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St Thomas More Catholic Primary School

Inspiration, Celebration and Education

Personal Development

Charity and Community Work

 

At Saint Thomas More, our local community is at the heart of our school. 

We have developed strong links with Monkscroft Care Centre where we have completed the following activities, to name but just a few:

  • Singing workshops
  • Craft sessions
  • Sharing a story
  • Dance performances
  • Letter Writing

This even continued virtually during the National Lockdowns.

 

We have delivered Random Acts of Kindness to our local residents – this boosted the community’s wellbeing as well as our own!

 

We work closely with the local PCSOs and School Beat team, who hold workshops and informative sessions from Reception to Year 6.

 

We also work with volunteers from both Pates Grammar School and GlosCol and UCAS.

 

Throughout the academic year, we raise money for a number of charities.  These include:

  • Young Minds ‘Hello Yellow’ campaign for World Mental Health Day
  • CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)
  • Anti-bullying Alliance in accordance with Anti-Bullying Week
  • Missio Together
  • The Emmaus Project - This is our three year project

Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

At St Thomas More, we know our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as our physical health.  In our school, we learn about how important it is to talk about our feelings and emotions.  We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and, at times, anyone may need additional emotional support.

This is why we have been awarded the Mental Health Champion Award by the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) team!

    We are also part of the GHLL Trailblazer programme.  As a Trailblazer school, we are working with statutory healthcare providers who will be delivering mental health service delivery to pupils within our School.  Teachers and school staff work with a team of Education Mental Health Practitioners to identify children with emerging mental health needs, as part of a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.  This could be support for building friendships, resilience or self-esteem, for example.

     

    See our Mental Health and Wellbeing page for more information:  

      We have a strong Pastoral Team to help develop the positive mental health and wellbeing of both the pupils and staff in our school:

       

      Mrs Cerikan – Pastoral Lead

      Mrs Hibell - SENDCo

      Miss Copson – Mental Health Lead

      Mrs Tyler – Child and Family Action Worker (CAFAW)

      Mrs Reilly – Nurture Teaching Assistant

      Mrs Nelson – Behaviour Specialist, Inclusion and Attendance Officer

      Five Ways of Wellbeing

      At St Thomas More, we promote positive wellbeing using the Five Ways of Wellbeing:

       

      Connect - We hold termly Parent Pop-ins where families are invited to come in and spend time with the children in school, from reading together, making a craft or sharing what they've been learning. We have also been developing close links with the local community, for example, craft making with residents at Monkscroft Care Centre, music sessions with Cheltenham Music Festivals and Forest School sessions with students from Glos Col.

       

      Give - Throughout the year, we have deliver Random Acts of Kindness to our local neighbours. This has boosts our own and others wellbeing.

       

      Take Notice - Not only do we ensure we take notice of God's beautiful world, but we also take notice of how those around us are feeling and offer support when they need it.

       

      Be Active - As well as our weekly PE sessions, we also offer swimming lessons to all children from Year 2 to Year 6. Not only does this keep us active, but teaches us an important life skill. We also hold termly sports competitions and performances including House Rounders and dance showcases.

       

      Keep Learning - Our exciting, engaging curriculum ensures we are always learning

      We hold annual themed weeks in line with National dates to promote and support positive mental health and wellbeing.  These include:

      • Wellbeing Week (in line with World Mental Health Day in October)
      • Anti-Bullying Week (November)
      • Children’s Mental Health Week (February)
      • Healthy Week (July)

      We use a range of resources to support our teaching including:

      • Make Me a Superhero
      • Sometimes My Brain Hurts
      • SCARF (Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience, Friendship)

      Physical Health

      Our curriculum in PE is based around the Real PE scheme. The aim of the scheme is to create a positive relationship with physical activity for life, focusing on the development of agility, balance, coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning. We have moved away from the traditional sport first teaching of PE, instead focusing upon developing physical literacy, emotional and thinking skills

      The teaching and learning in our PE sessions can be characterised as a holistic approach where we are aiming to develop the ‘whole child’. Real PE is built around an assessment framework with clear learning journeys, that develop a range of personal, social, physical, health & fitness, cognitive and creative abilities. This focus on such ‘abilities’ will help us to align PE across the whole school and curriculum, embedding the core values in all our teaching and learning. 

