Care, Guidance and Support
The first sentences of the schools’ 2009 Ofsted report observe that “St Thomas More is an outstandingly caring school. Its ethos pervades the school community.”
This caring attitude is at the heart of the schools ethos and is integral to the system of pastoral care that will operate in the sixth form. The Director and Assistant Director of the Sixth Form will oversee academic progress and pastoral care in the sixth form working very closely with personal tutors, subject teachers and outside agencies as appropriate.
Each student will be assigned to a personal tutor group of 15-20 students and will remain in that group during their time in the sixth form. The tutor group will meet daily for registration and the personal tutor will be the first point of contact for students for any issues relating to academic and personal development.
The personal tutor will also help and advise students on their work, their progress targets and their future careers. In addition, the personal tutor will monitor students academic progress through regular personal tutorials and act as someone to whom the student can turn to in order to discuss more personal matters if they so wish.
Within the sixth form students have increased independence and additional privileges. A student sixth form committee is established and this will meet regularly with the Director of Sixth Form to discuss matters relating to sixth form life and to organise events. A student services office has also been established within the sixth form centre to offer support to students.
As part of this increased independence, students are expected to act as positive role models to the younger pupils in the school as well as to take responsibility for their own learning and to play a full and active part in sixth form life. All students take part in a sixth form induction day at the start of term in September to give guidance to students in making the transition from GCSE to post-16 studies. This guidance will include areas such as time management, research skills and study skills aimed at encouraging students to be independent learners. The induction day is also an ideal opportunity to welcome new students to the sixth form and to develop community spirit.
Students undertake a rich and varied Personal Development programme at St Thomas More Sixth Form College. This is taught through work with tutors as well as visiting speakers.
Topic areas in the programme include: -drugs and alcohol awareness, sexual health, healthy living and eating, conflict resolution, money management, adult first aid, safe driving and coping with stress. The programme also prepares students for university life, gap years and careers.