Educating for Hope and Aspiration
We aim to bring and share light in all we do – this includes teaching children to be positive, forward looking and hopeful. By creating our own curriculum which is exciting, sets high expectations and is relevant, children are all included and each understands the importance and joy in learning.
How does the school encourage children to be hopeful?
We believe that the environment children work in, in terms of the atmosphere, learning spaces and outdoor areas is vitally important in setting a positive tone. Staff and children value working in spaces which are purposeful, high quality and effective. Visitors to the school always comment on its buzz, its warm atmosphere and calmness.
Pride in ourselves, our uniform, our school badge and the way in which we conduct ourselves as a school family matter to us. They bring unity and create a common purpose.
How do you expand children's horizons?
Children are able to explore questions through the way we plan our learning and through the use of Rights Respecting School, through our worship plans and through PSHE lessons. We are also planning to develop teaching of Philosophy for Children. We have close links with NMITE, Hereford's University as well as with ENCORE, the specialist music service for Herefordshire.
Pupil leadership is important at St Thomas. Children lead worship, eco schools, well being and more. Children take responsibility for different areas of school life, they enjoy this and want to support others, to offer ideas and to speak up when things need to change.
How does your approach to learning help children to develop resilience?
We like mistakes and encourage children to be courageous, to have a go with learning and to enjoy the challenge of something new. That could be in the form of trying a new food at lunchtime, exploring new ways of multiplying a number or contributing constructively when they have a different view to someone else.
Linked to this is the school’s work on promoting advocacy amongst children. By helping children to understand what their rights and responsibilities are, through discussion of stories and through providing protected time for worship children are able to learn about and lead social action, for example in caring for our environment, raising funds for local charities or learning about global issues.
Alongside this, children learning about the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation through our approach to behaviour. We expect children to make good choices and give them the tools to do so but we are also realistic; we all make mistakes sometimes. Learning to be honest about that and knowing that we will work together to resolve issues is the key to making this work. Children feel confident that they will be listened to, supported and that reconciliation will be possible. Parents trust the school and work alongside us so that children feel safe, confident and happy.