National Curriculum core subjects are:-
- Religious Education
National Curriculum Foundation Subjects are:-
- Art and design
- Design and Technology
- Physical Education
- Modern Foreign Language at KS2
We encourage all children to develop the skills of communication both verbal and written. To be able to converse clearly, coherently and confidently with both peers and adults, to achieve an acceptable standard of script and the ability to put ideas into writing, with attention given to spelling and grammar.
We encourage children to read for pleasure, for their own enjoyment and also as a means of gaining information, through the use of dictionaries and reference books.
At St Thomas More we have adopted a mastery approach for the teaching of mathematics. We believe in promoting sustained and deepened understanding by employing a variety of mastery strategies, with teaching for conceptual understanding at the heart of everything we do. We aim to create independent mathematicians who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world.
Teaching for maths mastery allows us to teach the National Curriculum to a high standard. With this, all pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths, they can succeed. The National Curriculum for maths is broken down by class teachers into longer blocks of learning which allows full coverage and depth of its content. Each block of learning contains smaller steps which are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. This ensures all can master the curriculum’s content before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.
St Thomas More R.C. School exists as part of the mission of The Parish of the Durham Martyrs to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Durham. It is a voluntary aided primary school for children from 4 to 11 years, whose parents wish them to be educated in a specifically Roman Catholic Foundation.
Religious Education cannot be confined to set times in the week.
The school sets out to create an atmosphere in which religion is provided not only as a means of knowing and believing, but also as a matter of living and doing. The National Religious Education Programme approved by the Bishops of England and Wales ‘Come and See’ is in use throughout the school.
The parish and school offer the opportunity for children to take part in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Parents are expected to join in the preparations and will be invited to join the programme when their child is in Year 4.
From Reception onwards science activities are introduced. Tasks are designed to develop the skills of observing, communicating, recording, classifying, predicting, investigating, estimating and measuring.
Subjects covered in Science include:
- Experimental and Investigative Science – Planning work, obtaining evidence, considering evidence.
- Life Processes and Living Things – Animals, humans and plants – similarities and differences – feeding, breathing, movement and behaviour – environmental aspects.
- Materials and their Properties – Natural and man-made materials – similarities and differences – grouping and classifying – uses – changes which arise from heating, cooling and weathering.
- Physical Processes – Electricity and magnetism – Forces and Motion – Light and Sound.
The foundation subjects are taught through a variety of topics. Computing skills are taught and opportunities to practice these skills are integrated throughout the curriculum.
St Thomas More has extensive playing fields, with two football pitches and a playground suitable for netball. Indoors there is a hall with a variety of good quality equipment. Each class has at least two hours of PE per week during which they cover gymnastics, dance, athletics and games as required by the National Curriculum. In order that the children get the most out of these activities it is essential that they come to school with the necessary equipment.
Swimming is offered up to level 8 of the LA awards scheme. In addition to regular P. E. lessons children have the opportunities to take part in various other sporting events organised by the Durham City School Sports Partnership.
Find out more about the required equipment for PE in our School Uniform section of our website.
Art and Music are taught throughout the school in accordance with the National Curriculum. All children have opportunities to make music in school during collective worship, church services and in school plays and concerts. Dance and drama is encouraged in assemblies, school plays and concerts and there are theatre visits. There are opportunities for whole class instrumental tuition and small group instrumental tuition.