Curriculum Overview

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 enable students to achieve their full potential by learning through challenging and thought-provoking experiences which will equip students to take advantage of opportunities in later life.  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 our school;

  • Enjoys creative, dynamic and reflective learning
  • Is supported, challenged and equipped for the future
  • Values and takes responsibility for themselves and others
  • Has the ability to form and maintain positive and healthy relationships 

Underpinning our aim is Christian worship. By placing Christ at the centre, we grow spirituality  and develop an understanding of our place in the world. Here at St Thomas More Catholic Academy and Sixth Form College, we establish the highest expectations for all students in order to raise their aspirations and achieve their future goals. 

In order to help our young people develop, we encourage our students to avail of  opportunities  to explore their talents. To this end, we look to ensure our curriculum is  broad, balanced, relevant, personalised and ambitious.  The curriculum we provide is 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 for later life. Our stimulating, knowledge-rich curriculum  is effectively sequenced such that learners can build their knowledge and skills towards agreed end points. The school's marking and feedback policy continues to identify, at the point of delivery, any gaps in pupils'  knowledge and understanding which may have arisen as a result of the pandemic to ensure that no student is disadvantaged. The curriculum is designed well to allow for regular opportunities for students to read across the curriculum. 

We ensure that our curriculum meets the needs of the local employment market. We regularly reflect on our curriculum and our designated careers lead liaises with local employers and training providers to inform our offer.   The personal development programme provides an opportunity for students to develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural values.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9 the curriculum is broad and thoroughly grounded in the National Curriculum. The curriculum is broken down within each subject area into topic areas in which the core knowledge is explicitly identified to ensure that students are developing a deeper understanding. There are many opportunities built into lessons to make explicit links to previous learning through retrieval activities and set current learning into context so that knowledge becomes embedded.

The options process

In Year 9, students go through an options process which allows them to choose at least three subjects to study in greater depth as well as continue to study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science and Religious Education. Students are supported through the options process by their form tutors, assemblies, taster sessions and a careers evening for parents/carers. 

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

Sixth Form

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.

Enrichment opportunities

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.