      As part of PE we have increased our school’s provision for swimming to ensure all children from Year 2 are exposed to swimming lessons and learn this vital skill.   

       

      We are part of the MoveMore team, providing our school with both a Health Activator and a Family Engagement Officer.  Our Health Activator runs both classroom and individual interventions including supporting resilience, positive mind-set and motor skills as well as increasing the awareness of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.  They also work with class teachers to plan and deliver high quality lessons.  The Health Activator has built up a student led Health Council. The Health Council leads activities based around healthy eating and increasing the amount of physical activity children do on the playground.

       

      Our Family Engagement Officer works with both groups and individual families to increase the awareness of a healthy lifestyle. This has had great engagement from families both selected and those volunteering.

       

      We offer a range of physical extra-curricular activities run by both school staff and the MoveMore Team.  These include:

      • Summer Sports Club
      • Rugby Club
      • Netball Club
      • Yoga Club
      • Football Club etc.

      Promoting British Values

      1. Democracy.
      2. The rule of law.
      3. Individual liberty.
      4. Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

       

      Our whole school ethos and mission promote these values within everything we do.

      • Our ‘Have A Go Hawk’ mantra enables pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
      • We develop a sense of democracy within our pupils by holding Pupil Voice sessions to inform our subjects as well as School Council, Eco Club and the Chaplaincy Team.
      • Children at St Thomas More accept responsibility for their actions and behaviour through restorative conversations and incident narratives.
      • Children learn to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England through Collective Worships, PSHCE and RSE sessions and through discreet teaching e.g. comparing Tudor crime and punishment to the Modern Day Justice System (Year 4 History) as well as through the positive roles models of our staff.
      • During our RE sessions, MFL sessions, Collective Worships and discreet days, such as Multi-Cultural Day, children are encouraged to respect different cultural traditions and faiths.

       

      Find out more information about how we promote British Values here:

      Healthy Relationships (including Relationship, Health and Sex Education)

       

      At Saint Thomas More, we provide children with an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through our Relationship, Health and Sex Education for Catholic primary schools scheme ‘Life to the Full’. 

       

      This is broken down into three modules:

       

      Module One: Created and Loved by God explores the individual.  Rooted in the teaching that we are made in the image and likeness of God, it helps children to develop an understanding of the importance of valuing themselves as the basis for personal relationships.

       

      Module Two: Created to Love Others explores the individual’s relationships with others.  Building on the understanding that we have been created out of love for love, this module explores how we take this calling into our family, friendships and relationships, and teaches strategies for developing healthy relationships and keeping safe.

       

      Module 3: Created to Live in Community explored the individual’s relationship with the wider world.  Here we explore how human beings are relational by nature and are called to love others in the wider community through service, through dialogue and through working for the Common Good.

       

      Celebrating Differences

       

      At St Thomas More we understand that everyone is different and that these individual characteristics make us unique!  We celebrate our differences and ensure equal opportunities are available for all pupils in our school.

      Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development

       

      At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we put the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of children at the heart of everything we do.  It forms our Mission Statement:

       

       

      We have a yearly overview of SMSC objectives that we embed into our school community and teaching – these directly link to our Real PE ‘Learning Cogs’.  Each term there is a new SMSC focus and our lessons are moulded around this.  We celebrate our SMSC achievements through weekly certificates based on this objective.  Pupils are given time to reflect on SMSC learning within class and during Collective Worship.  Our school Chaplaincy Team lead a Collective Worship on this area of development each week.  Pupils and staff are given opportunities to develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness through all areas of our Catholic School.  All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Explicit opportunities to promote pupils' development in these areas are provided in RE, PSHCE and RSE at The Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

       

       

      Spiritual Development

      As a school we aim to provide learning opportunities that will enable pupils to develop their:

      • Sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses;
      • Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, faiths, feelings and values as well as those of others;
      • Will to achieve;
      • Curiosity about themselves and their place in the world and try to answer for themselves some of life's fundamental questions;
      • Knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and non-material wellbeing.

