Spiritual, Moral, Social, Vocational and Cultural Development’
“I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” (Jn 10:10)
As members of this Catholic community, we are carriers of the vision: that it is the mission of St Thomas More Catholic Academy to provide an education which has at its centre the values of the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic Church, that our distinctive nature is evident by the quality of our welcome, prayer and celebrations and by the way we show our love for God and our neighbour. We do this through the justice, respect, equality and forgiveness which we extend to all who are part of our school lives.
The distinctive nature and religious character of our school is not something restricted to Religious Education lessons but presents themselves in all aspects of our school life, especially in the way we develop the spiritual, moral, social, vocational and cultural development of our students.
Spirituality is concerned with raising and developing an awareness in each person of a sense of God and the way God acts in our world and in our lives.
Social development and Citizenship is concerned with leading children to understand that we are made not only for ourselves but to live with, in and through community. Only in community are we able to live out Gospel values. We believe that good relationships which are based on mutual respect and love are the key to a harmonious environment where all can work together towards the common good. We further believe that what is learned in our school community will enable our children to understand the wider community and their Christian role in society.
Cultural development is concerned with the cultures and traditions represented in our school, its immediate environment, our country and the world. As Catholics, we value the wide cultural diversity in the worldwide expression of our beliefs within our own faith worldwide. We believe that it is our duty to lead our children, through the development of respect and understanding, to learn to live with a wider variety of people from different national, cultural, racial and religious backgrounds.
We achieve the above in the following ways:
Curriculum and Collective Worship
All curriculum areas and collective worship contribute to the children’s SMSC development. We plan and provide in our implicit and explicit curriculum opportunities for children to:
- Learn that we, as Catholics, believe that life is a spiritual journey towards God in which we develop our relationship with Him through prayer and worship
- Explore and question their own experiences and interpretations of them in a secure and loving environment
- Experience periods of guided silence in which they can practice “inner seeing and listening” and have the opportunities to reflect on and discuss these;
- Have time for quiet reflection, individually or as a member of a group;
- Develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery in the natural world and feel a sense of God in the order and beauty of His Creation;
- Develop an appreciation that although we as Catholics believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God different traditions may celebrate the worth of being human in different ways.
- Explore and express their innermost thoughts, creativity and imagination and show an awareness and valuing of the feelings and beliefs of others;
- Explore how people have expressed their feelings through literature, poetry, art, design, music and dance and learn from this how to express their feelings through their own work;
- Develop a knowledge and understanding of the beliefs and practices of others through story and festival and by meeting visitors from other faiths;
- Develop the beliefs and values of the home and family through the Gospel values and attitudes which we as a school community uphold and foster;
- Understand that injustice, aggression or rejection can hurt others;
- Think about and reflect on their own lives and explore the lives of people who exemplify qualities which are universally valued.
- Celebrate and recognise achievements and successes both in and out of school through self-assessment and peer assessment in lessons, celebration assemblies, celebration display boards, text awards, postcard awards, vouchers
- Learn how to learn (Learning Council)
We ensure that the school and classroom environment is stimulating and well-ordered to promote positive learning and encourage personal development and responsibility. Each classroom has a prayer box and the St Thomas More prayer is displayed.
Respect through the consistent implementation of our school Behaviour Policy and the Behaviour Blueprint.
We encourage development of social responsibility by support for charitable ventures including the following:
- We operate our own foodbank at St Thomas More every week for families in our school community experiencing financial hardship
- Provide supermarket vouchers for families in our school community
- Lenten Fund raising (cake sales) by all children for charities chosen by the student leadership team The most recent charity being the St Thomas More Foodbank.
- Fr Hudson Homes Charity boxes (a Warwickshire Charity)
- Operation Christmas Child for children in developing countries
- Sponsored Walk for Nuneaton and Bedworth Fellowship- a local charity supporting disabled children and their families
- Coffee Morning for Macmillan
- Fundraising for Doorway, a local homeless shelter
- Support at the Parish Hall for the homeless by cooking and serving meals each week
- Winter night shelter packs for the homeless
- Afternoon tea for elderly resident from Acorn Lodge Elderly Home
- MAC Fest – a summer fair for the whole MAC and local community
- Children in Need
- Comic Relief
…….and many more.
The various responsibilities (House Captains, Student Form Reps, Librarians, Student Leadership Team, Mental Health Ambassadors, Catholic Life Ambassadors foster social skills through teamwork and helping others in the school and wider community.
Extra-Curricular Activities and After-School Clubs
These are outlined in our extra-curricular offer and in the Holy Spirit Experience.
We work with a wide range of partners within the local community who provide a variety of activities including music, art, sport, cultural, liturgical and team-building.
We have a wide variety of very successful sports teams visitors/ enrichment activities/ outside visitors and speakers to deliver engaging workshops linked to the curriculum and personal development programme.
Throughout the year there is a planned programme of visitors, outside visits and a variety of enrichment activities. These include:
- Alton Castle – a social, spiritual and cultural residential for Year 7
- A pilgrimage to Lourdes
- A residential trip for all year groups in the UK
- International visits to Berlin, Barcelona, France, Poland and New York
- Trips to support the curriculum and support SMSC development (e.g. Bing Bang, theatre visits, St Chad’s Cathedral, Think Tank, local museums and art galleries, Warwick Castle, Black Country Museum)
- Visiting theatre groups such as Holocaust Memorial Theatre group, Auschwitz survivors, ensemble performances, Police, Fire Service, Careers Day visitors, services for Remembrance Day and Feast Day.
- Strong links with the Parish and visits to and from members of the Parish and our Parish Priest Fr. Jimmy Lutwama at Our Lady of the Angels Church.