“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” W.B. Yeats
Curriculum IntentSt Thomas of Canterbury school puts the wellbeing of the children the heart of the curriculum. We are a fully inclusive and welcoming school where respect and genuine care is shown to all.
The curriculum aims to provide opportunities for pupils to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society.
It aims to ensure that creativity and problem solving, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements in the development of the whole child, not just academic success. Our intent is to promote a positive attitude to learning.
We aim to deliver a rigorous and stretching academic education to all pupils and outstanding wider personal development.
The curriculum values diversity. It supports pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that they are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
We want to develop well-rounded young people who are ready to take their place in the world.
Our intent is that our children will be inquisitive, resilient and independent individuals who take pride in their work. These are our core values and it is our aim to support the children to achieve them. Above all, we hope that our pupils will be happy.
Curriculum ImplementationThe curriculum is planned and sequenced to equip pupils with cumulative knowledge and skills for future learning. Learning is re-visited and developed throughout the key stages, to ensure a real depth of learning across the school. Subject Leaders have the necessary expertise to design and ensure appropriate delivery of their subject area; ensuring a clear progression of both skills and knowledge across all year groups, underpinned by regular assessment. Teachers plan lessons using prior assessment to match the learning according to need. Continuing Professional Development for all staff is a priority and is selected following monitoring by SLT and subject leaders. This ensures that staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the highest standards across the entire curriculum including pupils’ wellbeing.
Assessment is used effectively to inform provision and identify next steps and includes differentiation, targeted support or tailored interventions. Ongoing assessment for learning ensures that pupils understanding during lessons is monitored and misconceptions identified and corrected. Activities are adjusted when necessary. St Thomas’s takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment and pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their full potential. Those who are most able are challenged and offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth. Those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
To maximise pupils’ recall, retention and enjoyment, history, geography and science are taught in termly blocks. Memory walls are utilised to build on previous knowledge and skills and learning is revisited throughout the year.
Pupils develop skills to challenge themselves, particularly as they progress through the school. Homework is aligned to the curriculum and a variety of activities are utilised including subscriptions to online learning. Provision is made in school for those children who have not got sufficient support at home.
Results evidence that our staff are effective in teaching systematic synthetic phonic. Reading is prioritised and staff ensure that it is promoted throughout the curriculum. Pupils read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension. Pupils are taught to foster a love of reading by utilising local resources, participating in creative community initiatives, and having reading areas that demonstrate how valuable reading is. Teachers read aloud to pupils in a way that engages them, introducing new ideas, concepts and vocabulary. Teachers also make time to talk to the children about books.
St Thomas’s provides pupils with memorable diverse and rich experiences from which pupils can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. Visitors are regularly invited into school and educational and residential visits are carefully chosen to deepen understanding. We utilize our outdoor learning environment to enhance hands-on learning experiences and promote active learning. Our well-being curriculum recognises the importance of pupils’ physical and mental well-being (especially post-Covid), in shaping their long-term life-style choices. Pupil Voice is valued and encouraged with children given many opportunities to be actively involved in whole school decision making. Children also hold many positions of responsibility. We have high expectations of attendance and pupil behaviour. We are committed to working in partnership with parents as we believe that when home and school work closely together we achieve the best outcomes for our pupils.
Curriculum ImpactThe curriculum design ensures that the needs of all pupils are met; that the whole child is developed and all pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education. High levels of attainment have been achieved over many years.
The impact of the curriculum is carefully monitored through planning, monitoring of books and displays, lesson observations, learning walks and the voice of all stakeholders. Pupils’ enjoyment of the well-planned curriculum promotes positive behaviour for learning, confidence and good behaviour. Our pupils are able to form meaningful relationships based upon mutual respect and trust, recognising and celebrating difference, not only within the school community, but in the wider world as well. They have a real sense of responsibility as future citizens and grow up being able to make a positive contribution to the world in which they live. The curriculum provides a strong foundation for future learning and socialising. It enables pupils to recognise their self-worth and realise that they can achieve – they are given the skills to overcome personal barriers.
Our school ethos of care and support enables our pupils to be well-rounded, happy and empathetic young people who have a thirst for learning and respect for the world around them. It produces confident, independent, resilient pupils who are motivated learners. Pupils leave St Thomas’s well equipped with the skills needed to achieve success in life. Our curriculum allows each pupil to recognise and celebrate their own gifts and talents and be the best that they can be.