Staff and governors aim to make St Thomas More School a very exciting place to be! We have reflected carefully about what is taught and how it is taught so that it makes a difference to the lives of our pupils. As a Catholic community, the person of Jesus Christ is at the heart of what we teach and how we teach. His example provides a framework for exploring core Christian values as we support our pupils to better understand themselves, identify what is important to them, and demonstrate understanding and respect for others in our modern society. Ultimately, we aim for our pupils to become ethical, informed, articulate and empowered citizens, who are fully prepared to assume their role in 21st Century Britain.
To this end, we provide a stimulating, broad and balanced curriculum which captures the children’s interests and encourages them to engage in the learning process. We understand that children thrive within a purposeful, supportive and calm environment. We teach them positive learning habits so they understand that, whilst learning isn't always easy, it should be rewarding. We want to provide a wide range of opportunities for children to experience and enjoy. We aim to foster a love of learning that stays with each child long after they leave STM and serves them well into their adult lives.
Please click on this link STM Curriculum Grid to view the full extent of our curricular offer. .
Our taught curriculum is based on programmes of study in:
Religious Education (RE), English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music, Physical Education (PE), French (MFL).
We recognise the value of providing rich and in-depth English and Mathematics learning opportunities for their own importance, as well as seeing them as a means of promoting learning in other areas of the curriculum. Great emphasis is therefore placed on the teaching of these subjects. In addition to daily English and Mathematics lessons, teachers endeavour to make meaningful cross-curricular links so that pupils have opportunities to apply their skills in a range of contexts.
As a faith school, we ensure that 10% of our curriculum time is assigned to the teaching of Religious Education. Once again, we aim to work as creatively as possible and try to make links between RE and the skills taught in other subjects.
Whilst the core subjects of Religion, English, Maths and Science are taught on a regular basis, some foundation subjects (such as History, Geography, Art and Design) are taught as blocks of work over the course of a half term. We also plan for special days or themed weeks where the whole school focuses on a specific area of learning e.g. Online Safety Week, Arts Week, Parish Week, Shakespeare Week, Science Week and Relationships Week.
We acknowledge parents as the first and foremost educators of their children and believe that positive home-school links are crucial in ensuring that children thrive and make the best possible progress. Consequently, we aim to be an open, friendly and approachable school and we actively encourage parents to be involved in their children’s learning.
As part of our annual School Development Planning Day, curriculum provision is subject to review by all stakeholders. Core principles of the school (our vision, mission, aims) are examined and renewed, working parties are formed with the task of examining specific aspects of our provision, agreeing ideas for future improvement and developing an action plan to move the school further forward. In this way, our curriculum remains fresh, vibrant and relevant.
We have high expectations of all our pupils regardless of their home circumstances or starting points, and create opportunities for them to experience and excel in a range of activities designed to enhance and extend their learning, both inside and outside the classroom. For example: Mud Club, residential trips, workshops, participation in local initiatives and sporting events, visiting speakers and much more. We also respond to the children’s interests by organising a range of excellent lunchtime and after school clubs.
At the heart of the school there is a dedicated library area which contains a range of high-quality reading material, both fiction and non-fiction. It is valued by pupils, staff and parents alike: indeed, our generous Parents’ Association have committed annual funding towards maintaining this facility at an optimal level. Staff are also committed to promoting reading for pleasure and constantly seek new ways of engaging children in literature, for example, by offering a variety of ways for children to access this area, both within the school day and beyond it.
Similarly, we place value on developing the Arts within our curriculum and appreciate them for their own intrinsic value, as well as for how we can use the different artistic forms - dance, drama, music and art - to explore difficult or complex ideas in greater depth. We strive for innovation and staff work hard to research and develop new approaches.
In our pursuit of excellence, we employ a number of specialist teachers who provide regular support for lessons in French, PE and Music. We welcome peripatetic teachers who work with individual children or small groups and, where a specific need is recognised, we invite advisory teachers to come and share their expertise with us. With this specialist input, we believe that all pupils can make good rates of progress and work to support them towards the next steps of learning.
As our pupils prepare to transfer to their new schools at the end of Year 6, we hope that they will leave St Thomas More School, secure in their faith, with a lifelong love of learning and feeling suitably equipped to meet the demands of secondary school by being informed, articulate and empowered Through our holistic approach towards teaching, promotion of good learning habits, respect for the human rights of all and by the living out our Christian values, we seek to equip our pupils with the necessary social skills, awareness and understanding of what is required of them to become good citizens.