At Thames Primary Academy we provide a well rounded, academic and social education for our children in a bright, stimulating and purposeful environment. We have the highest expectations of pupil attainment, teacher performance and parental involvement and we encourage everyone in our school community to strive for excellence. As a staff we seek challenge and continually embrace change in order to improve the outcomes for our children.
In 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced by the Government. In light of this we have worked hard to refresh our whole school approach to the both the core and foundation curriculum, taking account of the specific needs and interests of our children. In order to enthuse and motivate our children we decided to implement the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities, in cross-curricular themed topics. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum is delivered through six Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all subjects and aspects of our children’s learning.
Maths, English, Science, Computing, History, Geography, RE, PSHE, Art, Design and Music
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to a variety of engaging and cross curricular contexts. Our curriculum provides lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum. We further enrich our curriculum offer by inviting in a wealth of visitors into school to bring our topics alive and regularly use our school minibuses to take our children out on many visits and trips. Each topic includes a visit and these have included various museums, art galleries, science discovery centres, farms, woodlands, planetariums, parks, zoos, castles, lifeboat centres, factories and supermarkets.
To ensure progression our curriculum is founded on a comprehensive essential skills matrix that outlines the end of year expectations for pupils in all subjects. Each subject area has a teacher whose responsibility it is to ensure that individual subjects are taught with fidelity and rigour. Subject leaders monitor the coverage of skills and standards of attainment in their subject area and regularly offer advice and support to teachers about curriculum design in order to improve outcomes for pupils. The teaching staff track the progress of individual children and use this information to identify individual learning needs and to plan next steps in learning for each curriculum area.
The curriculum is well planned, engages pupils effectively in their learning and promotes good behavior. Ofsted 2014
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education
Pupils behaviour is good. They enjoy coming to the Academy and they are keen to learn. They say they feel safe and are well looked after.Ofsted 2014
At Thames we supplement our curriculum offer with a bespoke PSHE curriculum which has been designed to help our children develop fully as individuals, as members of families and in social and economic communities. The curriculum is woven around whole school themes each week which encompass British Values, healthy lifestyles, sex and relationships, drugs and alcohol, anti-bullying, economic wellbeing and financial capability, emotional wellbeing and mental health, careers education and both physical and online safety. Our assembly themes each week introduce these issues and then through carefully structured PSHE lessons children explore this further at the appropriate level through circle time, drama, role play, discussion and literature. Relationships between staff and children founded on mutual respect, good communication, trust and genuine affection are significant strength and make a fundamental contribution to the strong family ethos at Thames.
Sport, PE and Extra-Curricular offer
To ensure that our children benefit from specialist instruction in sport and dance we employ Sports Coaches to teach PE each week and to run a wealth of extra-curricular clubs after school. Children at Thames enjoy the opportunity to compete with other schools in Blackpool and Lancashire in many sports, including athletics, football, netball and swimming. Our enrichment programme after school also offers a variety of craft, art, music, dance and science clubs which children can choose to sign up for each term. In addition to this pupils also benefit from an extensive outdoor education programme which gives children the opportunity to learn and develop skills in a natural environment, sparking their intrinsic motivation to explore, create and be curious about the world around them. Each term children are given the freedom to explore beach, woodland and moorland environments and habitats where they might build dens and shelters, light fires, toast marshmallows, climb trees, skim stones, follow a map and create natural art. Whilst also developing a love of the outdoors it helps to build self-confidence and self-esteem and encourages teamwork and problem solving skills. This enables children to direct their own learning and allows for discovery and moments of awe and wonder.
The curriculum is enriched by a good range of activities and clubs covering sport, drama and culture. These activities contribute strongly to pupils’ good personal, social, spiritual and cultural development.. Ofsted 2014