Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS

 
Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
St Thomas More Catholic School
    & Sixth Form College

          PROSPECTUS
Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
“As part of the Catholic Church, our mission is to
 serve the needs of all pupils in a Christ-centred way
 so that they may reach their full potential in all
 aspects of their lives”.

In order to achieve this we will…                      • Developing a culture which provides pupils
• Provide a Catholic education for all pupils based      with the opportunity to use technology across
  upon the teaching of Jesus Christ through 		           the curriculum and to benefit from further
  following a curriculum which meets the needs of 		     opportunities for enrichment in the specialist
  all pupils                                             subjects
• Have high expectations of all pupils                 • Developing a wider role as a learning provider
                                                         within our community
• Treat each other with Christian care, respect and
  justice
                                                       As an 11-18 institution our aim is to…
• Value all pupils equally and recognize their
  achievements                                         • Provide maximum continuity of education from
                                                         the beginning of secondary school through to
• Prepare all pupils to become mature and
                                                         preparation for university and the world of work
  responsible members of society
                                                       • Welcome all students who meet our entry
                                                         requirements post-16 who wish to benefit from
As a Specialist Technology College we are
                                                         our distinctive ethos
committed to…
• Being a centre of excellence for Technology
  education in the Nuneaton area
• Raising achievement by improving both teaching
  and learning
Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
A High Performing
Specialist School
                            Thank you for the interest you have shown in sending your
                            child to St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College.
                             You are most welcome to our school and I hope that this prospectus will
                            be both useful and informative in helping to provide you with an insight
                            into how the school operates. You are also invited to attend the school’s
                            annual Open Evening when you will have the opportunity to look around
                            the school, meet the staff and some of the pupils as well as being able to
                            look at pupils’ work.

At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College,           school has also benefited from its Specialist School status in
we aim to educate all pupils to their full potential. Having      recent years and over £1 million has been spent on improving
acquired Specialist School Status as a Specialist Technology      the school’s general accommodation.
College and with a consistently good record of achieving
impressive GCSE results we are always looking to further          Above all, however, I believe the school is succeeding because
develop the excellent reputation that the school has in the       the Governors, the staff, the parents and the pupils are united
community. To this effect in 2008, the school was officially      in their commitment to the school and subscribe to the
designated a High Performing Specialist School by the             Christian values it promotes. In addition to the very positive
Department for Children, Schools and Families. Between 2008       Ofsted report received by the school, the Archdiocesan
and 2012 the school has received a number of very successful      inspection report in November 2012 noted that “that this
Ofsted or Archdiocese inspections which have consistently         is an outstanding Catholic school and provides excellent
rated the school and individual departments within the school     experiences in the Faith for its pupils.” This affirmation of the
to be good or outstanding. As a result of the school’s High       school’s success has enabled all involved with the school to
Performing status government approval was given to develop        continue to approach all our work with both confidence and
a Sixth Form at the school. In September 2011, following a £6     optimism in an atmosphere which is always positive.
million building programme, the first cohort of sixth formers
began their post-16 education in a purpose built, state of the    The remainder of the prospectus will tell you a great deal
art Sixth Form Centre. This is a very important development in    about how the school works and the arrangements that exist
the school’s history now enables pupils to have an all-through    for the admission of pupils. However, whilst the prospectus
11-18 education at the school.                                    can give you a flavour of what the school is like, there is
                                                                  no substitute to seeing the school yourselves. Therefore I
Underpinning all our work is the aim to educate all pupils to     cordially invite you and your children to attend our Open
their full potential in a caring environment where Christian      Evening to view the school and more importantly to talk to
values are always emphasised and to always have high              teachers and current pupils.
expectations of our pupils. In this context it is most pleasing
that in September 2012 Ofsted noted that “teaching and            Prospective parents should also note that a separate Sixth
learning are good in all areas of the school and some teaching    Form prospectus is available on request which provides more
is outstanding. Students respect one another and celebrate        details of post-16 education in the school.
each other’s successes. They respond well to the very strong
atmosphere of respect and compassion. Students’ attitudes to      F Hickey B.A. (Hons) Headteacher
learning and behaviour in lessons are often outstanding.” The

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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
A School for
   Excellence
Pupil support and guidance
At the heart of the school is our aim to be a safe and caring community where
high expectations exist not only of pupils’ academic standards but also of their
behaviour. The most recent Ofsted report notes that “expectations of behaviour
are high and consistently reinforced by all adults.” As a result, the school’s
system of pastoral care and support is based upon the Christian premise that
all individuals are equal in the eyes of God and that all, therefore, are worthy of
respect.
“There is a very positive response to what the school provides and a strong
 desire among pupils and staff to contribute to the common good.”
 (Archdiocese of Birmingham Inspection Report November 2012)

