, pupils apply this learning and then deepen their skills and independence over a number of days. A final practical task is often used towards the end of a unit as a form of assessment. All pupils have a ‘purple mash’ computer account which they use within subject lessons and for other areas of the curriculum. Pupils  use computers and technology in a range of other lessons to enhance their learning in other subjects and continue to develop their skills. This might include word processing a poster or story, creating a film presentation for Religious Education, composing music or making a Maths game using scratch programming.


We recognise the importance of learning about the limitations of the internet and its safe use. It is therefore a regular feature of our curriculum but also taught through assembly and PSHE lessons. Our ‘Kidsafe’ programme also looks at the dangers posed online. As a school we will continue to keep up with advice on how to support our pupils in this ever-changing area.

The skills of perseverance, evaluating and improving work and logical thinking which are championed in the computing curriculum, are ones which we will endeavour to emulate in all subject areas.


8. Learning about our world- History, Geography, Religious Education, PHSE

These subjects are organised in our rolling programme and where possible themes have been grouped together to support understanding. Co-ordinators have a role in supporting staff as they impart key factual knowledge and help pupils to build key skills yearly.

In Religious Education we follow the county scheme which seeks to develop tolerance and understanding of the main religions within the UK. We look at different religions in depth but also explore themes which run through many religions including rituals, important people, prayer and religious books.


PSHE is taught thematically but this is flexible owing to class need and current issues in school and in the outside world. Teacher’s often use circle time to support pupils in this area and allow pupils to articulate their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. As a school we are keenly aware of the need for our pupils to have a sound economics education, we routinely discuss enterprise and entrepreneurship, learn about how money is earned and spent, discuss the consequences of debt and make links between financial security, education and well-being.  Year 5 and 6 pupils complete drug and alcohol and sex and relationship education on a two yearly cycle.


We champion the NHS ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ approach (

when exploring issues of emotional ane mental health. We incorporate these into PSHE lessons but they also form part of our school approach and values. The values are:


  • connect
  • be active
  • take notice
  • keep learning
  • give


Communication and creativity- Art and Design, Design technology, Languages, Music

These subjects are organised in our rolling programme and where possible these are linked to other subjects for a more comprehensive approach. For example drawing and painting mini-beasts during the topic on mini-beasts, cooking historical dishes and making Roman mosaics.


In Music, we have adapted a prepared scheme and this ensures that we cover all elements of the curriculum and build on learning on a yearly basis. We use Charanga  ( to help deliver music. As a school we highly value singing and this is supported in our weekly singing assemblies and other productions and events. We believe that having the opportunity to sing in unison as a community contributes to emotional and spiritual well-being. We also teach musical notation, even to our youngest students. 


Key Stage Two children are learning French in School, we use a structured programme, to ensure pupils cover the key learning to have basic skills by the time they leave Primary Education. The focus is on speaking and listening and developing an interest in other languages but pupils are encouraged to write in French and construct their own sentences. As part of this, we learn about the culture and history of French speaking countries.


Physical Education

Our PE Curriculum allows us to develop our pupils’ knowledge and skills in variety of ways:

  • Team work
  • Resilience and perseverance
  • Success and failure
  • Sportsmanship
  • Risk taking
  • Self-awareness
  • Health-awareness
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Co-ordination
  • Knowledge of the rules and skills for particular sports


Moreover we believe that high quality PE lessons can support a life-long love of sport and we have close links with local clubs, encouraging our pupils to continue with sport out of school. Our timetable includes a weekly session with a qualified coach and we also have coaches into school through-out the year to teach additional sessions prior to an event or competition. Sports Premium funding is also used to fund coaching in short blocks. For example to teach archery.


As a school, our pupils enjoy a ten week block of swimming from Year 1, every year through to Year 4, able swimmers are then given advanced swimming classes in Year 5 and 6. This allows for skills to develop with maturity and for the refinement of strokes. As our school is in an area which contains a great deal of water- both the sea and rivers and streams, we believe it essential that our children have confidence in water and be able to perform self-rescue should the need arise.( see APPENDIX 8)


Our yearly sports day is the highlight of a yearly calendar of sporting events which include competitions, showcase events and coaching. At sports day, all pupils are expected to take part in athletics events and families are invited to show support.


