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“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... • Provide a Catholic education for all pupils based upon the teaching of Jesus Christ through following a curriculum which meets the needs of all pupils. • Have high expectations of all pupils. • Treat each other with Christian care, respect and justice. • Value all pupils equally and recognize their achievements. • Prepare all pupils to become mature and responsible members of society.

As a Specialist Technology College we are committed to... • Becoming a centre of excellence for Technology education in the Nuneaton area • Raising achievement by improving both teaching and learning • Developing a culture which provides pupils with the opportunity to use technology across the curriculum and to benefit from further opportunities for enrichment in the specialist subjects • Developing a wider role as a learning provider within our community

St omas More&Catholic School Sixth Form College A High Performing Specialist School 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.

Thank you for showing an interest in sending your child to St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College. Your interest is most welcome 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.

At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College, we aim to educate all pupils to their full potential. Having acquired Specialist School Status as a Specialist Technology College and with a consistently good record of achieving impressive GCSE results we are always looking to further develop the excellent reputation that the school has in the community and to this effect in 2008, the school was officially designated a High Performing Specialist School by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. This was followed in 2009 by a very successful Ofsted inspection which judged the school to be outstanding in 24 out of 25 categories. As a result of the school’s High Performing status government approval was given to develop a Sixth Form at the school. In September 2011, following a £6 million building programme, the first cohort of sixth formers will commence their post-16 education in a purpose built, state of the art Sixth Form Centre. This is a very important development in the school’s history that will enable pupils to have an all-through 1118 education at the school. Underpinning all our work is the aim to educate all pupils to their full potential in a caring environment where Christian values are always emphasised and to always have high expectations of our pupils. In this context it is most pleasing that Ofsted described the school as “outstandingly caring” and a place where “students made excellent progress because teaching and learning overall are excellent and their

attitudes to learning are outstanding”. The school has also benefitted a lot from its Specialist School status in recent years and over £1 million has been spent on improving the school’s general accommodation. Above all, however, I believe the school is succeeding because the Governors, the staff, the parents and the pupils are united in their commitment to the school and subscribe to the Christian values it promotes. In addition to the outstanding Ofsted report received by the school in 2009, the Archdiocesan inspection report of 2009 remarked upon the school’s “very strong Catholic ethos” as a factor in the school’s “outstanding” overall performance. This affirmation of the school’s success has enabled all involved with the school to continue to approach all our work with both confidence and optimism in an atmosphere which is always positive. The remainder of the prospectus will tell you a great deal about how the school works and the arrangements that exist for the admission of pupils. However, whilst the prospectus can give you a flavour of what the school is like, there is no substitute to seeing the school yourselves, therefore I cordially invite you and your children to attend our Open Evening to view the school and more importantly to talk to both teachers and current pupils. Prospective parents should also note that a separate Sixth Form prospectus is available on request which provides more details of post-16 education in the school. M S Moore M.A.(Ed.) B.A.(Hons.) Headteacher


Welcome to

for excellence Pupil support and guidance The most recent Ofsted report describes the school’s care for its pupils as “outstanding”. 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. 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. “The pupils are proud of the school, in which they feel safe and secure, and valued as equal creations of God”. (Archdiocesan Inspection Report February 2009)

Preparation for life at St Thomas More Catholic School As starting a new school is a very important event in every child’s life, a lot of attention is given to trying to prepare pupils for their move to St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College once they have been offered a place here. As part of pupils’ preparation for their move the following steps are taken: The Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for primary-secondary and the Head of Year 7 visit the main primary schools to meet pupils who will be joining us next September. In addition regular curriculum liaison meetings take place at both teacher and Headteacher level between this school and St Benedict’s, St Francis’, St Joseph’s, St Anne’s and St Edward’s. All our new intake visit us during the summer term for a day to see round the school and join in activities on a working day. Following this, parents of the new intake are invited to a special information evening here during the summer term. At

this we will try to give you all the details you need to prepare your child for the first day, and will do our best to answer any questions you may have. You will also get the opportunity to meet your child's form tutor and Head of Year at this meeting. Opportunities are provided for any parent who wishes to visit us on an individual basis if it is felt there is special information we need to know about the child. Finally, we would like to stress that a lot of care is taken to ensure that our new pupils quickly feel at home. We know that there will be a great deal that seems strange and different, and that the size of the school can be a worry. Our teachers expect, and are happy, to spend a lot of time helping all children in the new intake find their feet and pass successfully through this transitional period. We are very conscious that the only child who can be taught successfully is a happy child.