Preparation for life at St Thomas More Catholic School
As starting a new school is a very important event in        child for the first day, and will do our best to answer
every child’s life, a lot of attention is given to trying    any questions you may have. You will also have the
to prepare pupils for their move to St Thomas More           opportunity to meet your child’s form tutor and Head
Catholic School & Sixth Form College once they               of Year at this meeting.
have been offered a place here. As part of pupils’
                                                             Opportunities are provided for any parent who wishes
preparation for their move the following steps are
                                                             to visit us on an individual basis if it is felt there is
taken:
                                                             special information we need to know about the child.
The teacher with responsibility for primary-secondary
                                                             Finally, we would like to emphasize that great care
transition and the Head of Year 7 visit the main
                                                             is taken to ensure that our new pupils quickly feel at
primary schools to meet pupils who will be joining us
                                                             home. We know that there will be a great deal that
next September. In addition regular curriculum liaison
                                                             seems strange and different, and that the size of the
meetings take place at both subject and Headteacher
                                                             school can be a worry. Our teachers expect, and are
level between this school and St Benedict’s, St Francis’,
                                                             happy to spend time helping all children in the new
St Joseph’s, St Anne’s and St Edward’s.
                                                             intake find their feet and pass successfully through this
All pupils in our new intake visit us during the summer      transitional period. We are very conscious that the
term for a day to look around the school and to join         only child who can be taught successfully is a happy
in activities on a working day. Following this, parents      child.
of the new intake are invited to a special information
evening here during the summer term. when we will
aim to give you all the details you need to prepare your

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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
Pastoral
      Care
Upon admission to school, all pupils are allocated to a tutor group and they remain
with that tutor group for registration, tutor time and PSHE & C until the end of Year
11. New tutor groups are created in the 6th form. Each of the five tutor groups in
the year consists of children with a range of abilities from the different feeder schools
and the form tutor plays a vital part in the communication link between home and
school. The year group as a whole is managed by a Head of Year who along with
the form tutor stays with the group until the end of Year 11 in order to promote
continuity. The senior staff in the school all have specific pastoral responsibilities
with Mrs Thomas, Deputy Headteacher, having overall responsibility for Years 7, 8
and 9 and Mrs Doherty, Deputy Headteacher, having overall responsibility for Years
10 and 11. Mr Harding, Assistant Headteacher, is the Director of the 6th Form.

Good Order and Discipline                                  We are firm in our belief that people should treat each
These are both essential for the school to achieve         other as they would like to be treated and encourage
its aims. For this reason there is a clear set of pupil    strongly a climate where pupils are expected to
expectations which are based on Christian beliefs and      support each other and be vigilant with regard to any
positive principles. These expectations are on display     fellow pupil who seems unhappy.
in every classroom.
                                                           House System
Our Christian Values                                       The House system complements the pastoral system
We encourage praise and reward good work, effort,          and adds an important layer to the community life of
honesty, success and other qualities that our pupils       the school. All form groups are allocated to one of 5
frequently demonstrate. This is done in a variety of       houses named after prominent martyrs (Arrowsmith,
ways including merit certificates, verbal and written      Clitherow, Kirby, Sherwin and Webster). Competitions
commendations and mention at assemblies of the             between the houses in terms of language competitions,
form, year or House.                                       sports and various other extra curricular events and
                                                           activities bring a healthy competitive ethos to the
In accordance with the school’s behaviour policy, if       school enabling a wider range of pupil participation
pupils’ behaviour falls below the standard we expect       than can be achieved in school to school events.
various sanctions may be employed depending upon
the nature of the behaviour. These can range from a        Student Council
reprimand or an invitation to apologise to an injured      A ‘Student Council’ exists in the school which enables
party to the loss of pupils’ free time either during or    the pupils to become more active in contributing to the
at the end of the school day. In the event of an after     running of their school with issues that they think are
school detention parents will be given 24 hours written    important. The Student Council is therefore a forum
notice in advance.                                         for the pupils to have their ideas and thoughts voiced
                                                           on a regular basis and representatives of all year
In rare cases where a pupil’s behaviour falls seriously
                                                           groups sit on the Council.
short of the school’s expectations, it may be necessary
to arrange for the pupil to work away from their           Uniform
classmates or to exclude that pupil from school for        It is expected that pupils wear their school uniform
either a fixed period of time or, as a very last resort,   smartly and correctly since to do so reflects a
permanently. This is to emphasize that certain types       commitment to the school and pride in their
of conduct are completely unacceptable. When an            appearance. Full details of the uniform are available
exclusion of any nature occurs parents are always          separately.
informed immediately in writing, as are the Chair of
Governors and the local authority.