Spiritual, moral, cultural and social learning


Our school has three key values which allow all pupils to understand their key role in ensuring success for everybody.

These are:


  • Respect
  • Safety
  • Learning


Our whole community are expected to understand what they can expect and what they are responsible for in order to ensure that everyone is respected, safe and able to learn. This is done in lessons, assemblies and in our conversations with pupils and their families around school.


Our Curriculum has a role in supporting our pupils as they develop holistically. Our school culture is one which recognises the whole child, as part of a family and we have a key role in preparing our pupils for their future, not just academically but in other ways too.

Spiritual learning- this is done in a variety of ways, through lessons such as RE and English, in assembly but also in appreciation of the arts and the natural world. Most of our assemblies contain a prayer, which pupils can respond to by saying Amen.( see RE and collective worship policy)


Moral learning- we endeavour to teach children about right and wrong through our school rules and in the way we work with our students.


Cultural learning- Pupils in our school are taught about the British Values of tolerance, mutual respect, rule of law, personal responsibility and liberty and democracy in a wide variety of ways . A key area which we know we need to pay extra attention is the area of tolerance for beliefs and cultures. Our geographical area is predominately white and Christian. Our pupils are rarely exposed to people from alternative backgrounds, faiths, creeds and cultures in their everyday life. We believe that tolerance can only come from understanding and as such we try to teach pupils about the wide variety of cultures within our country and around the world, as we can. Assembly, PSHE and RE lessons are central to this, as are opportunities to visit a multi-cultural city first-hand.


Visitors to school


There are regular visitors to school who assist with the delivery of our curriculum, these include local religious leaders, community readers, the Niscu theatre group, STEM science personnel and sporting coaches. Parents are also welcome to various events through the school year to help them understand our curriculum and to help them support at home.

We also have adhoc visitors to school who we use to support learning when required.


Trips, visits and off-site learning


Where funds and opportunity allow we are keen to take the opportunities presented by off-site learning. Through-out the year pupils engage in a range of trips and visits linked to the curriculum and we know that our pupils enjoy these and find them memorable.

Recent trips have included local walks around the village, science workshops, dance festivals and theatre trips.


Every year we take the whole school on a number of trips including a pantomime visit and summer term trip. Moreover the older pupils are offered a residential visit on an annual basis.


We believe that our pupils should all access their local environment as much as possible and in particular to get the opportunity to learn about their local history and the Lake District National Park. As such we explicitly state that all pupils should visit the Lake District at least once every year.




Our after-school club offer allows a supplement to the curriculum and can allow pupils to further develop their skills and interests.






The Foundation Stage is the educational period in a child's life from birth to five years old. It covers the years they spend from the beginning of Nursery to the end of Reception.  Throughout the Foundation Stage, children will be working towards the early learning goals.  These set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the Reception year. 

Children are assessed by the class teacher based on ongoing observations and assessments in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three learning characteristics, set out below:


The Prime Areas of Learning:

• Communication and Language - Your child will be encouraged to communicate confidently and clearly. Learning through the enjoyment of songs, rhymes, stories and poems.

• Physical Development - Your child will be encouraged to move confidently, controlling their body and handling equipment competently and safely.  They will begin to develop an awareness of health, the importance of exercise and healthy eating.

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development - Your child will be encouraged to be self-confident, independent, motivated to learn, know what their own needs are and respect the needs of others.

The Specific Areas of Learning:

• Literacy - Your child will be taught to communicate clearly and learn through the enjoyment of stories, songs and poems, hearing and saying sounds and linking them to the alphabet.  They may begin to read and write some familiar words.

• Mathematics - Your child will be encouraged to develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play.  They will become familiar with numbers and language such as 'heavier/ lighter than'.  They will be aware of shapes, pattern and position.

• Understanding the World - Your child will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it.  They will build with different materials, know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for.  They will find out about past events and different cultures and beliefs.

• Expressive Arts and Design - Your child will be encouraged to explore colour, shape, texture, dance, model making, telling stories and music.


The Learning Characteristics:

• Playing and exploring

• Active learning

• Creating and thinking critically


The emphasis on teaching these areas will be through a variety of practical and play-based activities, usually linked to a topic or theme.  Activities are planned according to what the children already know and can do, and include opportunities for children to follow their own interests, and to pursue learning outdoors as well as indoors.