Pastoral care Upon admission to school, all pupils are allocated to a tutor group and they remain with that tutor group for registration until the end of Year 11. New tutor groups are created in the Sixth 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 Mr Hickey (Deputy Headteacher) having overall responsibility for years 7, 8 and 9 and Mrs Richardson (Deputy Headteacher) having overall responsibility for years 10 and 11. Mr

Harding, Assistant Headteacher, is the Director of the Sixth Form.

Good order and discipline These are both essential for the school to achieve its aims. For this reason there is a clear set of pupil expectations which are based on Christian beliefs and positive principles. These expectations are on display in every classroom. As a consequence student behaviour was described as “exemplary” by Ofsted in 2009.

Our Christian values We encourage praise and reward good work, effort, honesty, success and other qualities that our pupils frequently demonstrate. This is done in a variety of ways including merit certificates, verbal and written commendations and mention at assemblies of the form, year or House. In accordance with the school's behaviour policy, if pupils' behaviour falls below the standard we expect various sanctions may be employed depending upon the nature of the behaviour. These can range from a reprimand or an invitation to apologise to an injured party to the loss of pupils' free time either during or at the end of the school day. In the event of an after school detention parents will be given 24 hours written notice in advance. In rare cases where a pupil's behaviour falls seriously short of the school's expectations, it may be necessary to exclude that pupil from school for either a fixed period of time or, as a very last resort, permanently. This is to emphasize that certain types of conduct are completely unacceptable. When an exclusion of any nature occurs parents are always informed immediately in writing as are the Chair of Governors and the local authority.


A School

Developing potential

through good communication & a sound curriculum

Home-school links The only really successful education is one which is the result of a 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. You will also receive information about your child and their work which will be recorded in their log book. If you have any worries or 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 a year. Great care is taken to ensure that an accurate picture of progress made is given, but we welcome parents' comments and thoughts about what we write. Incidentally, if you are particularly worried about progress and feel that you cannot wait for the annual report, we can produce a specially prepared interim report. Parents' Evenings are held annually when there is an opportunity to talk with all the staff who teach your child, with the form tutor and with senior staff. In addition, parents are welcomed to open evenings, concerts, productions, sports matches and many other activities where they may wish to support their children and the work we are doing with them. There is also a PTA at the school which serves both to forge links between parents and the school and to raise funds to support the school. Funds are raised through a variety of social events, car boot sales and an

annual Christmas raffle. On average the PTA raises nearly £5000 a year and all parents are welcome to both join the PTA and play an active part in it.

The Curriculum At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils which is taught across twenty-five one hour lessons each week. In addition, a further twenty minutes daily is allocated for registration and assemblies. The overall aim of the curriculum is to develop the potential of each and every child and to equip them with the knowledge, skills and understanding that they will need later in life with a special emphasis on the importance of religious and spiritual education.

Key Stage 3 • • • • • • • • • • • • •

English Mathematics Religious Education Science Technology including cooking Information Communication Technology Physical Education French History Geography Art Music Personal, Social and Health Education & Citizenship

Key Stage 4 At Key Stage 4, more choice enables pupils to follow a more individualised curriculum. The following GCSE subjects are offered: • English and English Literature* • Mathematics* • Science* (including Single and Double Award) as well as the opportunity to study the three separate sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics • Religious Education* • Electronics • Graphics • Resistant Materials • Food Technology • Textiles • History • Geography

• • • • •

French Spanish Art Music Physical Education (GCSE and non GCSE*) • Drama • Information Communication Technology • Personal, Social and Health Education & Citizenship with Careers Education* (Subjects with an asterisk are compulsory for all pupils) Day release vocational courses at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College are also available as an option for pupils (for example Motor Vehicle Studies, Brick and Trowel Occupations, Hairdressing, Catering, Horticultural Occupations). Pupils taking this option take a reduced course of seven GCSEs in school. Additional after school courses are also available for Gifted and Talented pupils through our links with North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. It is expected that all pupils will sit GCSE examinations in the GCSE courses that they follow, with the overwhelming majority of pupils sitting ten GCSE examinations. More able pupils have the opportunity to take additional subjects to GCSE level when appropriate. Our examination results are consistently well above the area and county averages and those of the country as a whole, as are the school’s ‘value-added’ progress scores. “Students make excellent progress” (Ofsted 2009).

Full details of the Post-16 Curriculum can be found in the separate sixth form prospectus which is available upon request.


meeting individual needs

& preparing for the future Teaching Groups The school adopts a very flexible approach to the grouping of pupils with different departments adopting arrangements which they feel are best suited to the pupils' needs. In a number of subjects pupils are placed into teaching groups according to their ability, on the basis of information from their Primary School, National Curriculum records and results and our own assessments. The way the school is organised enables pupils to move groups easily, and can allow them to be in different ability groups for different subjects so that we can match the quality of the work more closely to the needs of the pupils. Further information on this subject is sent to parents after their children start at the school.

