Curriculum Overview

At Thornhill Junior and Infant School we endeavour to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all children. Through a supportive and stimulating learning environment, high quality teaching provides challenge for all children to enable them to develop as independent learners. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 which is
underpinned by our school’s three drivers: Communication, Enquiry and Knowledge and Understanding of the World. Each curriculum area has a dedicated Subject Leader to support, monitor and evaluate their subject ensuring provision across the school is of a high standard.

 

English

Our English curriculum aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through reading for enjoyment.

 

Writing

Children are taught to write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children develop their understanding of a range of genres and styles including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting are taught rigorously across the school, beginning with teaching synthetic phonics and fine motor skills to develop mark making in the Foundation Stage, to enable children to have the skills and confidence to write effectively for a variety of purposes.

 

Reading

Across the school children have access to a wide range of high quality texts to develop learning in all curriculum areas. All children participate in a daily Guided Reading lesson focussing on reading comprehension. Parents support their children’s reading through our Home/School reading scheme and participation in the Reading Challenge. Reading for
pleasure is a high priority – our library has recently been refurbished and we celebrate Book Week in October and World Book Day in March with enthusiasm. We have a group of Reading Friends who support children in school and in Foundation Stage parents attend a reading morning with the children.

 

Speaking and Listening

Children develop both the confidence and skills in speaking and listening through planned
learning opportunities across the curriculum including drama, group discussions, poetry
and role play. Every pupil participates in a class assembly and an annual production
where they experience speaking to a large audience.

 

Mathematics

Our School Calculation policy follows the National Curriculum and ensures that children’s
knowledge and understanding of maths builds on prior learning across seven strands:
using and applying, calculating, counting and understanding number, measuring, data
handling, understanding shape, knowing and using number facts. Practical investigations
support children to develop their understanding, apply their knowledge and consolidate
learning both mentally and in written methods. Basic maths skills including Times Tables
are taught rigorously in KS1 and KS2.

 

Science

The emphasis in Science is on active learning with children encouraged to ask questions,
make predictions, plan investigations, present their results and evaluate their findings,
generating a sense of understanding, excitement and curiosity of the world around them.

Topics covered in Science include:

In Foundation Stage children continually develop and evaluate skills in Science through the
continuous curriculum with focussed work on Being Healthy, Keeping Safe, Light and Dark,
Materials, Magnets and Senses.

In Key Stage One: Plants and Animals, Light and Dark, Keeping Healthy, Forces, Weather
and Seasons, Electricity and Materials.

In Key Stage Two: Rocks and soils, Magnets and springs, Humans and other Animals,
Environmental Change, Habitats and Adaptation, Sound, the Solar system, Materials;
conductors and insulators, reversible and irreversible changes and gases.

Trips to Cliffe House enrich and enhance the children’s learning through activities such as
pond dipping and nature walks whilst our extensive school grounds and quad area provide
a rich resource for investigations.

 

Computing

We aim for our children to become digitally literate so that they can understand and apply
the principles and concepts of computer science. Children will be able to analyse
problems in computational terms, evaluate and apply information technology analytically
to solve problems and become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of
information and computer technology.

We have a brand new ICT suite in school, I-pads and computers in every class and a wide
range of high quality resources to support learning. All children receive training in the
safe use of ICT.

 

History

In History children develop their understanding of events, people and changes in the past
and compare it to their lives today, developing the skills of chronological understanding,
historical enquiry and historical interpretation. Children develop their understanding of
how events in the past affect their lives today through an enquiry based approach.

In Foundation Stage children continually develop and evaluate skills in History through the
Continuous Curriculum with focussed work on investigating how toys have developed and
when Dinosaurs lived and how they became extinct.

In Key Stage One children investigate the lives of famous people such as Ghandi and Neil
Armstrong and significant past events such as; the Great Fire of London and the Race for
the Pole as well as investigating changes in their own lives and the lives of those around
them.

In Key Stage Two children undertake a local history study and investigate British history
including the from the Stone Age to Edward the Confessor in addition to learning about
Ancient Egypt, slavery and the Mayan civilisation.

Class visits to the National Coal Mining Museum, Murton Park, Bagshaw Museum and Crow
Nest Park, along with visitors into school, provide children with the opportunities to
experience what life was like in the past. High quality primary and secondary resources
help bring the past to life.

