Who we are: Our Christian foundation and context
|When was the school founded?
St Thomas Cantilupe Church of England Primary was opened in September 1983. The Church of England wanted to create a new school in Hereford city and so purchased the former Hereford High School for Girls (seen in the 1920s below) refurbishing the secondary school building and creating a primary school. Three city schools closed, All Saints Infants, St Owen’s and St Peter’s, to create St Thomas Cantilupe, named after the only Bishop of Hereford to be canonised. In May 1984, the school was formally opened by HRH Princess Anne and the school’s journey began. This Christian foundation, true of many older village primary schools, formed the roots of our school.
What partnerships do
|Who are we now?
Our one form entry school, with a nursery for children aged 2 years and up serves a diverse community. Our school is set in the heart of Hereford's city, opposite Hereford's university, next door to Blackfrairs ancient monastery and within walking distance of the library, swimming pool and football stadium.
Twenty one languages are spoken at St Thomas Cantilupe, 65% of our children are from a minority ethnic backgrounds, 23% have special educational needs, 28% are in receipt of pupil permium and 39% of our children did not start school with us in reception. Partnerships with parents and our community are very strong and there is a genuine sense of unity amongst everyone that is linked to St Thomas Cantilupe.
|What partnerships does our school have within the Diocese?
Partnerships for the new school with All Saints and St Peter’s churches continue to this day. In addition, since 2019 the school and Hereford Cathedral have formed a close bond beginning with the 700th Anniversary of the canonisation St Thomas Cantilupe.
|How do our values affect our choice of curriculum?
OfSTED found our curriculum, written by staff to meet the needs of our children, to be ‘very well planned’ noting that, ‘All staff have high expectations of pupils and expect them to work hard. Pupils respond well to the challenge. Pupils are keen to learn. Subjects are planned and taught well.’ The school’s vision led the development of the rigorous curriculum, its ambition, its inclusivity and its clear pedagogical underpinning. Together with robust governance from the Diocese of Hereford Multi Academy Trust and clear systems and processes our ambition for each child is realised.
Children at St Thomas behave very well, ‘Pupils play well together at social times and concentrate during lessons and are safe.’ Ofsted noted that, ‘Pupils know how to keep themselves safe. They know what to do if they have a problem, and they say that staff will always listen to their worries.’ This is as a result of our values being lived. Our values are also lived through prayer. Giving children spaces, places and time if they would like to pray as well as developing their roles in leading prayer at St Thomas Cantilupe. It guides us.
|How do our values develop relationships with other schools, partners and the community?
Collaboration with our DHMAT partner schools and those in our locality as well as local organisations such as NMITE and Hereford Hospital draw together our vision. A community that we serve and that flourishes living 'life in all its fullness' is the constant outcome that we seek.
As a result of the rich vision of the school and the work of its community each child’s light does shine. The warm, caring, determined ethos that infuses every part of the school, its building, its people and its prayers leads to a school which ensures its vision is lived, every day.