Whole School Curriculum Vision

A Curriculum to ASPIRE and Be More

Our philosophy at St. Thomas More is one in which we deliver a well-rounded education, developing a culture and climate that is dedicated to teaching and learning amongst our staff, pupils, and their peers.

We seek to move forward as one school community as part of a shared vision in which we all have a learning and improving mindset and one in which we are constantly striving to make progress and be the difference that matters.

‘Being a tiny bit better today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow’

This philosophy is underpinned by our ASPIRE values.


‘We seek to find our true vocation and who we really are’

Our ASPIRE values guide the curriculum across all subjects and year groups. As pupils transition from KS2 to KS3, we support and encourage them to build strong foundations for success within the St Thomas More family. We are dedicated to offering a broad range of engaging subjects in KS3, allowing pupils to showcase their talents. Throughout their three-year KS3 journey, we provide an educational experience that helps them progress and make informed decisions for KS4, including a comprehensive careers programme integrated into each department’s curriculum. In KS4, we continue to support pupils in their chosen GCSE subjects, preparing them for life beyond St Thomas More and their transition to KS5. Our goal is for every pupil to achieve academic success and develop personally, enabling them to contribute positively to society.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.

Matthew 5:15


‘We are loved and made in the image of God’

Our curriculum is deeply rooted in the Catholic ethos, reflected in every aspect of teaching through the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching:

  • Life and dignity of the human person
  • The common good
  • Solidarity
  • Peace
  • Stewardship (care for God’s creation)
  • The dignity of work and participation
  • Preferential option for the poor

Every subject integrates these principles, encouraging pupils to view the world through a Catholic lens. This approach allows pupils to demonstrate their faith in the classroom, connecting their learning to our core Catholic values. As a result, they develop compassion, kindness, and consideration, benefiting our local community and the wider world.
By aligning classroom activities with the Catholic mission of the whole school, we help pupils build the cultural capital needed to make morally guided decisions, empowering them to positively impact their future and the lives of others.

“Always seek to do good to one another and to all”

1 Thessalonians 5:15


We strive to grow and be our best selves

At St Thomas More, we believe a strong curriculum leads to excellent outcomes, driven by our commitment to delivering high-quality, relevant education. Middle Leaders oversee the intent, implementation, and impact of the curriculum in their areas. Subject specialists design our schemes of learning with passion and integrity, aiming to instil the same enthusiasm in our pupils, helping them know more, remember more, and achieve more.

At KS3, our curriculum ensures equality by providing all pupils with the same broad and balanced curriculum, adaptable to individual needs, without narrowing the focus. This principle continues at KS4 for both core subjects and option choices.

Each subject’s curriculum is mapped and sequenced to build on and extend previous knowledge and skills while introducing new concepts. We continue to develop the curriculum to include features such as:

  • Clear rationale for subject learning aligned with the whole school ASPIRE mission.
  • Design that outlines what pupils will gain, master, and experience in each subject.
  • Ambitious, knowledge-rich, and skills-based schemes accessible to all pupils.
  • Connection to our local community context.
  • Consistent links to prior learning throughout the five-year journey.
  • Methods for deepening and securing knowledge through subject-specific questions.
  • Cross-curricular connections to aid lifelong learning.
  • Embedded literacy (including oracy) and numeracy with tiered vocabulary instruction.
  • Inclusion of the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching in all subjects.
  • Robust assessments to identify and address individual strengths and weaknesses, with time allocated for feedback.
  • Meaningful homework to consolidate or extend knowledge and skills.

Recognising that learning is holistic, our staff collaborate to connect subject curriculums and support learning across different areas. We are committed to ongoing improvement, ensuring our curriculum is lived, experienced, and ever-evolving. By working together, reflecting on our delivery, and remaining open-minded and self-challenging, we aim to serve the best interests of all our pupils.

“Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot. Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him”

Romans 12:11


What we do here can help us change the world

At the core of the St. Thomas More family is our greatest resource: our staff. Each member of staff understands our collective responsibility to deliver a curriculum that enthuses, engages, and enables all pupils to progress. Our curriculum is rooted in research and evidence-based practices proven to enhance learning. We are dedicated to providing high-quality professional development for our staff, empowering them to share good practices and improve pedagogy and subject knowledge.

Excellent teaching and learning methods are a top priority at St. Thomas More because we believe that a good education and improved outcomes will transform our pupils’ futures.

The St. Thomas More Learning Journey #BeMore

Our teaching and learning pathways are central to our curriculum, helping us realise our God-given potential.

A – Assessment and Feedback

  • Regular feedback will be received and acted upon.
  • We will explain our learning and progress.

S – Securing Knowledge and Deepening Understanding

  • ‘Interruption’ slides and frequent memory retrieval activities will aid in recall and learning extension.
  • Homework will consolidate or extend learning for all.

P – Practising Faith to Make a Difference

  • We will develop awareness of society and social justice.
  • We will foster organisation, independence, and moral-guided thinking.

I – Inclusive Teaching

  • Personalised questioning will encourage participation.
  • Our learning needs will be met, and we will rise to challenges.

R – Developing Literacy and Numeracy

  • We will seize opportunities to enhance literacy and numeracy.
  • We will articulate our ideas clearly and deeply.

E – Engagement and Behaviour

  • High expectations will be upheld by all.
  • ‘Do it Now’ activities will immediately engage us in learning.
  • We will be engaged, resilient, and active learners.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength”

Philippians 4:13


For our greatest learning comes when we make mistakes

Our curriculum ensures that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their starting point, ability, gender, race, background, or disability. We value each child’s individual needs and worth, treating every pupil with respect and dignity. We adapt the curriculum as needed to help each pupil flourish, challenging and equipping them to fulfil their potential.

Both the Pastoral and Learning Support Departments are essential in delivering the school curriculum and building resilience among our most vulnerable learners. Throughout their five-year journey at St. Thomas More, Form Tutors, Pastoral Managers, and Heads of Learning support pupils in overcoming barriers to learning within both academic and pastoral curricula.

Assessment and homework are crucial for fostering resilience. At St. Thomas More, assessments occur every 6-8 lessons, led by departments. Teachers provide feedback, and pupils engage in Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT) tasks to enhance their future work. These tasks, whether class-wide or personalised, help pupils:

  • Become autonomous and resilient
  • Receive support for their personalised needs
  • Understand what quality work looks like
  • Participate in a community that fosters active learning and an ‘I can do it’ mindset

Homework is set fortnightly at KS3 and weekly at KS4.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”

Joshua 1:9


We are called to care for all in our community and the world

Our curriculum is ambitious, extending beyond the National Curriculum to connect pupils with the wider world and British Values, Citizenship, SMSC, Personal Development (PD), and cross-curricular themes, making learning more relevant to their lives.

Enrichment opportunities are vital for shaping well-rounded individuals, offering trips both locally and overseas. Trips have academic and spiritual focus. Annually, Year 9 students attend a retreat at Briars in Matlock to deepen self-awareness and their relationship with Christ. Recent international trips include visits to Iceland for Geography enrichment and Krakow, where students visited Auschwitz to better understand the Holocaust.

Enrichment opportunities within the school are detailed in the Personal Development section of our website.

PD and Careers are taught at KS3 and KS4, integrated across the academic year through extended form time, Liturgical Prayer, trips, visits, and relevant subject areas. Our PD programme emphasizes empathy, helping pupils make informed future choices by understanding others’ perspectives.

The full Personal Development curriculum and Careers programme can be found in the Personal Development section of our website.

“So, in everything, do to others what you would have them done to you”

Matthew 7:12