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St Thomas More

Catholic School

Curriculum

 

'The curriculum provides a good blend of vocational and academic courses.'
'Students' achievements in the main school are outstanding.'

(Ofsted, June 2013)

School Day

MONDAY – FRIDAY

Registration  08.50 – 09.10
Period 1 09.10 – 10.10
Period 2  10.10 – 11.10
Break  11.10 – 11.30
Period 3 11.30 – 12.30
Period 4 12.30 – 13.30
Lunch 13.30 – 14.10
Period 5 14.10 – 15.10


Homework
Homework is compulsory for all pupils, but naturally will vary in quantity and content according to the course being followed.   Pupils taking external examinations should be expected to do 2 or 3 hours work per evening.   Homework timetables for each year group are drawn up at the start of the year, having consulted Heads of Department.
At the end of each term, students are nominated for Departmental and Year Certificates for outstanding Homework, which are presented at End of Term assemblies.
 
Satchell:One
Homework is now visible to all students on the Satchell:One website.  Please click here to log in to the site:

satchel one logo – Caldervale High School

Out of Hours Learning
Saturday morning classes 9.30am-12.30pm (Year 10-13)
After school study clubs (Prep) 3.10-7pm (All Years)
Homework Club 3.10-5:00pm (All Years)

After School Prep is held in the library daily, and it allows students to do their homework or personal study in a quiet, working environment. Students in all years are welcome, and there are always several members of teaching and support staff available to help students if required.

Prep times are from 3.10pm to 7pm daily except Friday, when it ends at 4pm.  A free light meal is provided to students who are still working at 5.15pm from Monday to Thursday.

School Awards System
Celebrating and rewarding achievement throughout the school is very important.  There are a range of rewards which are used within the school, including EPraise, good news postcards, departmental certificates and reward trips.

EPraise
Our new online rewards system is EPraise, designed to motivate students to do even better.  The rewards system has a wide range of features and will be used when students show excellent effort, behaviour and book presentation.
Please click on the EPRAISE logo below to log in to the site:

 
Special Educational Needs
The Governing Body recognises that some of our pupils have learning difficulties and special educational needs.  We do our best within the limit of our resources to identify those pupils and tailor our provision to provide for them.  We do our best to ensure that the opportunities available to those with special needs are the same as for pupils who do not have special needs.
The school would like to admit more pupils with disabilities and now has a lift.  However not all of the building is accessible given that much of the premises is on different levels and part is a listed building.

Literacy

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Drop Everything And Read takes place for all students, years 7-13, for 30 minutes each week. Years 7 – 9 independently read a challenging novel, with the aim of fostering reading for pleasure, as well as improving reading fluency and increasing vocabulary. For years 10-13, subject teachers provide students with a stimulating, extended text such as a news article or academic journal that is directly integrated with the curriculum. This is then interwoven into the lesson through a discussion of big ideas, learning new technical vocabulary in context, or an evaluation of how contemporary issues and current affairs contribute to the subject. The whole school focus allows us to develop rigour and raise the profile of high-quality reading for students. This focus on disciplinary literacy makes clear the value of reading in every subject and that each subject has its own unique language. Sixth form students benefit from developing a substantial wider reading base, and from the explicit preparation for university in which they will read substantial texts in any subject they go on to study.

To further promote reading for pleasure and embed a love of reading, popular lunchtime book clubs take place, and we also regularly give students books to take home and keep, as part of regular author visits and the year 7 Bookbuzz scheme. KS3 students also have lessons in the library, and take part in the National Reading Quiz and Poetry By Heart national competition. We have a team of student literacy ambassadors who plan and coordinate events and competitions to promote reading and fiction. World Book Day is a major date in our school calendar each year; staff dress up and we run a whole host of fun activities, competitions, and author workshops, making it a highly engaging, memorable, and meaningful day for students.

To develop writing skills for extended answers, each department uses subject-specific writing frames that have been made into stickers for the front of KS4 exercise books so that students can always refer to this tool. Student literacy ambassadors offer creative writing support in drop-in lunchtime sessions. As part of our focus on explicit vocabulary instruction, the Word of the Day is embedded within each day, with students applying the words throughout the day and in form-time activities. The annual Spelling Bee takes place in the summer term, which is always very popular and lots of fun!

Literacy intervention takes place on Saturday mornings, running at full capacity and proving to be a successful way of supporting students who need additional help with their reading and writing. Guided reading and handwriting clubs also take place throughout each wee

Sixth Form

We offer a broad and varied curriculum in the Sixth Form including a range or AS and A Levels, Level 3 BTECs and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This ensures that students are prepared for education at the next level or for employment. 

Any students who have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4 in both Maths and English, continue to study these subjects. 

Work experience takes place at the end of Year 12 in order to give students the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions. 

Through programmes such as VESPA, guided reading, mentoring and the Young Catholic Leaders there are lots of opportunities for students to develop character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support their progression. 

Below is a list of subjects offered at KS5:

A Level

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Computer Science
  • Drama & Theatre Studies
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

BTEC Level 3

  • Business Studies
  • Creative Digital Media Production
  • Health and Social Care
  • Information Technology
  • Music Technology
  • Sport Science

For more information about the curriculum on offer at the school, please contact admin@stthomasmoreschool.org.uk.