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Serving the whole community

Safety, Learning and Respect - our three values. Thornhill Primary School is proud to be part of the West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust

Planning and Learning through Play

Our main ethos is to plan our curriculum with the interests of the children in mind.  We believe that we can achieve a high level of engagement, learning outcomes and mind- set towards learning through adapting our styles of teaching to suit your child’s passions. Your child’s emotional well-being is at the forefront.  We believe that a happy and settled child will be open to learning opportunities.  All our trained staff will be co-adventurers in their experiences in EYFS. 



At Thornhill the pupils join us and are encouraged to develop leaning skills as well as developing their knowledge of the world around them. With a classroom that is engaging and full of possibilities our pupil’s curiosity is encouraged and fostered in a caring and supportive environment. In reception, throughout the year, our pupils progress from a predominantly play based curriculum to more formal learning experiences in preparation for their transition to year 1.

Our Vibrant Learning Environment

Here in school we base our learning and practice on a document called the Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.  We also use Development Matters ( linked to a child's age and development) to help us.

Please see the following link for a good overview of the EYFS curriculum.




The learning in Nursery and Reception is through exploration and play with some discrete adult led teaching, for example: of sounds (phonics) to support reading and  new ideas in maths. We encourage children to reflect and question the world around them and provide lots of quality first hand experiences to help with this.  We experiment with lots of different art media, enjoy listening to and making music and moving to music.  We enjoy lots of activities to develop our fine motor skills and have an excellent outdoor learning environment in which we can practise gross motor skills and where there are many child initiated play opportunities.  These are predominantly, on a larger scale than activities inside.  Adults model and encourage good pen holds, as soon as children are physically ready.


Communication,Language and Literacy


Literacy teaching can be in small teacher-led groups, independent tasks that children choose or in short, fast paced phonics sessions focused on learning a ‘phoneme’ (the sound a letter, or a group of letters, makes).  Early on our children notice how we see letters and words and print all around us, in the environment, signs, labels, badges, books and on packets and clothes. Through short topics based on the children's interests we listen to stories , act them out’ and the children are encouraged to comment and ask questions, role play (with props), create their own versions and endings and write and create images about it in their own way.

The EYFS team plan stimulating literacy teaching. We aim for a rich language environment and engage all pupils in their learning and cater to individual needs helping SEND pupils with the same vigour as those working at, and beyond, expected levels of attainment.  We ensure that all children access broad and balanced CLL learning by identifying, early on, any need for additional support. This maximises the best outcomes for those that might, for example, be at an early stage of learning English or with a SEND that requires specific teaching or resources. In this way, all children in the EYFS have the opportunity to access CLL, which helps them develop an understanding of how the spoken and written words can and will help them to reach and explore their potential through fascinations and personal interests – a crucial ‘hook’ into literacy for many children.


  • Speaking: All adults model clear, spoken English for children to consistently hear across the curriculum and throughout their learning. 
  • Listening and attention: Children have many different opportunities to listen and respond to what others say - in small groups, large assemblies and to their peers and different adults. 
  • Reading: Children have access to books carefully chosen to enhance topics. They will read stories, poems and information texts and learn how to find information on websites. They read with teaching staff, volunteers and other pupils in school. They take a reading book home to read with parents every night . We visit the local library so that all our five year olds have their own membership card and become readers who enjoy books and reading.

Writing: Opportunities to write letters, words, sentences, lists, labels, poems are across our topics. Children learn writing skills in small groups, phonics and access independent writing activities inside and on clipboards in the outside area. In the EYFS they can often choose resources they like to write with and books they want to read.




All our maths teaching begins with concrete objects, play based exploration, questionning ,trial and error, problem solving and games. As with Literacy we believe in providing support for those who struggle, encouragement for all and and extension for those who are ready for it. Discrete adult led activities allow children to explore and consolidate skills and knowledge through fun, hands on activities,



  • Number: Counting  irregular arrangements of objects,actions,equipment and counting in games. Children begin to learn to recognize some numbers alone and in their environments. Children match objects to numbers and eventually order.
  • Shape :We learn to manipulate shapes in jigsaws and build with 3-D blocks. We sort shapes, describe them and eventually recognize simple 2-D and 2-D shapes. We make simple patterns and describle to position of an object.
  • Measure: We learn to compare quantities and sizes. We anticipate familar events and begin to use simple methods to measure time. We use simple language related to money.