Homework All pupils at St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College are expected to do homework on a daily basis. Each pupil is issued with a homework timetable at the start of the academic year and a log book in which all homeworks should be entered. The log book is to be signed by parents and form tutors each week. The amount of homework which is set for each child will vary according to pupils' ages. The log book can also be used by parents and teachers as a means by which to communicate with each other when appropriate.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs At St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College, all pupils have access to the National Curriculum. All pupils are regularly assessed throughout their school career across the curriculum and every effort is made to cater for the needs of all pupils. For those pupils with particular learning difficulties, additional teacher support is provided for in the form either of "in-class support" or by means of withdrawal from some lessons in order to develop literacy and numeracy skills. Those pupils who have a statement of special educational needs receive support in accordance with the statement. The school also makes use of the support services provided by the local educational authority when appropriate. A wide range of provision and additional learning opportunities are also available for gifted and talented pupils. These opportunities include summer school, university visits and studying courses off-site. Each curriculum area

in the school also makes its own provisions for more able students.

The Religious Life of the School Catholic schools should provide a continuation of the Christian ideals which are rooted in the Catholic family and Parish life. That is the clear aim of our school. The basic religious ethos is to be found across the whole curriculum and not just within the Religious Education timetable. We look to the Christian growth of the children, not simply growth in their own faith, but their awareness of their role as maturing Christians. The school is fortunate to have a well-designed and spacious chapel for the benefit of the pupils. In addition the school has its own chaplain who is Fr Stephen Day. This ensures that pupils can benefit from regular Masses within school hours and on Holy Days as well as being able to receive sacraments of the Church. Fr Stephen is also available for counselling. Prayer is naturally fostered through RE lessons, tutor periods, in the regular year group assemblies and through the prayer groups that meet regularly both in and out of school. Short Retreats are organised at the Diocesan Youth Centres of Alton Castle and Soli House, and it is hoped that at some stage of their five years in the school every pupil will have the opportunity to take part in one of these retreats. The school's recent inspection by the Archdiocese of Birmingham resulted in a very favourable report which concluded that "The school has a very strong Catholic ethos which is evident throughout the school particularly in the high standards of behaviour and the respect shown to one another by all members of the school community�. Should parents wish to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons or from the daily act of collective worship, they are advised that the school has no other arrangements to supervise children at these times.

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 both 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 advice 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. Careers advice and support guidance is also given to post-16 students. Our record in preparing pupils for career progression through public examinations is one which reflects the highest standards.

Physical Education At St Thomas More Catholic School & Technology College we believe that Physical Education contributes to the overall education of young people by helping them to lead full and valuable lives through engaging in purposeful physical activity which aims to develop pupils’ physical competence and help to promote their physical development. Pupils engage in a range of activities during their time at school including Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rugby, Softball,Tennis and Volleyball. The school has a fully equipped gymnasium adjacent to which is a new fitness room fully equipped with up to date specialist equipment. The school has its own playing fields on site which comprise of two football pitches, two hockey pitches, a cricket square, two netball courts and two tennis courts. In addition, a new all-weather playing surface was opened in 2010.The school also has use of the neighbouring Jubilee Sports. Inter-school competition takes place in all year groups and over the years many individual and team successes have occurred at District, County and even National level. The school is the recipient of a Sports Council Sportsmark award.


A balanced and challenging curriculum

Broader horizons

developing confidence 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 the remission of charges for school activities

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 Soli House in Stratford and 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 • 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

The Governors policy on the charging for and the remission of charges for school activities is based upon the fundamental principle that all education for pupils at the school should be free of charge, as far as possible, if it takes place during school hours. Voluntary contributions for certain activities will be invited on occasions as is permitted by the 1988 Education Act. 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.

Policy on Sex Education In line with the school aims to provide a Catholic education and to promote the personal, social and moral development of all pupils. The school will provide a programme of Family Life Education which is firmly based on Christian principles and positive Catholic teaching and which will in all respects conform with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The programme combines treatment of the biological, social, moral and religious aspects of sexuality and procreation and situates such treatment in the context of marriage, the family and family relationships.

Student Council A ‘Student Council’ exists in the school which enables the pupils to become more active in contributing to the running of their school with issues that they think are important. The Student Council is therefore a forum for the pupils to have their ideas and thoughts voiced on a regular basis and representatives of all year groups sit on the Council. Ofsted remarked in 2009 that “Most of all students feel they are listened to and their views acted upon”.


St Thomas More Catholic School & Sixth Form College Greenmoor Road Nuneaton Warwickshire CV10 7EX Telephone 02476 642400 Fax 02476 321919 Email Website

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