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Our Pupils

The pupils of St Thomas’s Centre all have additional social, emotional, or mental health learning needs. Some of the pupils also have additional SEND needs. Our pupils are aged 5-16 and are taught in different provisions based on need.

Many of our pupils have experienced adverse childhood experiences and because of this, may have been absent from school for significant periods. As a result, our pupils can have lower levels of prior attainment, difficulties reading and writing, and gaps in their knowledge and understanding.

Our key principles

Ambition: our pupils are likely to have experienced difficulty in mainstream schools and in their lives outside school. We strive to be ambitious for them at a point in their lives when they may have lost the ambition for themselves. Our expectations of what they can and should achieve are high.

Belonging: mainstream education does not suit all pupils for a variety of reasons. For some, once the crisis is past, or the need addressed, a short time with us will be all they need. Some will stay with us. We strive to create a community to which they can belong and in which they experience positive regard.

Success: our pupils can and must be successful and this success may come in small steps. We strive to build a path to success for every child; helping them find pleasure in achievement as a pathway to future employment or further education.

School Curriculum Vision

Our vision is to provide an excellent education for all our pupils, giving them opportunities to achieve, fostering a desire to learn and preparing them for success in life. We are committed to the principle that all pupils, regardless of individual circumstances or background, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Through our ambitious curriculum, we teach our pupils the life skills necessary to help them belong and contribute positively to society as economically self-sufficient and active citizens.

Curriculum Intent

At St Thomas’s we want all of our pupils to experience great learning. We therefore offer a curriculum which maximises their cognitive development, celebrates individual talents and develops the whole person. This includes our common core academic subjects, based on The National Curriculum, and personalised vocational pathways, which are suited to pupils’ individual needs. This ensures their potential can be realised and they can achieve success.

Building on our core values of Ambition, Belonging and Success we have created a welcoming school for all students where highly skilled teachers deliver an ambitious curriculum in a safe and calm environment.

Curriculum leaders have carefully considered the sequencing of component knowledge and the composite understanding this creates. There are ambitious end points that have been identified in each subject. Our curriculum is equally ambitious for all pupils including those who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

If you are a parent or professional interested in making a referral please come to visit where I am sure you will be given the warmest of welcomes.

Curriculum Structure

Our curriculum is structured to build upon prior knowledge and provide challenge. The delivery of the curriculum ensures pupils learn more and remember more, with opportunities to make links between topics and subjects and extend knowledge wherever possible.

Alongside the academic curriculum, students also engage with a wider curriculum to support their spiritual, moral and cultural development. This includes: an immersive PHSE and RSE programme and enrichment activities.

For any professionals considering a referral, I encourage you to contact us or request a visit to see what we have to offer.


St Thomas’s is committed to meeting the requirements of the primary National Curriculum.

Pupils study English, Maths, Science, ICT, PE, Geography, History and Religious Education, alongside Phonics and Reading.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9):

Pupils study the National Curriculum in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, ICT, Art, PE, Food and Nutrition and Personal Development.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 – 11):

All pupils study English Language, Maths, Science and Personal Development. Some also study English Literature. Pupils are given the opportunity to select 4 option subjects that currently include:

  • Home Cooking Skills – Vocational
  • Travel and Tourism – Vocational
  • Art, Craft and Design – GCSE
  • Information Technology - IGCSE
  • Sport - Vocational
  • History – GCSE
  • Princes Trust - Vocational
  • Construction - Vocational

Curriculum progression

The core of learning is progression. We assess pupils progress against the National Curriculum and GCSE Levels. Our judgements are benchmarked using progression lines which highlight the key skills that pupils should be able to demonstrate at each stage of learning. By enabling pupils to develop the necessary skills, we empower them to access the knowledge that they need at each stage of their learning and beyond.