Our school is a very special school because we combine a love for learning with a love for the individual
The whole curriculum is everything which the child experiences during his/her time in school. It includes those aspects which are difficult to quantify; play, assemblies, social relationships, happy working atmosphere as well as the teaching and learning situations in class time.
In this school we aim to encourage the development of the whole person. We seek to make the curriculum appropriate to the child's interest and aspirations. We recognise the individual needs and abilities of each learner and we strive to support the development of intellectual, emotional, cultural, moral aesthetic, spiritual, physical and social qualities.
Our school whilst delivering the statutory content of the National Curriculum, places a very creative thematic approach to learning. Our school Curriculum is challenging, exciting and enriching.
We specialise in a Curriculum which 'develops' high levels of skill and enjoyment in Physical Education, Sports, Art, Music and Drama. Our children excel in these areas of the Curriculum
Religious Education is the very core and essence of our existence as a Catholic School and plays a key part in the curriculum.
It is expected that the children admitted to the school will take a full and active part in the religious life of the school.
Religious Education is undertaken according to the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
Our aim in Religious Education is to lead the children to a living faith through prayer, the Mass, the RE Programme, Statements to Live By, school assemblies and the liturgical life of the Church.
The school currently uses the ‘Come and See’ Scheme of Work and resources. Regular whole school or key stage assemblies take place each week and each class is involved in preparing and taking part in class liturgies, in a class assembly, class Mass or non-Eucharistic service during the year.
Our children also study other faiths to create an understanding and tolerance of other peoples’ beliefs. There is an inter-faith dialogue project running through e-mail with another city school which has pupils predominantly of three other faiths: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.
A specially designed prayer garden, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the school, enables the pupils to sit quietly to reflect and pray in a calm environment.
The children learn about other World Faiths in a rolling programme (2 faiths are studied per year). In addition pupils in Year 6 take part in an Interfaith Dialogue with an inner city school of predominantly other faiths.
Collective Worship (co-ordinated and led by our School Chaplain and the Chaplaincy Team)
Assembly and class time is used for collective worship, and to endorse and encourage good behaviour. Assembly time is also used to share and celebrate success, special occasions, e.g. birthdays and achievements – presentation of certificates and awards.
Parents are invited into school on regular occasions to share class assemblies, Class Masses, Liturgies and Whole School Masses. They are also invited to specially prepared productions and to services for special occasions e.g. Christmas, Easter and Harvest. Notice of such events is given in advance, either by a general letter of invitation, or through individual class invitations. The children are taught and say each day the traditional prayers and also write and read their own prayers on different topical themes. Children are also invited to write reflections on different aspects of the liturgical year and children are actively encouraged to lead class prayers, acts of worship and class liturgies.
As a school, we feel that both traditional prayers and children’s own prayers are of great value as a way of communicating with God, developing our own personal relationship with Him and keeping Him always by our side.
There is a close co-operation between the school and the Church. The Parish Priest visits the school on a regular basis for Class Masses, Whole School Masses and other liturgical celebrations to which everyone is welcomed. The children also attend Mass at St Thomas More Church: Holy Days of Obligation and Feast Days are duly observed. Each year group from Year 3 to Year 6 are invited to lead the 9.00 am Mass on the first Sunday in each month during term time.
Key Stage 1 classes hold non-Eucharistic services to which parents are invited. They are led by Mr John Elliott.
“Collective Worship is outstanding. Prayer is evident in all aspects of school life and enriches the experiences of the school community. Pupil-led liturgy has been developed and children participate fully in this aspect of the school.”
Diocesan Canonical Inspection January 2015
The children of St Thomas More School start preparing for their First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Holy Reconciliation when they are in Year 4. The preparation is done in the Parish in partnership with the School and with great involvement from the parents. The Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place during the season of Lent and the First Holy Communion Service usually takes place on the Saturday prior to the Feast of Corpus Christi.
We recognise that parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of the faith and we seek to work in close partnership with the home and the Parish.
The Primary Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum has seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in the early years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. These areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and Language;
- Physical Development;
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
There are also four specific area, though which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World, and
- Expressive Arts and Design.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult led and child initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals indicating whether children are meeting expected levels of development or if they are exceeding expected levels of development or not yet reaching expected levels (emerging). This is ‘The Early Years Foundation Profile’ which will be completed for each child at the end of F2. The profile provides a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels and their readiness for Year 1.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2