Parents’ Guide to the Year Ahead

September 2017 - July 2018

 ‘This is an outstanding school’ Ofsted January 2008


As always, we aim to provide a rich and diverse curriculum this year which promotes a love of learning, equips pupils with core knowledge and skills and provides them with exciting opportunities to engage and inspire them to become lifelong learners. They include the following:


Our Lunar Curriculum was developed and trialled last year. It involves lots of cross-curricular working using exciting topics to engage our pupils and concludes with the pupils creating an end-product to present their learning. We will be continuing it this year but will be focussing on 6 core skills we would like the pupils to develop which they will use both in their secondary education and beyond; they are as follows:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self-managers
  • Effective participators and communicators

Please talk to your child throughout the year and ask what they’re learning in school.


We will continue to develop our 5-part lesson based on learning from Shanghai for Y4-6. Y1-Y3 will follow the Maths Mastery programme which has been developed with Ark Academy. In the early years, we will be continuing with our own early mastery programme which was designed with our Maths Hub and was a huge success when trialled last year. All the programmes mentioned are based on the three core principles of the National Curriculum 2014:  fluency, problem solving and reasoning. We encourage you, at home, to practise maths with your child on a regular basis- times tables are a great thing to concentrate on at home and will help to develop your child’s mental maths skills.


This year our big focus in English is around the reading and writing journey. Within reading, we are encouraging pupils to develop a pleasure for reading as this is a crucial part of reading but also developing technical accuracy by focussing on ensuring that our pupils understand what they have read, that they can discuss their reading and answer questions based upon the text.  We will be using our online Lexia programme in Y2-6 so that pupils can further develop their reading outside of school- pupils particularly enjoy this activity as it is designed to be fun with lots of games and activities. Within writing, we will be continuing with our book-led approach which provides the children with plenty of opportunities to write for different purposes. We will once again be focussing on our editing of writing focussing on our grammar and choice of vocabulary which lead to high-quality pieces of text.
A book fair will take place in school in October and we have a lunchtime reading club for pupils from Y1-6 twice a week. We will continue to have a whole school focus on spelling and will revisit key spellings from Y1-6 on a termly basis to measure progress. We will have a whole school focus on oracy in all lessons and try to weave as much speaking and listening into them as possible. We encourage you at home to practise reading with your child on a regular basis, not only will this increase their vocabulary and develop their understanding of texts- it will also help to inspire their writing!


The pupils will have the opportunity to lead and participate in worship both in school and in church, they will also have the opportunity to evaluate worship and take part in spontaneous prayer. Regular religious education sessions enable the pupils to develop children’s understanding of Christian and other world religions.


Children will be assessed during three assessment periods in the school year: autumn, spring and summer. After each assessment period, parents and carers will be invited into school to discuss their child’s progress and what their next steps in learning will be.


KS2 children will benefit from specialist Spanish teachers teaching them for 1 hour each week focusing on the development of speaking and listening skills- they also learn about Spanish culture and how it is similar but also different to English culture. Throughout our curriculum, children will develop their understanding of the life children lead across the world through focus days. We will invite visitors from other faiths into school to work with our children. Through our ’50 things you will do before you leave St Mary& St Thomas’, children will have the opportunity to develop their social and cultural understanding. Please ask your child about what they have enjoyed taking part in so far.


Y5 will attend Crucial Crew learning about safety. KS1 & 2 pupils will have the opportunity to take part in cycling training. Y4, 5 & 6 will take part in SRE lessons. All pupils from R-Y6 will continue to work on the Forest Schools curriculum which will improve their understanding of the natural world. Y4 & 5 will take part in forest school camps. The health and wellbeing of our pupils is paramount and the staff and wellbeing team provide support and intervention through the curriculum and when necessary through targeted interventions.


Our school Choir will continue to work together and perform in events. Brass band lessons will be available for Y4 and Y5 pupils for one hour each week. Y6 pupils who wish to carry on with Brass can do so at a lunchtime club. We will have a Production for KS2 children in the summer term. All pupils will have the opportunity to watch the pantomime at the Theatre Royal. All pupils will take part in a Class Assembly and Y2 to Y6 children will lead a Church Worship.


Our specialist PE & Sport coach will work with all our children to raise standards in this area. He works with several schools and organises tournaments between them throughout the year. In addition to this, we will hold an intra-school competition once a half term so that everyone can take part in sporting competitions. A wide range of extra curricular activities linked to sport will be on offer throughout the year. Swimming lessons will take place for Y3 & 4 and a swimming club will target non-swimmers and more-able swimmers.


A wide variety of clubs will be available during this year which will change each half-term. Children who have not attended a club before will be targeted so that they can experience after-school opportunities.


Once again, we have lots of opportunities planned to work with our parents and carers. Please look on the school website for our family learning dates and our autumn dates for parents to find out more about family worship, enterprise week and much more.


Each year the School and Governors write a School Improvement Plan. Within this plan are the areas that are going to be developed that year. 

Below are the priorities we have set for development this year.

*To continue to improve levels of attendance and punctuality
*To continue to develop our ‘Lunar’ Curriculum in Y1-Y6
*To improve the teaching, learning and assessment of Science in KS1&KS2
*To embed the provision of our more able pupils so that they deepen their knowledge and understanding

We also have action plans to develop the areas below.



Behaviour& Safety

Leadership& Management

English, Maths , Science, Art, History, Geography, RE, PE

If you would like anymore information about the year ahead, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.


KS1& KS2
(including the more able)

Attendance& punctuality
Travel plan
Behaviour& Safety

Christian Distinctiveness

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