School Improvement Plans 2023-24

We want our School to the very best that it can be for every child and family and staff member.

Our Mission Statement says it all…

God’s love is at the heart of our Catholic School family.

We show this in our respect, kindness and love for others and by treating other people as we wish to be treated ourselves.

We will encourage everyone to be the best that we can be.

Our aims are…

To guide our children to grow in the love of God and build relationships that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the school and society.

To develop an exciting, challenging and creative curriculum that produces confident and successful learners who are the best that they can be.

To develop high quality learning that enables every child to flourish, to discover their talents and be lifelong learners.

To establish a teaching and learning environment that encourages everyone to enjoy, to achieve, to be inclusive, to be healthy, and to stay safe.

To nurture a strong partnership between home and school.

To have respect and understanding for our school, our community and our world, helping our children to become responsible citizens and good role models.

and our Shared Vision is that:

Every child at St Thomas of Canterbury is special and will achieve their full potential academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally through the provision of a loving community and rich and varied learning opportunities and the highest quality teaching and learning.

Every staff member at St Thomas of Canterbury will feel valued and enabled to provide the opportunities that we want for our children and to do so as part of a loving community which has the highest expectations of and for all.

Every Governor at St Thomas of Canterbury will feel valued and enabled to act as a critical friend to the School and to be accountable for the School’s strategy.  They will play a visible role supporting all children, their parents and staff at School and in the wider community, to provide the best environment possible for learning and spiritual growth.

We are always looking to improve and our current Improvement priorities for 2023-24 are:



  • To focus on learning and teaching

To enable each and every child to become successful learners who enjoy learning, who make good progress and who achieve. Ensuring that gaps in learning are met through rediscover and going deeper approach.

  • To focus on the development of the whole child

To enable the children to become confident individuals who lead healthy and fulfilling lives: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually. Ensuring that mental health impact of school lockdown and pandemic is recognised and met in a supportive and loving school environment.

  •  To focus on our Catholic ethos

To put into practice what it means to be Catholic: a community of faith rooted and centred on the person of Christ, where all live out the values of the Gospel. Where every child is everyone’s child.

  •  To focus on pupil safety

To ensure that St Thomas of Canterbury provides the safest possible environment for children to thrive and excel.

  •  To focus on School Leadership

To embed a new leadership structure in order to ensure that the School Leadership is effective at all levels in School Improvement and meeting the needs of every child and staff member and in providing School to School support.

  •  To focus on systems and structures

To keep under review current systems and structures and plan for any necessary improvements.

  •  To focus on the best use and development of the school building, grounds and resources

To enable the best possible provision for the education of our children in a safe and stimulating environment.



The context of our Improvement Plan is to constantly move the School forward towards being an Outstanding school in every way, to ensure we are providing the best possible educational provision for the children in our care.  The most recent Ofsted Inspection of the School in 2018 confirmed that the school is Good and improving all the time.  Our aim is to be outstanding.

In order to achieve this aim the School improvement priorities of the School for 2023-24 are:

Improvement Priority 1 – Raising the bar and Closing the Gap: Our Catholic Life, Culture and Relationships

  • Pupil Development, Behaviour and Attitudes
  • S=P+A+C+E for ME, Space for Life (the Golden Threads) and S=P+A+C+E for EVERYONE
    • Embed the Respect Focus and continue to guide children through explicit teaching and the support of S=P+A+C+E
    • Develop school mission statement of being the best that we can be for all staff, parents and children
    • To achieve the Oscar Romero Award: Catholic Social teaching

Improvement Priority 2 – Raising the bar: Our Curriculum and Assessment

  • Quality of Education
  • S=P+A+C+E for Learning
    • Reading –
      • Introduction of Master Readers from years 2 to 6: explicit, whole class daily teaching of reading and comprehension skills
    • Writing –
      • Refine rigorous tracking of pupil progress in writing across the school with identification of children failing to read the expected standard and steps then put in place to address any gaps
      • Every developmental mark to identify the children’s next step as a writer and record on target sheet in child’s writing book
      • A randomly selected child from each class to share their writing book with a member of SLT each week: does the child know what their next step is in writing?
      • Teacher led writing interventions in years 5 and 6
      • Children to be taught to “read aloud” their writing compositions to hear their editing mistakes and learn to correct with independence
      • Writing to continue to be celebrated through weekly Writing Award to a child in each class
    • Assessment: Embed use of NFER assessments to inform teacher judgements and identify future learning
    • Assessment: use of Arbor for tracking pupil progress

Improvement Priority 3 – Raising the bar and Closing the Gap: Our Teaching, Learning and Professional Development

  • Quality of Education
  • S=P+A+C+E for Learning and S=P+A+C+E for EVERYONE
    • Weekly CPD following learning walk structures for continuous curriculum development
    • Adaptive teaching strategies being consistently used across the school to meet needs of all pupil groups
    • Weekly CPD to deliver adaptive teaching strategies and monitored through learning walks and pupil progress meetings

Continuing this year:

  • S=P+A+C+E for EVERYONE across the curriculum and whole school themes
  • Continue to embed Mastery approach across all areas of the curriculum
  • Developing teaching of phonics- introduction of Little Wandle into year 2
  • Embedding Forest School teaching
  • This will also be time for S=P+A+C+E to talk for all classes this year
  • Respect focus with workshops held daily to help children when needed

Underpinning each area for improvement is an unrelenting focus on improving the quality of learning and teaching across the school.

In every action and decision the School, the Leadership and whole community works towards the Vision for our School, living our Mission Statement and working to meet our aims.

If you have thoughts on how our School can improve (in any area) then please do share them with Mrs Carter!