Curriculum development is at the heart of our development work at St Thomas More. For many years we have developed a framework that focuses on identifying the key knowledge that students need in order to be successful and worked with staff to ensure this is delivered in an engaging way and assessment information is used to support progress.
More recently we have updated our framework in line with the common language surrounding curriculum at present: intent, implementation and impact. Information on each of these can be found on the relevant tab.
If you have any questions or queries regarding curriculum please contact Mrs J Turner via the school office.
The curriculum at St Thomas More is aligned closely to our principles and values as a Catholic school. As such, we place pupils at the centre of our curriculum design, ensuring they have access to all aspects of learning at each key stage ensuring equality of opportunity for all our pupils. We have ambition for all our pupils and our curriculum structure, design and content reflects this.
We have an overarching curriculum intent which focuses on the development of non cognitive academic behaviours which we refer to as ‘Learner Attributes’. The development of these behaviours is central to our curriculum planning and the structures we have in place. Our work in this area is based on research & has been part of the school’s philosophy for many years. We acknowledge the findings from research that tells us that academic behaviours are malleable and have a strong direct and indirect impact on pupils’ progress. We use Key Stage 3 as the foundation for building these non cognitive academic behaviours which then prepares pupils to apply them throughout Key Stage 4 & 5.
Our more specific curriculum intent within individual subject areas is rooted in the identification of the crucial learning that is required by set end points & learning is planned and sequenced in response to the identification of this and common misconceptions that arise.
As a school we have an overarching framework linked to the organisation of our planned curriculum. This is a structure that has been in place for many years and supports the building and retention of knowledge across all subject areas.
The main aspects of our whole school curriculum organisation are:
Modular Approach & Curriculum Review Design
Curriculum Planning & Lesson Structure
We have a common approach to curriculum planning that ensures all subjects have identified the key concepts, crucial learning and common misconceptions. This then forms the basis of schemes of work.
Each subject has a curriculum overview which outlines the long term plan for each subject, for each Key Stage and Year Group. These long term plans clearly identify the Key Concepts and Crucial learning that form the core of the curriculum for that subject. Plans are reviewed in line with our modular structure and are adapted, where necessary in light of any changes that are required. Departments use the long term plans as the basis for their schemes of work, where there are ongoing tweaks to the schemes of work to account for any misconceptions, and in response to assessment information, where pupils may need to revisit or deepen their understanding of particular key concepts. Teachers adapt the schemes of work on a lesson by lesson basis to suit the particular needs of each class, and for pupils within the class, including those with SEND.
Below you will find a link to curriculum overviews for each subject.
Our curriculum is translated into practice through the expert use of pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge within the classroom to ensure that the planned curriculum results in pupils knowing more, understanding more and being able to do more, bye the key end points linked to our module structure and the overarching key stage structure. A key element of our curriculum implementation is about the ‘untaught’ element of the curriculum – centred around the routines, structures and strategies that support the classroom environment, the school climate and support the development of learner attributes to help ensure that pupils are equipped with the skills & support to help realise their potential.
Teaching & Learning
Remote & Blended Learning
Developing learner Attributes
Assessment & Reporting
Assessment provides the vital bridge between teaching & learning. Whilst formative assessment is ongoing throughout learning, our modular structure provides timely points for summative assessment that support the evaluation of pupil learning and the effectiveness of the curriculum implementation. As such, assessments are well designed and linked closely to the crucial learning that has been identified. Clear and regular assessment routines [whether formal or informal] not only support the teacher, but also ensure pupils have a good understanding of what they need to do to further secure their learning and build effective learner attributes to support them in achieving this.
Parents can expect to receive regular updates on their child’s learning, in line with our module structure. Module data reports are published via My Child at School and support communication by keeping parents up to date on their child’s academic progress, as well as their learner attributes. We also publish an annual academic report for parents and provide an opportunity for discussion with their child’s teacher. Further details of our reporting schedule can be found in the school calendar.