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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
Successful
  & Effective
Home - School Links
The only really successful education is one which is the result of an effective
partnership between school and home. At St Thomas More all staff take very
seriously their responsibility to work with parents for the good of the children.
This means regularly informing parents about what is happening, listening to
parents, talking with parents and involving parents in the work of the school - not
simply writing reports and making formal contacts at parents’ evenings.
You will receive a newsletter each week to keep you up to date on all the events
that are taking place and the school website is a source of many different types of
information and news about the school. You will also receive information about
your child and their work which will be recorded in their log book. Occasionally
there will be extra information evenings on specific themes or topics. Your role
in this process will be to take an active interest in your child’s progress through
attendance at parent evenings etc. and to inform us as quickly as possible of
anything which might affect their performance at school.
If you have any concerns about your child’s education please come and see us
because we can usually solve any problems and are always pleased to see you. It
is better if you can telephone for an appointment before you come, but if the matter
is urgent come straightaway and we will always find some way of dealing with it.
If for any reason we cannot solve the problem the Headteacher will advise you as to
further steps you can take.

Reports
Reports on pupil progress are sent home three times       funds to support the school. Funds are raised through
a year. Great care is taken to ensure that an accurate    a variety of social events, car boot sales and an annual
picture of progress made is given, but we welcome         Christmas raffle. On average the PTA raises nearly
parents’ comments and thoughts about what we write.       £5000 a year and all parents are welcome to both join
Incidentally, if you are particularly worried about       the PTA and play an active part in it.
progress and feel that you cannot wait for the annual
report, we can produce a specially prepared interim
                                                          Homework
                                                          All pupils at St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth
report.
                                                          Form College are expected to do homework on a
Parents’ Evenings are held annually when there is an      daily basis. Each pupil is issued with a homework
opportunity to talk with all the staff who teach your     timetable at the start of the academic year and a log
child, with the form tutor and with senior staff.         book in which all homeworks should be entered. The
In addition, parents are welcomed to open evenings,       log book is to be signed by parents and form tutors
concerts, productions, sports matches and many            each week. The amount of homework which is set for
other activities where they may wish to support their     each child will vary according to pupils’ ages. The log
children and the work we are doing with them.             book can also be used by parents and teachers as a
                                                          means by which to communicate with each other when
There is also a PTA at the school which serves both to    appropriate.
forge links between parents and the school and to raise

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Sixth Form College St Thomas More Catholic School - PROSPECTUS
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Balanced &
       Challenging
At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form                      History                         Drama
College, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum                   Geography                       Information Communication
for all pupils which is taught across twenty-five                   French                          Technology
one hour lessons each week. In addition, a further                  Spanish                         Personal, Social and Health
                                                                    Art                             Education & Citizenship with
twenty minutes daily is allocated for registration
                                                                    Music                           Careers Education*
and assemblies which count fully towards the pupils’
                                                                    Physical Education (GCSE
education and which provide important moments for
                                                                    and non GCSE*)
organisation, pastoral care and spiritual development.
                                                                    (Subjects with an asterisk are compulsory for all pupils)
The overall aim of the curriculum is to develop the
potential of each and every child and to equip them                 Day release vocational courses at North Warwickshire and
                                                                    Hinckley College are also available as an option for pupils (for
with the knowledge, skills and understanding that they
                                                                    example Motor Vehicle Studies, Brick and Trowel Occupations,
will need later in life with a special emphasis on the
                                                                    Hairdressing, Catering, Horticultural Occupations). Pupils taking
importance of religious and spiritual education.                    this option take a reduced course of seven GCSEs in school.
                                                                    Additional after school courses are also available for Gifted and
Teaching Groups                                                     Talented pupils through our links with North Warwickshire and
The school adopts a very flexible approach to the grouping          Hinckley College.
of pupils with different departments adopting arrangements
                                                                    It is expected that all pupils will sit GCSE examinations in the
which they feel are best suited to the pupils’ needs. In a
                                                                    GCSE courses that they follow, with the overwhelming majority
number of subjects pupils are placed into teaching groups
                                                                    of pupils sitting ten GCSE examinations. More able pupils have
according to their ability, on the basis of information from
                                                                    the opportunity to take additional subjects such as Statistics
their Primary School, National Curriculum records and results
                                                                    to GCSE level when appropriate. Our examination results are
and our own assessments. The way the school is organised
                                                                    consistently well above the area and county averages and
enables pupils to move groups easily, and can allow them to be
                                                                    those of the country as a whole, as are the school’s ‘value-
in different ability groups for different subjects so that we can
                                                                    added’ progress scores. “The proportions of students making
match the quality of the work more closely to the needs of the
                                                                    and exceeding expected progress are above national figures.”
pupils. Further information on this subject is sent to parents
                                                                    (Ofsted 2012).
after their children start at the school.
                                                                    Physical Education
Key Stage 3                                                         At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College we
English                         Physical Education                  believe that Physical Education contributes to the overall
Mathematics                     French                              education of young people by helping them to lead full and
Religious Education             History                             valuable lives through engaging in purposeful physical activity
Science                         Geography                           which aims to develop pupils’ physical competence and help to
Technology including            Art                                 promote their physical development.
cooking                         Music
                                                                    Pupils engage in a range of activities during their time at
Information Communication       Personal, Social and Health
                                                                    school including Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket,
Technology                      Education & Citizenship
                                                                    Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rugby,
Key Stage 4                                                         Softball, Tennis and Volleyball. The school has a fully equipped
At Key Stage 4, more choice enables pupils to follow a more         gymnasium adjacent to which is a new fitness room fully
individualised curriculum. The following GCSE subjects are          equipped with up to date specialist equipment. The school has
offered:                                                            its own playing fields on site which comprise of two football
Business Studies               sciences of Biology,                 pitches, two hockey pitches, a cricket square, two netball courts
English and English            Chemistry and Physics                and two tennis courts. In addition, a new all-weather playing
Literature*                    Religious Education*                 surface was opened in 2010. The school also has use of the
Mathematics*                   Electronics                          neighbouring Jubilee Sports. Inter-school competition takes
Science* (including Single     Graphics                             place in all year groups and over the years many individual and
and Double Award) as           Resistant Materials                  team successes have occurred at District, County and even
well as the opportunity to     Food Technology                      National level. The school is the recipient of a Sports Council
study the three separate       Textiles                             Sportsmark award.