 

Geography

Geography provides children with knowledge and understanding of the world we live in
and our responsibility to protect and sustain the environment. Children conduct fieldwork
investigations both inside and outside the classroom, using geographical enquiry skills to
develop knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes, environmental
change and sustainable development both within the United Kingdom and internationally.

In Foundation Stage children continually develop and evaluate skills in Geography through
the Continuous Curriculum with focussed work on investigating the local area and make
simple maps. They also compare different countries to the UK including Africa, Antarctic,
Arctic and America.

In Key Stage One children conduct studies of the local area, develop locational knowledge
of the world andd investigate the sea-side, seasons and weather.

In Key Stage Two children further develop their locational and place knowledge and
human and physical geography through the study of; water and its effect on the
landscape, volcanoes, South America and an environmental issue.

Class visits enrich learning in this subject. The school has an Eco Team and is working
towards the Green Flag Award.

 

Art

Children develop their creativity and imagination through exploring different materials and
processes including sculpture, printing, painting, textiles, digital media and collage.
Children develop their skills of observation, developing and applying their ideas to produce
work incorporating different elements, including colour, pattern and texture, line and tone.
Local artists have worked in school on a range of activities including printmaking, willow
weaving and painting. Visits to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and local galleries enrich
children’s experience.

In Foundation Stage children continually develop and evaluate skills in Art through the
Continuous Curriculum with focussed work on Portraits, Plants and Flowers and Natural
sculptures of woodland animals.

In Key Stage One: Watercolours of the Seaside, Printing on Textiles, Digital media,
Painting Portraits, Sculpture with found materials and Collage.

In Key Stage Two projects include: block printing in the style of William Morris, Roman
Clay Heads, Landscape Paintings, Wire Sculpture, Collage of Buildings, digital media and
Observational Drawing.

The strong commitment in Art was recognised through the achievement of the Artsmark
Gold Award.

 

Design and Technology

Through Design and Technology children develop their skills of problem solving, team
work and communication through investigating products, developing ideas, working with a
range of tools and equipment to make and then evaluate their designs. Children are
taught to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. Design
and Technology projects are linked to curriculum topics.

In Foundation Stage children continually develop and evaluate skills in DT through the
Continuous Curriculum with focussed work on making Healthy Snacks, designing and
making wooden toys.

DT topics undertaken in Key Stage One include; Moving Books, Masks, Vehicles, tree
houses and making Healthy Snacks.

In Key Stage Two children design and make Cam toys, Electrical Vehicles, Pneumatic
monsters, Bread, Biscuits, Shelters, Bridges and Photograph Frames.

 

Music

Music is a recognised strength of our school. All children from Foundation Stage learn to play a
musical instrument, beginning with the Ocarina in Foundation Stage and Year 1, Recorder in Year 2, in Year 3 the children learn the Violin. Year 4 they learn the Ukulele and Dance Music in IT, Keyboard and Brass instruments in Year 5 and Djembe drums, Samba and Steel Pans in Year 6.
Singing lessons are held weekly. We have two School Choirs, a Rock School and Ukulele group and numerous music clubs including Keyboard Club. School productions are held each year as well as our famous ‘Thornhill’s Got Talent’ Show, and the school participates in a number of local and national music events. Orchestras and choirs have visited the school to perform as well as individual musicians to inspire the children. The school has achieved the Platinum Sing Up award.

 

PE

Children develop skills and confidence in gym, dance, games and athletics. Through
engaging in a wide range of activities they develop their physical strength, technical skills,
communication and teamwork.

The school employs a PE coach to deliver high quality lessons across the school. Children
in Year 4 go swimming once a week. The school runs a wide range of sports clubs and
participates regularly in sporting events in the local community.

 

PSHCE/SEAL

The strong focus on PSHCE and SEAL across the school is evident in the caring, inclusive
and respectful way that all members of the school community treat each other. Children
have weekly PSHCE and SEAL lessons to give them the knowledge, skills and
understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and become
informed, active, responsible citizens. Each class works together to develop a charter of
class rights and responsibilities in school.

 

RE

We follow the Kirklees Guidance for R.E. Children develop an understanding of different
faiths and what it means to belong to a religion.

 

French

We have a dedicated French teacher who teaches French to all children from Year 2
onwards, with an emphasis on learning through games and conversation.