As a school we acknowledge that the impact of our curriculum is wider than examination results and can be seen in all aspects of our work. We want our pupils to view their education holistically, and therefore take an holistic approach to evaluating the impact of our work on the various aspects of the curriculum. We therefore use a range of strategies to evaluate the impact of our curriculum in line with our implementation framework. In our intent we identify three key areas, we would expect to see the impact of our work as follows:
In terms of ensuring that pupils are at the heart of our curriculum, we would expect to see pupils who are happy and enjoying their learning experience. A well structured curriculum enables all pupils to access a broad and balanced curriculum, which responds to the local needs of our pupils. Ongoing review of the taught curriculum then ensures that we are adapting to the needs of our pupils and ensuring that they acquire the crucial learning set out at key milestones. Our Annual strategic review, based on our principles and linked to Year Group Profiles helps to ensure that the needs of pupils remains at the heart of the curriculum and the Key Performance Indicators and crucial learning are a central part of our modular review. Curriculum leaders review and revise the taught curriculum throughout the year. Overall success lies in our destination data, where our pupils are able to move effectively onto the next phase of their training, education or employment.
The second key area of our intent is the development of pupils’ academic behaviours, and much of this is demonstrated through the school day and year as pupils develop and apply these behaviours both in the classroom and in their independent study. The collection of Learner Attributes Data allows us to intervene with our pupils in a way that will influence their future progress in all subject areas. Pupils’ awareness and ability to verbalise their academic behaviours and make determined efforts to improve these are key indicators of the impact of our work, both in the classroom and in a pastoral setting.
The identification of the crucial learning that is required by set end points and that learning is planned in response to the identification of this and common misconceptions is the third key area of our intent. The impact of this can fundamentally be seen in the success of our learners. On a lesson by lesson basis, all pupils should be exposed to high quality and consistent teaching, reducing any element of teacher variation. Pupils who are secure in their crucial learning will have a strong platform for future progress and build on this throughout their school career. Regular reviews of the curriculum, alongside the use of robust assessment ensure that teaching is responsive to the effectiveness of the curriculum at all levels.
Quality Assurance & Self Evaluation
Our Quality Assurance processes are designed to evaluate how effectively and consistently our curriculum is planned and implemented, to ensure it has the intended impact. When trying to understand the impact that practice across the school is having on the overall quality of education, we consider the key things that make a difference, the things that will have the greatest impact on pupils. Four overarching elements have been identified by research as central to improving effectiveness:
All leaders play a central role in QA in their areas of responsibility and are supported by a calendar of activities that ensures a consistent picture is developed. Senior leaders work closely with the middle leaders to ensure the QA process is robust. Additionally we utilise external expertise to provide an impartial picture, linked to our whole school Self evaluation process, along with other measures of impact, which sit together to inform our Annual review, subsequent School Improvement Plan & Dept Improvement plans.
At St Thomas More Catholic School we believe that each pupil should be given equality of opportunity to achieve their full spiritual, academic and social potential by recognising the uniqueness of each individual and providing a rich and varied learning experience for all.
Each pupil, regardless of their ability, is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which is relevant to their needs. The curriculum offered aims to give all pupils a sense of achievement and thereby help them develop confidence and self – esteem. All pupils are encouraged to participate in the social and academic life of the school. We aim to provide educational experiences that take into account the individual needs of all the pupils and are appropriate to their level of ability.Taken from our SEND policy
Some of the pupils in our school have a special educational need and/or disability (SEND) and require a Personalised Learning Pathway in order to access our curriculum. This provision is managed by Mrs A White, our Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo). If you would like to contact Mrs White to discuss your child, please do not hesitate to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pupils with SEND at St Thomas More Catholic School are supported by a 4 step system
Through our high quality planning, teaching and provision we pride ourselves on early identification and intervention for SEND to ensure that progress and opportunities are maximized. This then enables all pupils to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is differentiated to enable pupils to understand the relevance and purpose of learning.
Our end goal, for pupils with SEND, is to develop independence and life skills using a child-centered approach whilst maximising their potential as learners.
At St Thomas More Catholic School, every teacher is a teacher of SEND. As such, inclusion is a thread that runs through every area of the school enhanced by collaboration between senior leaders, teachers, support staff, external agencies, parents and most importantly, the child.
Pupils with SEND will:
Pupils with SEND may:
As a result pupils at St Thomas More Catholic School feel happy, safe and respected.
A key element of our strategy for supporting learners is by gathering an accurate and up to date profile of the needs of our pupils. In order to do this, we explore the pupils’ needs from a number of angles.
As part of this diagnosis we gather evidence from a range of sources including pupil voice & feedback from our pastoral staff, staff surveys of pupil needs, and data analysis on pupils’ engagement & quality of work. This wealth of information sits alongside academic assessment to provide a broad evidence base from which to devise our approaches to intervention and catch up.
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