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10
Preparing for
     the Future
Careers Education
Pupils receive a comprehensive programme of careers education and guidance from experienced
staff throughout their school career. Emphasis is placed on the pupils being made truly aware
of their own particular skills, abilities and personal qualities so that they can more accurately
match their career aspirations with their own abilities. We aim to ensure that the pupils are
aware of the skills they have and how they can best use them.
A Careers Centre, with its own teaching area, careers library and offices opened at the school
in autumn 2000. The Careers Centre was jointly funded by the school and the PTA and
also contains computers and up to date information on CD ROM. All pupils have access
to independent advice from representatives from the National Careers Service who provide
specialist Careers guidance and support.
During the summer term of Year 10 all students take part in one weeks Work Experience in
order to gain first hand experience of the world of commerce and industry. Shortly after this,
pupils from Year 11 take part in activities concerning post-16 information to discuss the range
of possibilities for future education, training and employment. Extensive careers advice and
support guidance is also given to post-16 students with significant efforts being made to help
students to make effective applications to university or employment as appropriate.
Our record in preparing pupils for career progression through public examinations is one which
reflects the highest standards.

Pupils with Special Educational                                       timetable. We look to the Christian growth of the children, not
                                                                      simply growth in their own faith, but their awareness of their
Needs                                                                 role as maturing Christians.
At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College, all
pupils have access to the National Curriculum. All pupils are         The school is fortunate to have a well-designed and spacious
regularly assessed throughout their school career across the          chapel for the benefit of the pupils. In addition the school has
curriculum and every effort is made to cater for the needs of         its own chaplain who is Fr Matthew Pittam. This ensures that
all pupils. For those pupils with particular learning difficulties,   pupils can benefit from regular Masses within school hours and
additional teacher support is provided for in the form either         on Holy Days as well as being able to receive sacraments of the
of “in-class support” or by means of withdrawal from some             Church. Fr Matthew is also a trained counsellor.
lessons in order to develop literacy and numeracy skills. Those       Prayer is naturally fostered through RE lessons, tutor periods,
pupils who have a statement of special educational needs              in the regular year group assemblies and through the prayer
receive support in accordance with the statement. The school          groups that meet regularly both in and out of school. Short
also makes use of the support services provided by the local          Retreats are organised at the Diocesan Youth Centre at Alton
educational authority when appropriate.                               Castle and it is hoped that at some stage of their five years in
Gifted and Talented Pupils                                            the school every pupil will have the opportunity to take part
                                                                      in one of these retreats. The school’s recent inspection by
A wide range of provision and additional learning opportunities
                                                                      the Archdiocese of Birmingham resulted in a very favourable
are also available for gifted and talented pupils. These
                                                                      report which concluded that:
opportunities include summer school, university visits and
studying courses off-site. Each curriculum area in the school         “The school is an outstanding Catholic
also makes its own provisions for more able students.                  school and provides excellent
The Religious Life of the School                                       experiences in the Faith for its pupils.”
Catholic schools should provide a continuation of the Christian       Should parents wish to withdraw their children from Religious
ideals which are rooted in the Catholic family and Parish life.       Education lessons or from the daily act of collective worship,
That is the clear aim of our school.                                  they are advised that the school has no other arrangements to
                                                                      supervise children at these times.
The basic religious ethos is to be found across the whole
curriculum and not just within the Religious Education

