St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College

With grace and humility,
glorify the Lord by your life

Curriculum Intent

We aim to foster the intellectual, social, cultural, physical, moral and spiritual development of all students and see each child as a unique person with a God-given talent made in the image and likeness of God. We enable students to achieve their full potential by learning through creative and challenging  experiences which will equip students to take advantage of opportunities in later life. 

Our curriculum vision seeks to

  • Celebrate the canon of all the best that “has been thought and said” across the curriculum.
  • Prepare students for the next stage of their education, employment or training so that they gain qualifications to allow them to go onto destinations that match their interests and aspirations for the future. 

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

  • Feels safe, valued and well cared for
  • Is supported, challenged and equipped such that they can go on to contribute postively to society and modern day Britain 
  • Is kind to themselves and others, respects those around them and takes responsibility for their actions
  • Has the ability to form and maintain positive and healthy relationships 

Underpinning our aim is collective worship. By placing Christ at the centre, we grow spiritually and develop an understanding of our place in the world. 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, our curriculum is  broad, balanced, relevant, personalised and ambitious.  The curriculum we provide engages and challenges students whilst also equipping them with the cultural capital, knowledge and skills required for future learning and employment. The curriculum is effectively sequenced such that learners can build their knowledge and skills towards agreed end points. Through our curriculum, we strive for learners to achieve a mastery of knowledge by 'knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more' to ensure they have learned the intended curriculum. 

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 design allows for regular opportunities for students to read. 

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 is underpinned by our Catholic ethos and values.  It includes spiritual, moral, social, cultural and vocational development (SMSCV), careers, citizenship and British values, mental health and well-being, and relationships, sex and health education (RSHE).

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9 the curriculum is broad and thoroughly grounded in, but not limited by, the National Curriculum. The curriculum is broken down within each subject area into topic areas in which the core knowledge and skills are 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 study subjects in greater depth at KS4, as well as continuing to study the core curriculum consisting of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Humanities and/or French or Spanish. Students are supported through the options process by their form tutors, the careers lead, 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 for further education, employment or training in the future. 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.  The EBACC is at the heart of the KS4 curriculum and keeps students options open for further study and future careers.  We are proud to offer a range of GCSE and vocational courses as part of our KS4 offer. In KS4 all stduents study RE, Maths, English Language, English Literature, History or Geography, French or Spanich and  Science as part of their core offer. Option subjects available include Cambridge National L2 Engineering, GCSE Separate Sciences, GCSE Statistics, BTEC Health & Social Care, GCSE PE, Cambridge National Level 2 Sport, BTEC Music, GCSE Art, GCSE Drama and many more. 

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. Students in Year 13 leave the sixth form ready for the next stage and move on to high quality destinations. We are proud of the fact that the overwhelming majority of students secure degree courses at university when they leave St Thomas More.

Enrichment opportunities

Equally important to our taught curriculum is the portfolio of experiences to enable personal and social development and the development of citizenship and community work. These include work experience in KS4 and KS5, trips, careers related events, retreats, a wide range of well attended extra-curricular clubs, the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, 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 Experience. 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; Cultural and Creative Experiences and Destinations, Journeys and Vocations. 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, resilient, articulate young adults.

For more information about our curriculum please click here for the Curriculum Policy https://www.st-thomas-more.net/docs/policies/Curriculum_Policy.pdf

If you have any questions relating to the curriculum, please contact Mrs Anderton, Associate Vice Principal by email anderton.n@st-thomas-more.net or call 02476 642400.