At St Thomas’ we believe that a high quality education within a Christian context is the best start a child can have in their school life. We welcome children from all faiths and backgrounds and work in partnership with parents and the Church to build a sense of belonging to our community.
Our school vision is rooted in biblical teaching.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
St Thomas’ vision
Belonging to St Thomas’ means we all work together to create a community where the riches of the Christian life overflow into school life, so that everyone feels valued, fulfilled and loved.
Learning together, playing together, praying together
Schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.
We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it means to live a good life, within a framework of our Christian Values. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important and draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all.
In our school, our Christian values are at the foundation of the education we provide for pupils. Working in harmony alongside these, we incorporate democratic principles, recognise the importance of the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.
Democracy is an extremely important value at St Thomas’ and we encourage pupils to speak clearly, loudly and in Standard English. Pupils always have the opportunity to have their voices heard, both in class and during our weekly circle group discussions. This exemplifies how a British value such as democracy is taught alongside a school value such as communication.
The Rule of Law
We develop students’ understanding for the importance of the rule of law via the rules that govern the class, our school and the country. This is consistently reinforced throughout every day at St Thomas’. To further our respect for rules, each class will create their own ‘class rules’ at the beginning of the year. We also have a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all pupils, staff and parents and we regularly organise visits from the police service and fire service to reinforce the message of right and wrong. In addition, we highlight the rules of the Church and God through the RE curriculum and in collective worship. Through our broad and balanced curriculum, pupils are taught about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created uniquely in England, inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world.
At St Thomas’, we place a strong importance on individual liberty and pupils are encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely.
From as early as Nursery, we teach pupils to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a unique contribution to the school community and beyond. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
St Thomas’ promotes mutual respect and tolerance and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as through extra-curricular activities. In line with our commitment to democracy, students are always encouraged to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where students can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other.
St Thomas’ has taken a very strong stance on social inclusion and anti-bullying through an explicit focus on strategies to enable respect for difference.