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Broader
    Horizons
Extra-Curricular Activities and Community Awareness
St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College has a tradition of offering a wide
range of extra-curricular activities which are designed to broaden pupils’ horizons and
strengthen their self-esteem outside of the normal school environment.
These activities include:
• After school activities including the full range of sports offered at the school
• Annual residential retreats to Alton Castle
• Overseas trips to the Belgian Battlefields, Boulogne, Paris and the ski-ing resort
  of Caspoggio in Italy
• French student exchanges to Roanne
• Geography fieldwork trips and educational visits abroad
• Visits to historical locations of interest such as the Black Country Museum and
  Kenilworth Castle
• Theatre trips
• Whole school drama and music productions
• School orchestra and choir
• Young Engineer and Young Masterchef Clubs
• Science trips to the Natural Science Museum in London and to Brandon Marsh
Pupils are also encouraged to consider the needs of others and they are involved in
various acts of charity and community service to meet this objective of Christian concern.
Our fund raising efforts have helped many local, national and international charities.
Approximately £5,000 is raised each year for charities. Much of this money is raised on
the school’s annual Charities Day in March.
In addition, pupils annually organise hampers to be put together for distribution to the
old and homeless in the local community as well as collecting parcels of useful items to
be sent to orphans in Eastern Europe. The school also supports a charitable project to
provide water to a village in Malawi and education materials for a school in the Philippines.

Policy on the Charging for and                                    Policy on Sex Education
the Remission of Charges for                                      In line with the school aims to provide a Catholic education
                                                                  and to promote the personal, social and moral development
School Activities                                                 of all pupils. The school will provide a programme of Family
The Governors policy on the charging for and the
                                                                  Life Education which is firmly based on Christian principles
remission of charges for school activities is based upon
                                                                  and positive Catholic teaching and which will in all respects
the fundamental principle that all education for pupils at
                                                                  conform with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The
the school should be free of charge, as far as possible, if it
                                                                  programme combines treatment of the biological, social,
takes place during school hours.
                                                                  moral and religious aspects of sexuality and procreation
Voluntary contributions for certain activities will be invited    and situates such treatment in the context of marriage, the
on occasions as is permitted by the 1988 Education Act.           family and family relationships.
The Governors full policy on charging covers five separate
areas, Public Examinations, Tuition in the Playing of Musical
Instruments, Residential Trips deemed to take place in
school hours, Optional Extras and Voluntary Contributions.
The full policy is available on request to all parents.

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“        St Thomas More School is
                  committed to safeguarding the
                   welfare of children and young
                     people and expects all staff
                    and volunteers to share this
                                    commitment.
F Hickey B.A. (Hons) Headteacher
The school is situated on a pleasant 14 acre site with its own sports fields and
excellent facilities and accommodation. Much of the school’s accommodation is
purpose built and each department has its own specialist area which is equipped
and designed in order to maximize pupils’ learning potential. A number of
improvements and extensions have been added to the school’s accommodation
in the last ten years and the school has benefited much from Specialist College
status in recent years. As a result of the school’s Millennium project, a new
careers centre was added to the school’s accommodation and the library was also
extended.

In 2008, St Thomas More Catholic School was officially
designated a High Performing Specialist School by the
Department for Children, Schools and Families with Applied
Learning as a second specialism.  In September 2012, an
Ofsted inspection judged the school to be ‘good’, continuing
a run of good or outstanding judgments over many years.
An inspection by the Archdiocese of Birmingham in
November 2012 repeated the 2009 judgement that this
is “an outstanding Catholic school.” As a result of the
school’s High Performing Status, a new Sixth Form was
opened in September 2011.  The sixth form students are
accommodated in a new purpose built £6 million Sixth
Form Centre.

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                      St Thomas More Catholic School
                          & Sixth Form College
                     Greenmoor Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7EX
                           Tel: 02476 642400 Fax: 02476 321919
                                 www.st-thomas-more.net
                                Headteacher: Mr F Hickey
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