Our Creative Curriculum
Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure each and every child is engaged with their learning through stimulating and inspiring learning experiences with our Christian values at its heart.
We seek to deliver our curriculum by developing individual and collaborative learning experiences, a positive growth mindset, a sense of responsibility and challenges that will take them through to the next stage of their educational journey.
We are a small school in a wonderful location and have a constantly evolving curriculum responding to the needs of our learners, their interests and what is happening in the world around them. Our aim is for all our children to be able to understand the world, their place in it and recognise what they have to offer it as a unique individual.
St Thomas’ curriculum is implemented through quality first teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary across core and foundation subjects. Children will be encouraged to challenge themselves, ask questions and seek answers through learning that they can influence with their interests, talents and curiosity. Our curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of all our children. We will have high expectations of and for our children and support them to become ambitious, imaginative and reflective.
A St Thomas’ child is able to work independently or collaboratively; they recognise, understand and process problems which they will approach with an open mind, resilience and creativity and if needed through taking risks. Their numeracy and literacy skills allow them to identify and utilise the resources they need, including technology to be able to communicate confidently to a wider audience.
A St Thomas’ child values, understands and appreciates their family, friends and the world they live in. They are guided by the Christian Values which are woven through all we do; Friendship, Peace, Love, Forgiveness, Compassion and Thankfulness
In the event of a bubble or the whole school having to isolate or in the event of a lockdown; St Thomas' children will access their learning via Google Classrooms. We will provide learning opportunities, lessons & resources for maths, English and one other subject each day. The children's work will be looked at by their teacher every day and relevant & necessary comments given via Google Classrooms or email. Where parents have indicated the need for hard copies of these lessons, we will endeavour to provide these.
We encourage children to read from the very beginning. We aim to share an enjoyment of language, both spoken and written, and to develop the ability to communicate in speech and writing. Children are surrounded by opportunities for reading; books, pictures and displays encourage their interest in the written word.
At the start of the year we assess children's reading levels and encourage children to choose a leveled book that appeals to them to start them on their reading journey. In 2020-21 the school invested substantially in a new whole-school resource, Oxford Reading Tree, which not only supports all children across the school but enables teachers to provide small focused interventions for children who are finding reading a bit tricky. Children are encouraged to read independently for pleasure and for information and to be critical of what they read.
Click on the link for ideas to support reading at home.
Written work is encouraged for a variety of purposes e.g. poetry, imaginative prose, reporting, recording etc. We give full emphasis to basic skills, such as spelling, punctuation, handwriting, and the development of study skills.
The children are introduced to sounds (phonics) which are the building blocks for reading and spelling. There will be phonics work each day in Infant classes. From September 2022 we will be using the Jolly Phonics validated synthetic phonics program.
Drama, Speaking & Listening
Children are taught to listen and speak in a range of situations. They take part in group and class discussions. Drama techniques are used to help bring lessons alive. Children are also given opportunities to take part in school productions and watch professional performances.
Our teaching includes “mental maths”, problem-solving and the use of mathematics in everyday situations, using lots of practical equipment to help the younger children. Teachers follow the White Rose program of study for maths, carefully differentiating to meet the needs of all learners.
Much artwork arises from our creative curriculum themes. We aim to teach the skills of the subject and develop a critical, aesthetic awareness. This includes first-hand experience of the work of practicing artists.
The children have weekly music session with Mrs Rampling which involves a mix of singing and playing instruments. During their time in school, children have the opportunity to learn to play the ukulele. Children have opportunities to learn the violin, guitar, keyboard, and flute, as well as using percussion instruments in their creative music-making.
Children enjoy PE and games, through in-school and after-school activities; a variety of clubs are available. All children will have opportunities to develop skills through dance, gymnastics, team games, and swimming. The school has its own heated outdoor pool, which is used during the last two terms of the school year. The school takes part in a variety of sporting tournaments and matches with other schools throughout the year. We have been particularly successful this year in cross country and football (boys and girls).
For information about the topics covered in the foundation subjects take a look at the document below, 'St Thomas' Broad and Balanced Curriculum'.
Visits and Visitors
Where possible the whole school makes educational visits linked to our theme or topic. Advantage is taken of the wealth of local history and the surrounding countryside. Older pupils venture further afield, for example, to Brighton or London. Y5 and Y6 pupils have the opportunity to take part in a residential visit.
Alternatives to visits may be guest speakers or theatre groups providing experiences in school. For example A Viking History Day. More detailed curriculum information, including the National Curriculum documents and related School Policies, may be seen at the School.
Relationship, Sex & Health Education
From September 2020 we will be teaching our new RSHE curriculum. Our school’s overarching aims and objectives for pupils are
- that they will know and understand how to keep themselves healthy and safe (both on and offline)
- understand that they have a right to respectful and healthy relationships
- understand that they have a responsibility to themselves, others and the world they live in and to understand that we are all different and unique individuals deserving of love and respect
- to have opportunities to put knowledge into practice as they develop the capacity to make sound decisions when faced with risks, challenges and complex concepts
- develop the skills and attributes which will help them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships to enable them to live healthy and fulfilling lives
Religious Education is taught throughout the school and is linked to other subjects and the Church year. The Diocese of Chichester “Guidelines for Church of England Aided Schools” have been updated and, following discussions between Governors and Staff, have been adopted as the basis of our teaching. We use 'Understanding Christianity' as a resource across the school.
We accept that parents might not wish their child to participate in our religious education and any such parents should contact the Head teacher.
CurriculumSt Thomas Home-School Agreement 2020-21.pdfSt Thomas Remote Learning policy Sept 2020.pdfLearning Policy for Reception and KS1 2021.pdfTeaching & Learning Policy - January 2021.pdfA St Thomas' child 21-22.pdfSt Thomas' Broad and Balanced Curriculum 2022.pdfChildren's version SDP 2022-23.pdf
Should you require further information about our curriculum, please contact either
Mr Richard Breeds (Assistant Head Teacher - Curriculum)
Mrs Carol Gardiner (Head Teacher)