Our faith underpins everything we do - this is reflected in our Mission Statement:
'We follow Jesus as we learn, play and pray together.'
We offer a vibrant programme of study based on the 'Come and See' RE scheme. This covers the four principal Areas of Study from the Religious Education Curriculum Directory - Revelation, The Church, Celebration and Life in Christ:
Key sources include the Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, the liturgy, and resources and support materials from CAFOD and other RE schemes. These are used to develop the children’s understanding and personal experience of faith and spirituality. Sources are detailed in each year group’s medium term and weekly plans. All resources, including the Prayer Garden, the amphitheatre, and the Wednesday Word pamphlets, are used creatively in ways which enhance and inspire the children’s learning.
All year groups study three other world faiths during the course of an academic year. Judaism is focused on during the Autumn term, Islam in the Spring term and Sikhism is explored in the Summer term. Opportunities to learn about other faiths are seized where appropriate, as we seek to promote a wider understanding of our world.
English is taught as both a discreet and cross-curricular subject. Children are taught reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and phonics. The programme for English is delivered in a variety of lively and creative ways, including the use of ebooks, computing, drama and outdoor learning. Reading and writing activities include peer, buddy, group and whole school initiatives. We also have a wonderful library which the children regularly access.
Children at STM are taught the early stages of reading and phonics using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme. The school has adopted Collins Big Cat reading scheme to further support early reading skills. Please click on the following links to find out more about our provision:
At St Thomas More, we take great pride of the quality of our pupils' handwriting skills. Once the children have mastered basic letter formation, they are encouraged to move to using the cursive script towards the end of their time in Early Years. We strongly believe this promotes fluency, neatness and has strong links to accuracy of spelling.
Click here to see our script: STM Curstive Handwriting Script
We value Mathematics as a way of gaining greater understanding of the world around us and seek to provide pupils with a rich and progressive curriculum. We support pupils to develop their ability to calculate, reason, problem solve, and to understand and appreciate patterns in numbers and space in their everyday lives, both in and out of school. We have adopted a Mastery approach towards our teaching - please click on the links for more information.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modeling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT where this is appropriate.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
Digital technology is taught as a distinct subject, as well as being used to support learning across the curriculum. We give structure to our lessons by using the Purple Mash scheme of work. This breaks Computing down into two distinctive areas: Computer Science and Digital Literacy.
Online Safety messages are embedded throughout the scheme, with a particular emphasis on using technology safely, appropriately and responsibly. There is a whole-school focus on Online Safety during the Autumn Term and we also participate in Safer Internet Day in the Spring term. For further information regarding online safety please visit the Safeguarding tab under the 'Our School' section.
Children have opportunities to learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work. They are encouraged to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products. Furthermore, pupils have opportunities to draw, paint, print, make collages, use fabrics and threads and use clay. They are taught the skills and techniques and then given the opportunity to practice them to produce individual, group, whole class and, on occasions, whole school pieces of work. Children are encouraged to critically evaluate their own work and that of others in order to learn from their experiences.
As we support our pupils to become designers and inventors, our D and T curriculum incorporates many traditional skills, including cooking, model making, drawing and sketching, problem solving, observation and discussion. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making. They will design, make and evaluate .The children are also taught how to use tools and materials safely and economically.
Food technology is also taught throughout the school. In Key Stage 1 pupils use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes. They gain an appreciation of where food comes from. In Key Stage 2 pupils prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a rage of cooking techniques. They gain an understanding of seasonality and know where and
French is taught across the whole of Key Stage 2. We have a dedicated teacher who teaches in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and we use the Cave Languages scheme of work to ensure progression.
Our geography curriculum is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes that shape them and the people who live in them. It is divided into four key areas of learning: Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, and Geographical Skills and Fieldwork.
At Key Stage 1 pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
By Key Stage 2 pupils should extend their knowledge beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
In Key Stage 1 children start to develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical periods and use a variety of everyday historical terms. Pupils are encouraged ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand.
In Key Stage 2 children are expected to build on previous learning by continuing to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of local, British and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across periods of history. They should make connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms and regularly address and occasionally devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. Pupils construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information and understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
The school has a long tradition of offering high quality musical activity and provides considerable opportunities for children to develop their talents in all aspects of music, including composition, singing and appreciation. We have a specialist music teacher who works weekly with pupils from Year 1 to Year 6. We have an exceptional choir who regularly perform in the community, take part in singing festivals and perform in the Gala Concert for Hertfordshire Schools which takes place at the Royal Albert Hall. We also have a school orchestra which has performed at a number of local events. Visiting peripatetic teachers offer the opportunity for individual pupils to work towards music accreditation. Lesson plans are based on the Sing Up scheme.
Physical education is key to promoting physical activity and developing healthy lifestyles in young people so we encourage our pupils to be as physically active as possible. To this end, we provide a wide array of opportunities to promote awareness of healthy life choices and develop sporting skills, both within the normal school day and beyond it.
As part of our PE curriculum, children take part in games, gymnastic movement, dance and athletic activities, using indoor and outdoor environments as appropriate. Provision is made for intra-school competition and pupils are taught to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. We plan for a range of enrichment opportunities, including weekly additional sporting opportunities for our youngest pupils and regular lunch time clubs. . Pupils can also participate in after-school clubs and have opportunities to compete against other schools.
We use the You, Me, PSHE programme to map out our schemes of work. Progression is mapped within each strand of the subject. Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), online safety and consent are taught as discrete topics. We currently base our RSE provision on the Christopher Winterson project. Clink on the link for further details:
Thank you for taking an interest in our curriculum. We hope you can find the information that you were looking for. For further information, please contact Mrs Perry, the school's Headteacher via 01462 620670.