Curriculum Intent and Vision
We aim to foster the intellectual, social, creative, physical, moral and spiritual development of all our students and see each child as a unique person with a God-given individual identity. We regard learning, as stated in our Jesuit values, as the formation of the individual and the search for God’s truth. We provide a safe, stimulating knowledge-rich learning environment for all students and teachers. We enable students to achieve their full potential by learning through challenging and thought-provoking experiences; A curriculum in which we strive for learners to achieve a mastery of knowledge; Our curriculum vision seeks to;
Celebrate the canon of all the best that “has been thought and said” in each discipline. To allow all learners to celebrate their God-given talents in academic, sporting, arts and creative fields.
With the shared involvement of every individual, we aspire to be a confident outward-looking Christian community in which every member of the school community;
- enjoys creative, dynamic and reflective learning
- is supported, challenged and equipped for the future
- values and takes responsibility for themselves and others
- relies on upon and builds support and lasting relationships
Underpinning our aim is Christian worship. By placing Christ at the centre, we develop spirituality and grow up in relationships and understanding of our place in the world. Here at St Thomas More Catholic School and Sixth Form College, we establish the highest expectations for all students in order to raise their aspirations, inspire their future goals and maintain them.
In order to help our young people develop we believe it is for our students to explore all their talents and experience a wide range of opportunities. To this end, we look to ensure our curriculum is broad, balanced, relevant, and personalised. The curriculum we provide is a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum in line with the National Curriculum and exam board specifications that will motivate, engage and challenge students whilst also equipping them with the skills required on leaving school. The personal development programme that runs once per fortnight is founded upon the Jesuit values and provides an opportunity for students to develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural values.
Key Stage 3
In years 7, 8 and 9, students start by following a common curriculum of English, Maths, Science, RE, Art, Drama, Languages, Geography, History, Computing, Physical Education and Technology. Further opportunities are given for the personalisation of the curriculum for those who require more support with literacy and numeracy.
Key Stage 4
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum is broad so that students can experience a range of opportunities across the curriculum; balanced because it is unwise for students to narrow down their options before the age of 16; relevant to students’ individual needs and to the demands of a rapidly-changing world; and personalised so that the level and type of work are suited to the ability and learning style of each individual student.
These are longstanding curriculum principles, which we believe will stand our students in good stead during the current period of great educational change. As a Catholic school, it is right that all students take GCSE RE. The time for PE recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives. It is a reflection of the global community to which they are heirs, that all students should study Science. Studying Science is also essential for encouraging our students to care for our common home. Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. In response to government curriculum changes, the options are fewer than in previous years but give more time to enable study in greater depth. Within this framework, which can accommodate the ‘English Baccalaureate’, students can take between eight and nine GCSEs according to their abilities. Predominantly our level two courses are GCSE and we offer BTEC courses for those who find this assessment pathway more accessible
Our Key Stage 3 and 4 principles continue into the Sixth Form enabling clear lines of progression. The curriculum is built around subjects that go well together. This includes a range of facilitating & specialist subjects and the Extended Project Qualification. We aim to give students a sense of control over their Sixth Form programme enabling a broad education offering a wide choice and essential skills for a rapidly-changing world.
Equally important to our taught curriculum is the portfolio of experiences to enable personal and social development and develop citizenship and community work. These include work experience at Key 5, trips, a wide range of well attended extra-curricular clubs, including Duke of Edinburgh, 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 equipped to fully engage with life beyond school. Running parallel to this is the offer of opportunities within the Holy Spirit MAC. These commitments set out by the MAC focus on five key areas of school life such as Catholic Life, Charities and Social Action, The Residential Experience, Sporting Opportunities and Cultural and Creative Experiences. The Holy Spirit Experience details opportunities that extend beyond the taught curriculum for every young person aged 3-18. We believe that experiences beyond the classroom are crucially important to all young people at St Thomas More Catholic Academy and Sixth Form College in shaping them as confident, articulate young adults.