Curriculum

‘To guide and encourage students to be responsible, caring and confident in a climate of Gospel values where they can realise their full potential and celebrate each other’s success.’

Curriculum Overview:

Our curriculum at St Thomas More Catholic School will ensure that pupils:

  • Experience a highly ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum
  • Study a strong academic core of subjects and also have the opportunity to study a wide range of additional academic, vocational and creative subjects
  • Follow a curriculum that puts subject expertise at the heart of everything we do
  • Enhance their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development
  • Develop their numeracy and literacy skills
  • Have their progress regularly and robustly assessed to ensure no-one gets left behind
  • Be prepared for life beyond school

Experience a highly ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum

Pupils experience a broad balanced and ambitious curriculum.  In key stage 3 all pupils are exposed to a wide range of subjects and opportunities.  Our key stage 3 curriculum is currently covered in years 7 and 8.  Our curriculum is not narrowed for any pupil and at all levels school leaders fully ensure that all areas of the national curriculum are delivered, with sufficient time to allow topics to be revisited in response to assessment.  Our key stage 3 curriculum ensures our pupils do not suffer a dip in progress as they join us from key stage 2 and that pupils continue to feel challenged as they learn new and more difficult content.  Key stage 4 allows us to offer a wider range of subjects at this stage and gives more time for our pupils to study to greater depth with support from specialist teachers.  The full curriculum offer is made available to pupils with SEND alongside an adapted humanities pathway to support their social, mental and physical development.

From September 2022 our curriculum model will change.  Key stage 3 will include years 7, 8 and 9 and key stage 4 will focus on years 10 and 11.

For more information please see the information shared with parents/students in March 2022 – https://www.st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk/changes-to-key-stage-structure/

Study a strong academic core of subjects and also have the opportunity to study a wide range of additional academic, vocational and creative subjects

When pupils move into key stage 4 we offer a core curriculum that includes English language and literature, mathematics, science, religious education geography or history and physical education.  We have a significant number of pupils who also study a language as part of their program of studies.  Alongside the core curriculum subjects we continue to offer a wide range of additional academic subjects alongside vocational and creative subjects.  We feel this offer ensures our pupils are given the best possible start in their journey through further and higher education or into the world of work through apprenticeships and on the job training.

Follow a curriculum that puts subject expertise at the heart of everything we do

Our subject leaders with support from senior school staff and departmental post holders shape their subject curriculum offer as best suits their particular discipline.  As a school we understand that one size does not fit all and allowing subject experts to plan the learning journeys of our pupils ensures that lessons are well planned, sequenced, resourced and delivered.

Enhance their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development

Our children are both actively encouraged to and supported in their moral and social development.  A distinctive understanding of the concept of making sound moral choices and of considering the needs of others is the basis of topics explored in form time and the themes identified for weekly collective worship.  This moral and social growth is further fostered and nurtured via the PE curriculum and the delivery of our wider programme of student leadership both within and outside our school community e.g. student pilgrimages to Lourdes, engagement in parish led events and our active support of events directly linked to aspects of social justice.

An essential element of the relationships we foster centres on the work we undertake which focusses on their mental and physical wellbeing.  Staff have undertaken specific training in student mental health, our pastoral teams are actively engaged in supporting student’s wellbeing and we are appreciative of our in-house school counsellor.  Further to this is our commitment to the management time we dedicate to our pastoral management teams thereby enabling them to fully support the carrying needs of our children. 

We also celebrate key national events significant to the children’s mental health e.g. Anti-Bullying week, E-Safety Day, Mental Health Week and wellbeing days as well as actively engaging with a wide variety of external agencies all of which contribute to the wider wellbeing and mental health of our children.

Develop their numeracy and literacy skills

We recognise that developing pupils’ confidence in communication through language and oracy is essential not just in school, but also to prepare them for life beyond school.  Pupils have opportunities to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view, enhancing their vocabulary and language use.  Numeracy skills are threaded through a range of subjects via clear curriculum links. Pupils who arrive with below expected maths and reading skills receive timely and incisive intervention.  We ensure pupils are literate and numerate empowering them to thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training.

Have their progress regularly and robustly assessed to ensure no-one gets left behind

We believe that every pupil has the right to learn and to make progress throughout their time with us.  We want all of our pupils to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge required in each subject area.  Homework is used to consolidate and/or extend learning.  Regular homework is set across all subjects.  We use a mixture of assessment strategies to ensure pupils are fully prepared to move to the next stage of their learning.  Formative and summative assessment are regularly used as well as low stakes assessment, peer and self-assessment.  Formal assessments are well planned and all departments undertake regular standardisation and moderation to ensure judgements are consistent and objective.  Catch up and intervention sessions are then provided to ‘fill gaps’ and/or provide support to allow all pupils to achieve.

Be prepared for life beyond school

Our children commence preparations for their life beyond school on arrival at St Thomas More Catholic School.  This journey begins with their understanding of concepts of Catholic and British Values and the practical implications of these in the daily life of our school.  This is further encouraged by the wide variety of socially oriented opportunities to develop an active awareness of the need to work towards building a fair and just society e.g. donating to local food banks, contributing to community events in our local area e.g. sponsored walks, meeting with local government officials to discuss current local needs.

From Y7 to Y13 students have attended a variety of opportunities to engage with a carefully considered offering of career-oriented opportunities which include practical activities e.g. Barclays Life skills workshops and a range of outside speakers e.g. RAF and medical mavericks.  At key points students will undertake designated periods of work experience in both Y10 and Y12. Parents or other members of the public can find out more about our curriculum by contacting the relevant Curriculum Leader / Head of Department or for general information by contacting Mr M Bishell, Assistant Headteacher

Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4