If they are to make a positive contribution to society, today’s children will need to be equipped to reflect, adapt and negotiate greater complexity in their adult lives than any preceding generation. Through dynamic and captivating teaching and learning we encourage self-analysis and instil in our pupils a clear understanding of how they learn.
Our curriculum is underpinned by a strong set of values. With kindness at the core, these include courtesy, honesty, respect, humility and being givers not takers, as well as confidence, perseverance, independence and leadership. Our values inspire learners to develop core character traits, such as resilience, along with key capabilities, including broad questioning and deep thinking. We encourage the belief that identifying and learning from mistakes is crucial in developing these attributes.
Our learners develop a breadth of scholastic and societal skills. Scholastic skills include, for example, the ability to identify, describe, explain, summarise and apply. Societal skills are centred on the vital '4Cs': creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
At a time of an unprecedented pace of change in economic, technological and societal trends, our curriculum content is relevant, significant, contemporary and engaging. Instead of simply imparting knowledge, our teachers encourage manipulation and synthesis of it, so that acquired knowledge can be applied by our learners to new situations.
Digital resources enable us to provide purposeful and engaging ‘blended learning’ opportunities for our pupils. We use a wide range of apps and websites to deepen our pupils’ understanding and to develop their competencies, so that they can navigate complex media and environments that are rich in technology. Our digital strategy ensures that all pupils have access to a mobile device to create, share and invent within and beyond their classroom environment. Pupils from Year 3 onwards are provided with one-to-one devices to enhance, rather than replace, traditional resources.
Learning through play allows our pupils to question, be resilient, to make links and to reflect on everything that they do as active learners. Children have a high degree of autonomy over their learning, whilst being supported and challenged. They can make choices, be creative, solve problems, form good relationships with their peers and teachers and develop their own personalities.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Communication & Language
Expressive Arts & Design
Understanding the World
Literacy skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are fundamental to the educational, social and personal progress of our pupils and are taught explicitly and systematically. Learning is pupil-centred, thought-provoking and purposeful.
We teach reading and spelling through a systematic approach using synthetic phonics, followed by grammar and punctuation, to encourage fluent, accurate and willing writers. We foster a love of reading and storytelling, whilst developing a lifelong appreciation of the power and beauty of language.
Our teaching of Mathematics builds a secure foundation of understanding, an ability to apply and reason mathematically and a sense of excitement and curiosity about the subject, which develops our pupils' ability to tackle complex problems. Every opportunity is taken to demonstrate cross-curricular and real world links with other subjects. Our aim is to ensure that children become confident, creative users and communicators of Mathematics.
Children naturally have many questions and great excitement, both about the world they live in and beyond it. We believe that investigations are the driving force behind the teaching and learning of Science. Pupils develop skills of hypothesising, planning, designing, observing, recording, classifying, grouping and drawing conclusions from evidence. In addition, they learn scientific enquiry skills to help pose and answer open-ended questions.
We develop our pupils’ understanding of the world by building historical, geographical, religious and philosophical knowledge and skills. These areas of learning are typically interlinked and form the basis of much of our Enquiry Mindset curriculum.
Geography - pupils learn to explore landscapes, people, places and the environment as well as the interaction between them, in order to gain understanding from a local to a global scale.
History - learning focuses on social, political, economic and cultural aspects so that our pupils understand how the past has shaped the present and so that they grow as informed, global citizens.
Religious Education & Philosophy - pupils explore the beliefs and practices of the world’s religions and philosophies and learn to link these with their own identity, experiences and reactions. In addition, thought-provoking discussions address philosophical, moral and spiritual questions.
Art, Design and Computing provide rich opportunities for creativity and invention. In addition, teachers help pupils to develop strong connections between these and other subjects, especially Science and Mathematics.
Art and Design – pupils investigate a broad range of materials, techniques and artists as well as the use of technology. Design focuses on making things and on solving problems in the process. Pupils learn to take risks whilst becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising.
Computing – pupils learn how to interact with technology and how to manipulate the unfamiliar. Our curriculum includes computer science, including programming and coding, and using technological hardware such as 3D printers and drones. Pupils of all ages are taught strategies for keeping safe when using technology in and out of school.
Inherently beneficial, languages also play a significant role in teaching children to understand the cultures of countries other than their own. In addition to teaching language skills, we prepare children for a world of increasing globalisation by equipping them with an understanding of global compassion, empathy and interest. Learning languages also helps pupils to develop their skills of creative problem solving and lateral thinking.
In the Lower School, pupils have Language and Culture lessons, in which they encounter a range of different languages. Older pupils receive specific language lessons focusing on French and/or Spanish as well as Classics.
The performing arts are deeply rooted in our ethos.
Drama offers every child the opportunity to develop their communicative, creative and collaborative skills through the medium of play, and to step boldly into a vast array of dramatic worlds. Teaching is designed to nurture our pupils' physical and imaginative lives, enrich their natural capacity for empathy, develop practical theatre skills and encourage their ability to work generously with others.
Dance, including ballet, is introduced using choreographed movement and physical exercise, with classes to enhance children’s natural creativity and develop their self-confidence. There is a strong emphasis on creativity and imagination. Our dance lessons increase pupils’ physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression and musicality.
Music enriches the life of our pupils and our schools in class lessons and beyond. Every child experiences the creative process of music making and is encouraged in their aesthetic and emotional response to music. Lessons include improvisation, composition, performance, listening and movement. Pupils show a great commitment to music from an early age and relish the wealth of opportunities to perform to parents, teachers and friends. Children are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular musical activity in order to learn how to work together and gain confidence in their own abilities.
During their time at the school, pupils explore a broad repertoire of performance forms and the children’s experiences are further enriched by cross-curricular collaborations.
The PE curriculum is very generously provisioned. We have a fully inclusive approach through which all pupils progress at their optimum pace and fulfill their potential with confidence and enthusiasm.
All year groups are taught in all disciplines by specialist PE staff. They learn age-appropriate sports including football, rugby, cricket, netball, hockey, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, team games, cross-country, tennis and lacrosse, along with a full programme of fixtures, competitions and tournaments. We have a healthy series of interschool competitions, which the children relish. We also have a strong record in matches against local schools and regularly attend tournaments and festivals held by other schools in and around London and nationally.
Whatever their skill level or ability, our aim is for all pupils to enjoy being involved in sport and to strive to be the best that they can be.
Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education (PSHCE) is the overarching term for our schools’ local approaches to teaching and developing a culture of wellbeing so that we live both positively and healthily at school and beyond.
We equip our pupils with the societal skills they need to thrive as individuals, family members and global citizens, whilst preparing them to navigate an increasingly complex, competitive and connected world.
We believe that inspiring every child will establish a culture of excellence at every level, supporting and enriching our pupils by developing a positive approach to wellbeing through our schools' individualised programmes: Inspiring Living, Learning for Life, Wellbeing and PSHCE. We aim to support wellbeing, build character and teach life skills, preparing our pupils for tomorrow's world.
Outdoor education offers children unique opportunities and experiences which cannot be taught within the constraints of their daily routines and surroundings. Pupils participate in regular, frequent, challenging, enjoyable and safe opportunities to learn outdoors, with a positive impact on every individual who takes part, making Thomas’s a happier, stronger community.
Bushcraft, climbing, sailing, watersports, navigation and First Aid training are taught as pupils strengthen their understanding and respect for the outdoors. Younger pupils learn an appreciation of nature and to work collaboratively or independently, solving demanding problems which enhance their communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Older pupils face realistic challenges and scenarios where the emphasis is on collective problem solving, leadership and teamwork.Thomas's Daheim