Curriculum Rationale

St Thomas More Catholic High School Vision = Mission + Standards

Our school community believes in every person, encouraging their love of learning, their love of each other and their love of Christ.

 

The school is committed to ensuring that our Catholic values are embedded into our curriculum vision. Each child has gifts and talents from God and all are called to their own personal vocation. Our curriculum is built around ensuring all our students have opportunities to fulfil their God-given qualities, support spiritual development, social mobility and academic growth. It is vital to St Thomas More School that our curriculum has a framework that suits all ranges of talents and abilities, provide opportunities to learn both subject content and broader skills and is ambitious for all students. Each of us, students, school, home, church and the wider community, play a vital role in realising this vision.

With the shared involvement of every individual, we aspire to be a confident outward-looking Christian community in which every member:

  • Enjoys creative, dynamic and reflective learning.
  • Is supported, challenged and equipped for the future.
  • Values and takes responsibility for themselves and others.
  • Relies on, builds support and lasting rewarding relationships.

 

In achieving this aim the school has:

  • A curriculum that engages all of our learners.
  • A strong commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, through the IAM (PSHE) curriculum, to help every child foster personal qualities to make a success of their lives emphasising the important Catholic and British Values.
  • Religious Education as a cornerstone of learning for all of our students within every year.
  • A broad, rich, relevant, personalised and balanced offer that caters for learners, whether their talents are physical, technical, academic and/or artistic. Our curriculum is ambitious and provides challenge for all pupils, of all abilities, in all years.
  • A rigorous offer for academic students including Further Maths, Separate Science (outside of options), a range of language options, Computer Science, Art, Music, Drama and technology subjects.
  • An options process which begins in Year 7 and utilises independent guidance in its supportive process between student, parent and school. In supporting students make appropriate choices the school incorporates curriculum areas, Progress Leaders, Form Tutors, and Pupil Premium Champions.
  • The options process allows all students to select from a broad range of qualifications. We offer subjects from a range of qualifications from Art, humanities, Sciences, performance, technologies, alongside the core subjects of Religious Studies, Maths, English, Science and Physical Education. We offer a range of qualifications so the method of learning suits the individual student and their future intent. The qualifications offered include GCSE, Technical Awards and OCR nationals.
  • A supportive approach for students who will benefit from extra literacy and numeracy lessons, as well as targeted support for essential skills such as handwriting & reading.
  • A rich offer of Arts based courses to promote creativity within our learners.
  • A strong pattern of English Baccalaureate entry which we believe gives students the greatest chance of success at Key Stage 4 and beyond.
  • The time for PE recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives.
  • An extra curriculum offer that immerses students into a wide range of activities allowing their personal & social skills to flourish. These include work experience, a wide range of well attended extracurricular clubs including the Duke of Edinburgh, school productions, fundraising events, supporting others, mentoring and representing the school. All have the aim of helping our young people to develop their identity so they are ready and fully equipped to fully engage with life beyond school.
  • Curriculum Leaders continually monitor the schemes of work across all years to ensure that they provide the highest possible standards of learning and opportunities for engagement for all our students.

 

Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is designed around a 50, one hour, two week timetable. This is consistently under review so that it meets the needs of all our students and maximises their opportunities and learning. We teach a broad, balanced and deep curriculum across all 5 years from Year 7 to Year 11. We work with primary schools and post 16 providers to ensure that the learning provides a continuum with the learning of these local providers.

 

At KS3 our curriculum is carefully matched to the national curriculum and ensures that all students gain their full entitlement of knowledge and skills. All students study a minimum of one language for all 5 years and an additional language is available for the more able linguists at KS3 and is an option at KS4. Students are encouraged to develop a love of learning and to increase their ability to be independent learners. This is seen as a key attitude in the learning of all students.

 

All students study core subjects for all 5 years. Core subjects include Religious Education (10% of curriculum time), English (Literature and Language), Mathematics, Science (Trilogy or Biology, Chemistry)

and Physics), Language, IAM, and Physical Education. Each core subject commences their KS4 study at an appropriate time for their subject and their students.

 

At the end of Year 8 students opt to take forward 3 choices from Fine Art, Drama, Health and Social Care, Business Studies, Geography, History, Second Language, Food and Nutrition, Technology, Music, Sport , I-Media and Computer Science. During the options process students and families are given guidance and support to help them make informed choices. The school’s Ebacc entry rate in 2019 was 64%, with 70% of the students take a humanities subject at KS4. In 2019 humanities gained a valued added score of 0.8 which is significantly above the national average. – IDSR 2019

 

further information

A list of our current KS4 qualifications can be found here.

You can find a model of our curriculum here.