Our school aims to provide … ‘a rich, supportive and stimulating environment and an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which each child entrusted to our care, can reach their full potential by developing a love of learning and a desire to succeed’.
We have invested a great deal of time and energy to ensure that our curriculum is unique to Thundersley Primary, in that it is specifically tailored towards the needs and interests of the children. Through the curriculum, we aim to prepare pupils for the opportunities, experiences and responsibilities of adult life and to lay a firm foundation for future learning. We seek to provide a broad, balanced differentiated curriculum and offer a wide range of exciting, challenging activities and experiences to all pupils irrespective of ability, background, ethnic origin or gender.
We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that suit them. Opportunities are planned to cater for a range of different learning styles to ensure that all children can access the curriculum and learn in a way that is best for them.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, a variety of structured play and practical activities are planned to help children develop in the prime areas of learning.
We teach this framework through topics that excite the children; we gather their ideas through mind-mapping and plan according to their needs and interests.
As a school, we recognise the importance of reading for all children and therefore, have a comprehensive and thorough approach to the teaching of reading across the school including, daily phonics lessons in KS1. Writing is taught through a topic-based approach, as much as possible, in order to provide purpose and audience for the children. Grammatical accuracy is embedded in the teaching of writing but also as a discrete element of the English curriculum.
The Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamental of Mathematics including the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Children at Thundersley Primary are taught to reason mathematically, solve problems and apply their mathematical skills in a variety of real life contexts.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) forms an integral part of the curriculum. It helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. All members of staff are committed to encouraging in the children a knowledge of right and wrong and to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
Children are taught about the community in which they live and are encouraged to work in co-operation with other members of the school community. Supporting charities, both local and further afield, is encouraged. All children are expected to undertake appropriate responsibilities within the class and school, e.g. caring for the classroom environment, participating in class assemblies and participating in out of school activities.
We aim to develop children’s enjoyment, confidence and skill in physical activity and introduce them to the pleasures of sport to help develop active children who benefit from a healthy lifestyle. Through a multi-skills approach, children develop their skills in football, netball, hockey, rounders and cricket, as well as athletics, gymnastics, dance and swimming.
We enhance and enrich the curriculum through a variety of activities including educational visits, school performances, visitors to school, before & after school clubs and great links with local Secondary Schools.
Many topics are brought together, where possible, and taught in a cross-curricular way, to maximise the use of time but also to make experiences more meaningful and provide children with a real context for learning. The high quality of ICT equipment and software also means ICT is an integral part of many teaching and learning experiences.
Although the majority of our curriculum is taught in a cross-curricular themed approach some subjects or parts are taught on their own.
At our school we follow a colour banded system where as children become more confident and able readers they take home books from different colour bands. The initial colour bands are primarily phonics based, helping children to apply their phonic knowledge. Children can also borrow any book they’d like to read from our fabulous and vibrant new school library to supplement their levelled book.
At Thundersley Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme and use the Jolly Phonics scheme to supplement this with rhymes and actions for each phoneme (sound) to make them more memorable. Initially, children’s listening skills are developed through the use of music and environmental sounds. In Foundation Stage, children are then introduced to phonemes linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as the other 16 phonemes such as ‘igh’ and ‘ch’. Children learn each of these phonemes with the accompanying action from Jolly Phonics. They then learn to sound out and blend these phonemes together in order to read a variety of words and break them down to help spell them correctly.
In Year 1, children then learn the alternative ways of spelling phonemes, for example ‘oy’ and ‘oi’. The children are taught where these different spellings are usually found within words. ‘Oy’ for example is usually at the end of the word, whereas ‘oi’ is typically in the middle. At the end of the year the children take the national Phonics Screening Check, which involves reading 20 real and 20 pseudo-words to test their knowledge and understanding.In Year 2 and beyond, children consolidate their knowledge of phonics, learning and applying different spelling rules, including for plurals and different verb tenses.