Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum is based on what we believe our children need to know, understand and do to achieve success in all areas of later life. We work hard to ensure that children are prepared for the next phase in their learning and that they have the resilience and independence to achieve their very best outcomes. We use the Cornerstones curriculum as the basis for our whole school approach to teaching and learning from EYFS to Year 6. We find that this gives consistency of approach and a broad and balanced provision for all our children as they progress through the key stages at Kilnhurst St Thomas's C of E Primary Academy.


The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum at Kilnhurst St Thomas' meets all statutory duties whilst being appropriately tailored to meet the needs and interests of the children in the classes. Further information about the EYFS can be found in the documents below.

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 1 & 2, children largely follow a carefully planned programme from Cornerstones which uses the statutory requirements in each subject to create an engaging and purposeful programme of study which is relevant to the children. Most subjects are taught through a topic based approach and are linked to first hand experiences wherever possible. More information on the curriculum at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found in the class pages.

The curriculum at all stages is enriched with wider opportunities such as professional sports coaching, visiting speakers and performers, visits to the local library and residential visits to name but a few. More details of visits and activities can be found in the class pages.

Phonics and Reading

Children in Foundation Stage  and Key Stage 1 are taught a daily phonics lesson to develop their early reading skills. We use Read, Write, Inc. as our provision for phonics and early reading and writing, which is supplemented by the use of published interventions and bespoke support for children who need it. We hold regular workshops to help parents and carers to support their children's reading at home as well as demonstrating during stay and play and morning work sessions. Children in Key Stage 2 who have difficulty with reading will continue to receive support with phonics as appropriate through the Fresh Start, Read, Write, Inc. intervention. Reading material across the school is wide ranging but is organised using the Book Bands colour system and regularly assessed using the PM Benchmarking assessment system and NTS testing.

Reading is taught using a range of materials through a Reciprocal Reading and Novel Study approach. We use Cracking Comprehension alongside materials from Herts for Learning to ensure children are taught wider reading skills once their ability to decode has been secured. 


We use RWI Spelling from Year 2 upwards. This provision is supplemented with Skills Builders. Children are assessed weekly in spelling tests and also half termly as part of the Rising Stars Progress in GPS testing suite.


We use Rising Stars Skills Builders to ensure that provision in the teaching of Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary is consistent across the school. Once each unit is completed, children are assessed using the GPS testing suite from Rising Stars.


We use the White Rose Maths Scheme of work to ensure we have a secure, well delivered and progressive model of mathematics teaching and learning which is founded on Mastery principles.   

Children are assessed weekly in times tables and fluency. Children complete a termly test using the NTS testing suite to allow us to track progress again national counterparts.


Assessment throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 is directly linked to National Curriculum programmes of study for all subjects; core and foundation. Outcomes from testing are correlated with our in house assessment system on a termly basis and is moderated with other schools in our academy trust and Local Authority.


Our curriculum is based on the Cornerstones 10 Big Ideas


National Curriculum - Y1 - Y6

EYFS Development Matters

EYFS Framework

Early Years - The Foundation Stages