Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum sits at the centre of everything we offer as a school.

All of our decisions are centred around what we believe is best for the individual student.

We believe our curriculum will have a positive impact on students’ learning and progress, therefore, supporting them on their journey into further education or employment.

In order for our Curriculum to have its intended impact, we must:

  • Ensure that our school is meeting the standards it has set itself by supporting staff in all forms of CPD and QA. Staff professional development is rooted in the needs of the school and, these are aligned with the curriculum which results in better teaching for our students.
  • Ensure that the curriculum and provision is carefully mapped for all and that it includes all of the specific academic intervention that may be required to support the achievement of all.
  • Ensure that what happens in the classroom reflects the highest standards of Teaching and Learning and students are provided with quality-first teaching.

Our Curriculum has been mapped sequentially using the steps below:

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum ensures that all of our children are given the means and the equality of opportunity to be the best person they can be, irrespective of gender, race, financial circumstance, background, disability or other circumstance.

Our curriculum is underpinned by our Mission:

We the St Thomas More family, ‘aspire not to have more but be more’.

We aspire not to have the world but be more for the world.

#BeMore

Our curriculum is ambitious in its depth and breadth, covering and going beyond the requirements of the national curriculum, not being narrowed at Key Stage 3 and allowing pupils to successfully enter and remain on their chosen path in the next stage of their life. All EBacc subjects are offered to all pupils.

Our curriculum is knowledge rich, with that knowledge being carefully sequenced to allow progressively deeper understanding, offering an exposure to the best that has been said, written and done, and placing a high value on reading, literacy and numeracy.

Our engagement with the Science of Learning, in particular retrieval practice, enables teaching and learning to be highly effective. Students make progress by remembering more within subjects and across subjects. Skills are transferable across the curriculum and aid life-long learning.

Our curriculum develops the whole child, with a focus on their character and personal development as well as their academic achievements.

Curriculum time for each subject can be found below:

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, our curriculum is broad and balanced, developing a ‘passion for learning’ where students can build on prior learning but also develop new skills and knowledge.

The time given for different subjects is spread over a two-week timetable totaling 50 hours.

The number of hours per subject are as follows:

SubjectYear 7Year 8Year 9
RE5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
English8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
Maths8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
Science6 x 60 mins
(360mins)
6 x 60 mins
(360mins)
6 x 60 mins
(360mins)
History3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
Geography3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
3 x 60 mins
(180mins)
Art2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
Music1.5 x 60 mins
(90mins)*
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
DT1.5 x 60 mins
(90mins)*
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
Food1 x 60 mins
(60mins)
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
2 x 60 mins
for 2/3
(1560mins)*
Drama1 x 60 mins
(60mins)
1 x 60 mins
(60mins)
1 x 60 mins
(60mins)
Core PE4 x 60 mins
(240mins)
4 x 60 mins
(240mins)
4 x 60 mins
(240mins)
Computer Science2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
Spanish4 x 60 mins
(240mins)
4 x 60 mins
(240mins)
French4 x 60 mins
(240mins)

*Music and DT are on a rotation for 1/2 of the year.  Time allocation displayed is an average per fortnight.

**Music, DT and Food are on a rotation for 2/3rds on the year which is 26/39 weeks on average.  Time allocation is for the whole academic year.

Key Stage 4

Pupils in Key Stage 4 study their specialist subjects (options) alongside their core curriculum (English, Maths, Science and RE). Topics and content for all KS4 qualifications varies on the choice of exam board and where applicable, the tier of paper (higher or foundation). The curriculum is monitored and evaluated at the end of each academic year, and changes are made in the best interest of the students.

The time allowed for different subjects is spread over a two-week timetable totaling 50 hours.

The number of hours per subject are as follows:

SubjectYear 10Year 11
RE5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
English8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
Maths8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
8 x 60 mins
(480mins)
Science12 x 60 mins
(720mins)
12 x 60 mins
(720mins)
Core PE2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
2 x 60 mins
(120mins)
Specialist 15 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
Specialist 25 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)
Specialist 35 x 60 mins
(300mins)
5 x 60 mins
(300mins)

Students have access to at least one hour of Physical Education per week to encourage them to lead healthy and active lifestyles which promotes personal well-being.

PSHE, RSE and Careers

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Careers is taught at both KS3 and KS4. The curriculum has been mapped across the academic year and is delivered through assemblies, form time activity and 3 specialist drop down days, 1 per term.

Implementation of the Curriculum

At St Thomas More, we believe that learning should be stimulated through quality-first teaching which makes content memorable and enhances the development of students’ independent and cross-curricular skills.

Staff receive high-quality continued professional development to support this and the rigorous practices for quality assurance maintain expected high standards.

By ensuring that students receive quality-first teaching, we can ensure they learn the cognitive and metacognitive processes to enable them to, ‘…acquire, store, retrieve and manipulate their learning’, as well as how to, ‘…plan, monitor and assess their understanding and performance’.

Our practice of The STM Learning Journey with particular focus on our practices for retrieval, revisiting and recall through Do It Now, Interruption Slides and questioning, help to check and evaluate whether students’ learning is being embedded into the long-term memory and, embeds consistency in our implementation across all subject areas.

Assessment

In order to focus on student progress, KS3 students are assessed based upon whether they are:

  •        Successfully learning all of the curriculum (1)
  •        Successfully learning most of the curriculum (2)
  •        Successfully learning some of the curriculum (3)
  •        Limited in their success of learning the curriculum (4)