INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE PARENTS
Thank you for considering West Thornton Primary School as a school for your child starting in September 2023.
West Thornton Primary School is a split site, five form entry inclusive primary school situated in Croydon, with the space to welcome 150 children to our Reception setting each year.
Our vision and values underpin all that we do, and we ensure that through our teaching, learning and provision, every child is given the best possible beginning to their education in order to make great strides in their learning. We work closely with outside agencies to meet any additional needs of the pupils, and partnerships with parents are crucial to us in supporting pupils' learning, progress and happiness. We have a ‘limitless minds’ approach to our learning and strongly believe that all children have the potential to achieve well when provided with rich learning opportunities, experiences, care and guidance. We challenge our children and ourselves to be the best we can be in a safe, creative, rich and purposeful environment.
Our learning is planned around a skills based global curriculum that we feel is relevant for life and learning in the 21st Century, and critically important for future success. We believe that global learning helps pupils make sense of the increasingly complex and rapidly changing world in which they live. Each half term we plan the pupils learning in depth using a core-text approach, engaging the children high quality texts and rich and meaningful learning experiences which ensures they feel connected to their learning and the world around them.
In our most recent Challenge Partners review in June 2021, West Thornton was judged ‘Leading’ in all areas. Their judgement included:
School leaders and the governing body work closely together to create joined up thinking, leading to a shared vision that all stakeholders can articulate. All staff have a solid understanding of their role in achieving the goals of the school development plan. This means that all staff work in unity to make rapid improvements. One visiting reviewer stated that he felt “empowered to observe such harmonious leadership where every leader was on the same page”.
Senior and middle leaders have worked collaboratively in and beyond the school to create a locally relevant and coherent curriculum which allows pupils to extend their cultural capital. Leadership of the curriculum is responsive to world challenges so that pupils are already developing into active citizens, such as pupils setting up community litter picking groups.
Parents too are very positive. They feel that the school has an opening and welcoming ethos.
All adults use the school's behaviour ethos, Good To Be Green, across the school. Low-level disruption is not tolerated. Educational psychologists and learning mentors ensure pupils are able to self-regulate quickly. As a result, lessons and the day-to-day life of the school are calm.
Pupils behave with consistently high levels of respect for each other and for adults. They play a highly positive role in creating a school environment in which respect, tolerance and diversity are celebrated and nurtured.
Pupils are able to talk confidently about being a global citizen. One pupil said, “being a scientist or an inventor is important because then we can change the world.” Other pupils talked about being ecologists or wanting to work hard in school so that they can find a cure for Covid-19.
Classrooms are vocabulary rich. Pupils use their new vocabulary when reflecting on their learning. For example, pupils in the Reception class pointed to where they could see the knowledge. “There is Earth, Jupiter and Mars. We live on Earth. Did you know humans put robots on Mars?” They then linked it to their picture of an alien.
Pupils are excited to read. They say they regularly read at home. A range of carefully chosen high quality texts are powerful because teachers weave in the knowledge for global citizenship. Pupils were extremely passionate but insightful about Cop26 saying that “it didn’t really make a difference did it?”
Leaders have strategically placed resources where they are most needed, such as family support officers. Vulnerable pupils and their families are exceptionally well supported and at the heart of the community. Attendance to school has increased dramatically.
Parents talk warmly about how they are supported by all staff to help their children. For example, parents received an online support session to help their children access Bug Club, the online reading platform. Another parent received a personal phone call reminder to collect their food package. It is this personalised support that is building positive and productive relationships between home and school.
Leaders identify activities and clubs that target particular pupils. For example, outdoor activities for pupils without home access to open spaces. Pupils are then encouraged and supported to attend. As a result, attendance and participation at clubs has increased. One parent said, “I was welcomed into the nurture breakfast club so I could understand what it was and support my child further at home.” Another parent commented on how these clubs support her child to talk about her feelings and develop social skills. Another pupil was able to attend a school trip in September when previously this was not thought possible.
For more information please call the school office on 020 8684 3497 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR PRIMARY SCHOOL APPLICATION
All schools in Croydon have a single point of entry for reception and admit children in September. Please visit the Croydon website for further details and an online application form at croydon.gov.uk/admissions
Please click here to view the Croydon Primary School Admissions Booklet.
We consider every member of our school community to be a life-long learner and value all contributions to the continued improvements to our school.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT US
At West Thornton, we believe in shaping and educating our children to become citizens for the 21st century by broadening their minds and experiences. We do this through our Inspire Global Curriculum which comprises 6 themes:
Each term, EYFS shape their learning around a topic which is enriched with a variety of quality core-texts, trips and provision. We also make strong connections with global learning and citizenship. The children will build up to a project each term. Along with this, we use Development Matters to ensure that children receive an age appropriate curriculum based on the seven areas of learning in EYFS:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In Reception, each child takes part in daily phonics lessons to develop their letters and sound knowledge, as well as to build on their early reading skills.
We encourage the children to use phonics throughout their learning, and regularly promote phonics development within the resources and provision.
The learning environment is the ‘Third Teacher’. It supports us all in giving messages about our ethos and values and celebrates high quality learning. Through our high-quality learning environment, we provide children with a stimulating, enriching and creative learning experience.
Our learning spaces are arranged so that children can move freely, accessing the resources and provision that suits their needs and interests. The equipment and resources are planned around the seven areas of development, and the global theme or topic.
An important part of the Early Years curriculum requires us to provide children with ample opportunity for outdoor learning and malleable play, e.g. water, mud, dough etc. Children are entitled to access our outdoor areas at all times.
THE SCHOOL DAY
Our daily timetable encourages your child to learn and develop in a range of ways. Throughout the day, they will take part in whole class lessons, small group lessons, and engage in independent activities during ‘choosing’ time. This means they can move freely around the classroom to access the resources and equipment available. We also incorporate additional lessons on a weekly basis, such as Art, PE, Circle Times and more.
You can choose for your child to enjoy school dinners or they can bring a packed lunch to school. Our dinner menus are changed termly and are on a 3 week rotation. There are vegetarian options for every meal. We have fruit available each day for children to have as a snack, as well as free school milk.
From September 2014, all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals.
At West Thornton, we know that parents are children’s first educators and we value being partners with them in their child’s education.
We ensure that parents are fully involved in their child’s education by:
- Regularly sharing children’s ‘Learning Journeys’ with parents and valuing the ongoing contributions to this from parents/carers
- Giving parents/carers the opportunity to take part in their child's education and share their interests and expertise
- Delivering workshops to share our practice, ethos and ideas with parents/carers e.g. Phonics demonstrations and Early Readers workshops
- Promoting a love of reading for parents/carers to read with their child
- Opportunities for parents/carers to participate in learning through celebrations