       

      As a Catholic school, we place special emphasis on the specific teaching and beliefs of the Catholic faith, both within the daily life of the school and through the curriculum.

       

      Moral Development

      As a school we aim to provide learning opportunities that will enable pupils to develop their:

      • Understanding and knowledge of right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right.
      • Willingness to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others;
      • The knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them.
      • Understanding of the need for a common code and to follow it from conviction rather than because of consequences or sanctions.

       

      Moral development, based on Christian principles, should enable pupils to become increasingly responsible for their own actions and behaviour.

       

      Social Development

      As a school we aim to provide learning opportunities that will enable pupils to develop their:

      • Understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities (local, national and global), and an ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good;
      • Sense of belonging and an increasing willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively;
      • Knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities;
      • Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

       

      The school provides a suitable environment for promoting social development within a Christian context. Pupils learn to lead, to use their initiative and to use individual skills and strengths when working together towards a common goal.

       

      Cultural Development

      As a school we aim to provide learning opportunities that will enable pupils to develop their:

      • Understanding of cultural traditions and ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences;
      • Respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in other people’s ways of doing things and about differences;
      • Knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.

       

      A cross-curricular approach can be used to promote and develop cultural awareness, for example: music, dance, drama and art.

       

       

      Online and Offline Safety

       

      All pupils are aware of online and offline risks to their wellbeing.  They are equipped with the knowledge of what to do if something makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.  We ensure pupils and families are aware of the recommended user age of apps and websites.

      In our computing curriculum, we begin the year with an Online Safety unit for all year groups.  In addition to this, we revisit and develop key areas within our PSHCE and RHSE sessions. We also have Online Safety workshops throughout the year with our PCSO and School Beat team. 

      Pupils are aware of the severity of cyber bullying and know they should talk to an adult if this is something they experience.  Pupils are also aware of the consequences of such actions.

      Year 6 Transition to Secondary School

       

      Our Year 6 teacher and CAFAW work together to deliver sessions to the Year 6 pupil to equip them for their transition to the next phase of their education.  All pupils are encouraged to attend their secondary schools transition days and additional days are planned for those who require them.  The Year 6 teacher and our SENDCo work closely with leaders from secondary schools to ensure the transition for all pupils is successful.

       

      Chaplaincy Team

       

      At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School our Chaplaincy Team are a key part of our school community. They take an active and lead role in leading the prayer life of the school. Each week they have the responsibility to plan and lead a Collective Worship and they are currently working towards the Leaders of Faith awards. They are continuing to plan reflective areas and complete learning walks of the reflective areas.   At the start of every new academic year the children in Years 4, 5 and 6 are invited to apply to be a member of the Chaplaincy Team. The children write a letter to the existing Chaplaincy Team explaining why they would like to join. Once chosen the children will be announced during a Collective Worship. The experienced members will then help train the new members.

      Chaplaincy Team leading a whole school worship on Saint Thomas More Feast Day

      Enrichment and Extra-Curricular Activities

       

      In the mornings, Breakfast Club is available for all pupils so they can be prepared for the day of learning ahead. The club provides a range of arts and craft activities as well as guided outdoor games.

       

      After school pupils can take part in various clubs; Arts and Crafts, Media Club (writing the school newsletter), School Council, Chaplaincy, Yoga, Sports Club, Homework Club, Singing, Mindfulness and many more.

       

      Throughout the year the teachers plan opportunities to enrich the curriculum and provide activities that will add to their class’s knowledge wherever they can with activities and trips to support the class topic including Warwick Castle, the Imperial War Museum, Roald Dahl Museum and We The Curious!

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