Leadership programme

Thornbury Primary School

Mainstream primary academy with specialist unit in Speech and Language

Approach overview

We are culture, values and ethos driven, a highly inclusive school with a focus on getting to know each child as unique, and promoting their sense of belonging. We use narratives used to create culture and a sense of belonging such as ‘We are a school family’.

Our curriculum has three main areas: Learning Culture, Learning Community, Learning Curriculum. Learning is a journey, and terminology and processes are crafted around this concept. We have designed a carefully structured curriculum, from Magnifying Glass (KS1), to Binoculars (Y3/4) to Telescope (Y5/6), with golden threads such as Diversity and Oracy, but also more specific learning threads such as ‘Conflict’. 

We are a trauma Informed and THRIVE school, creating an inclusive environment, where mental health is discussed very explicitly, enabling us to win the TES Pupil Mental Health Award in Summer 2023. There is an emphasis on developing attributes such as resilience, and honesty.  In order to support this focus, we have a highly skilled inclusion team, including a Family Support Worker, Learning Mentor, and Lead HLTA.  We are deliberately mistake friendly, and take a realistic approach to pupils’ behaviours: they are allowed to get things wrong, and we see this as a learning opportunity.

Signature practices

  • Values led school: our Animal Aces e.g. Friendly Otter, Truthful Toad embody our school values and learning behaviours, are displayed in every classroom, talked about regularly, and used in conversation.
  • Highly inclusive approaches  with the support of our Speech and Language specialist team
  • Pupil Leadership Opportunities – play leaders, reading buddies, play buddies, lunch helpers, Sports Leaders, committees, pupil wellbeing, and pupil voice as paramount to this
  • Learning crafted around a journey – learning points are ‘stepping stones’, tools and skills needed are in ‘rucksacks’, success criteria are ‘footprints’
  • Tight working collaborations between Leadership Team, Inclusion Team and Office team: you are never alone!

Why we joined the Next Big 10

As a school, part of our culture is always to strive to be our best, along with staff being drivers of their own learning. We seek to provide a curriculum that not only is knowledge rich but is also experience and development rich, where children can thrive and develop as ‘whole’ people. The NB10 is a wonderful opportunity to combine these aims and values, along with sharing with, and learning from, other like minded colleagues at the cutting edge of education.
Claire Hardisty, Headteacher and Trust Learning Community Lead
Education is in a time of change and we need to be drivers of that change. NB10 gives us the chance to work with passionate and knowledgeable colleagues who want to make a difference. Learning together is the way forward for us to forge a great education for our children.
Emma Mantell, Acting Deputy Head

Thornbury Primary School's Change Team

Claire Hardisty

Headteacher and Trust Learning Community Lead

Emma Mantell

Acting Deputy Head

Caroline Coppola

Inclusion HLTA and Assistant SENDCO

Holly Rule

Teacher and Forest School Lead

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