We are first and foremost a Catholic school and as such are led by the values and beliefs of the Church.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced and involves projects, meaningful tasks and experiential visits. Our aim is for all children to become confident, creative and engaged learners who achieve their full God-given potential.
Our curriculum has been carefully designed to:
Engage and excite the children.
Develop active learning.
Encourage independent learning.
Provide a context for learning through first hand experiences.
Allow children to make links.
Involve parents and carers.
Enable children to develop skills for the future.
Extend children’s understanding and relationships with their community and beyond.
An overview of the curriculum:
Our curriculum leads to confident, independent learners, who have a passion for learning and are adaptable to the needs of the world once they leave the school. Through our curriculum, we will ensure that pupils are aware of their strengths and see success regularly, whilst also ensuring they are resilient, well rounded people who possess the necessary attributes to cope when they face challenges. Developing children who can learn for themselves and who want to find out more is an essential part in the work we do, and that positive behaviour for learning is fundamental.
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School we will:
Our curriculum will ensure that children reflect positively on their primary school years. Learning should be deep and meaningful and experiences and knowledge that the children gain in lessons will be fully embedded. We expect the children to recognise the importance of taking pride in presentation, in developing personal standards.
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we want the children to learn with their “heads up,” aware of what the local community has to offer and understanding their position in its future success. For this reason, drawing on the expertise, knowledge and industry which surrounds the school also plays an important part in the planning of activities and opportunities we are offering the children.
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we have used the National Curriculum alongside specific year group topics to allow our children to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed. We recognise that the curriculum encompasses all areas of learning and we provide learning which makes links across all subjects to give children a clear rationale for completing their work.
In order to allow children to remember key skills, children revisit them over the course of a key stage. Wherever possible, reading, writing and Maths activities are linked across lessons and reading is used continuously to discover and explore. The same quality of work is expected across all subjects which leads to higher standards and outcomes.
Lesson may take various formats. These may include:
– Independent research, information gathering and summarising
– Direct teacher led lessons, teaching new skills and knowledge
– Presentation lessons, where children apply their basic skills
– Challenge and deepening activities which add depth to learning.
We require the children to work in these ways so that they build their resilience and can then independently apply their skills and knowledge once a topic is complete.
At regular points, pupil voice is conducted which allows children to have their say in the how the topic has progressed and what they would change if they were to study the same topic again.
At the end of a block of work, opportunities for assessment are taken through the use of “big questions” which demonstrate what has been learnt and can be applied. Teachers use the responses to these questions to address misconceptions or to extend learning further. Children do not move on until misconceptions have been addressed, so that learning is embedded.
On the first day of a new topic, each class has a “Launch” day. These act as a hook for the children and invigorate the children’s curiosity about what is to come.
Towards the end of a topic, staff plan “enrichment” days for the children which engage stake holders the local community. These are an opportunity for the children to show pride in what they have achieved and to reflect and consolidate on their learning through discussion of what they have learnt and achieved.
Trips booked for the children will be of high quality. The intention of such trips is to provide the children with cultural capital and to give them experiences that enhance their learning.
The impact of the school’s curriculum can be seen in the books they produce and the outcomes for all groups of pupils within the school. Everything we do is with the child at mind, and strong relationships are built between pupils and staff which create an atmosphere for learning which is conducive to success.
Pupil progress through ongoing assessment and through three key assessment points during the year. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning identified through assessments to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School we strive to deliver a learning experience that has interest, amazement, breadth, challenge and relevance to meet the needs and interests of all pupils. We are a friendly school where children are encouraged and nurtured to achieve their best. We provide a happy, caring and calm atmosphere where children are able to contribute and achieve in all areas of school life. The curriculum is successfully planned and managed to ensure all pupils get an excellent start and are well prepared for the next stage in the education. We believe and promote a love of ‘Learning for Life’. Learning is an integral part of our day and takes place throughout the day in all areas.
At St Thomas More, the children are at the heart of all we do and we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to be happy, feel valued and experience success.
As a Catholic school our curriculum is designed to present children with exciting learning opportunities, which motivate and inspire them, supported by our Catholic values. We aim to provide our children with the skills, knowledge and values they will need as they continue on their learning journey at St Thomas More and beyond.
When targeting the outcomes for our pupils, we focus on two vital factors
This allows all our children to make progress taking into account the extent of any Special Educational Needs and/or Disability.
The academic curriculum is supported by a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities that will further add to the development of the whole child. The Health and well-being of all pupils is paramount and interventions from the CAFAW (Children and Family Aid Worker) support this. The Boxall Profile is an invaluable resource for the assessment of some of our children’s social, emotional and behavioural development.
The children enjoy linking with local community as much as they can – from Pates Grammar School students volunteering to come in and hear readers to UCAS workers providing mentoring support for our Year 6 children.
Starting school is a very important time for you, your child and the school. A happy start leads to your child enjoying their school career, keeps them motivated and engaged in all aspects of their education. To achieve a successful start and help build your child’s independence, it is essential that we work with you as their parent or carer to make their first days at school smooth and rewarding.
When children start school for the first time, they join us in September at the start of the school year in which they have their fifth birthday. As parents and carers, you will be invited to be part of a structured transition programme, providing you with all the information you require, helping you with the home school transition for your child.
We hold a ‘Welcome Meeting’ for parents and carers, which includes information giving about the transition into school and the EYFS curriculum. Shortly after this meeting, children will be invited to meet their class for the first time at a Stay and Play session. This helps familiarise children with the school.
In the Autumn Term, the Foundation Stage teaching team will carry out home visits to observe the child in their most familiar surroundings – at home. Soon after this, children begin the transition into school with half days and then lunchtimes and then full days. Children will be at school full time within two weeks.
Partnership with Parents
From the start of your child’s education, we want to promote a good ‘Partnership with Parents’. We understand that you are your child’s first educator and we are here to support you. Your child’s overall development and progress relies on regular communication between our staff and you as parents. By exchanging information, we will gain a clearer picture of each individual child.
Our regular Parental Conversations give parents and carers the opportunity to talk through your child’s progress and we can answer any questions you may have. However, we are always here for you to talk to. And don't forget to look through the Curriculum Booklet 2018-2019 to find out more.
Stay and Plays
You are invited to come in during the school day and experience life in Reception – this will also give your child the chance to show you what they can do.