In the Pre-Primary Phase our pupils are taught vital foundational skills through free and structured play, as well as through a formal School Readiness programme. Learning is achieved through the emphasis on group work and self discovery within a guided programme. The solid foundations established in the Pre Primary create a wonderful springboard to enhance further learning in our Junior Primary Phase. Children are taught to develop a sound work ethic through stimulating their desire for knowledge and understanding. In the Senior Primary School we build on the academic platform set in our Junior Primary. Pupils’ self-confidence, self-esteem and competence are enhanced, and ease of transition into the High School is facilitated by our well-balanced curriculum and nurturing, professional staff. Throughout the first three phases of education, up to and including Grade 9, the pupils are exposed to a wide area of subjects so that pupils can discover where their interests and abilities lie. From Grade 10 to Matric, each subject is studied in greater depth, so it is necessary that a certain amount of specialisation take place. The number of subjects taken is reduced to seven, which means that some choices must be made. Grade 10 pupils in 2018 will follow the National Curriculum, continuing in Grades 11 and 12, and culminating in a National Senior Certificate (NSC) at the end of Grade 12. At Thomas More College, pupils will write the matric examinations that are set by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB). A major feature of the curriculum is that there is only one grade of study for all. Higher Grade and Standard Grade have been abolished. Another feature is that all pupils have to do Core Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, and all do Life Orientation as a formal subject. The NSC promotes the skills of reading, writing and mathematical literacy. It encourages critical thinking and the bringing together of skills, knowledge, attitudes and values in the learning and teaching process. It also aims at developing people who are ready to participate fully and meaningfully in society.
Our Christian values are embedded in our ethos and permeate all that we do. The school prides itself on developing Christian love and self-esteem in children and a moral code as espoused in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that our education remains centered in Christian values which forms the base of judgement and decision making in an ever changing world. Each phase has a Christian leader who works with the teachers as well as outside youth pastors from the wider community to make Christianity pertinent and relevant for the developmental stage of each pupil. This team meet regularly and on a rotational basis write a weekly article for the Horse’s Mouth. They also plan whole school Christian activities such as the Christian Arts Festival which runs for a week, thanksgiving assembly, carols service and weekly assemblies across the phases. Pupils are also encouraged to join the phase specific Christian groups namely: STIC (High School), JAM (Senior Primary) and Pathfinders (Foundation Phase). Once a month Mass is organised for a Catholic pupils whom meet collectively. We have a diverse group of Mums who Pray from all phases of the school who meet weekly on a Thursday from 7.30am until 8.30am in the Indaba Room (Great House). All welcome – for more info, please contact Laura O’Loughlin on 079 331 7672.
We have a very strong infrastructure to deal with just about any technology that can be dreamed up for educational purposes. We also are able to provide a lot of services that surpass the capabilities of most schools. Some of what we currently use and provide are listed below:
The libraries also offer a wide range of current books which are suitable for leisure reading as well as curriculum-based tasks. Teaching, as well as the library management, is handled by qualified staff with the help of a state-of-the-art library management system. The libraries are also used extensively by teachers for research lessons. In addition, as part of the English curriculum, each English class is booked into a library for one lesson per cycle where they are able to read quietly and receive assistance in choosing reading material of suitable literary value. Primary School – The Savory Media Centre The vibrant Savory Media Centre has an up-to-date collection of the latest and best in children’s literature and an extensive range of information sources catering for all ages from Grade 1 through to Grade 7. E-books are also available. A computer lab forms part of The Savory Media Centre and is fully networked. High School – Dalberg Library The Dalberg Library is fully equipped with a large collection of resources which cater for research activities. There are 28 computers which are all fully networked and connected to the internet.
The A.E.U. (Accelerated Education Unit) serves as a learning support or counselling support for any Thomas More pupil, parent or staff members. This includes aided-learning in the form of Remedial lessons, speech and occupational therapy, language enrichment, study skills, homework supervision, and psychological support to any of the members of Thomas More College. We practice inclusive education while catering to each child’s unique and individual needs. To accommodate this we have specially dedicated rooms and offices for therapists and lessons to happen on the premises. The AEU acquires the services of the best available professionals to serve the needs of our pupils. Currently the AEU offers the following specialists:
In addition we offer annual visits from the following:
Concessions are also available in order to enable a learner with intrinsic learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities to show their knowledge and ability in their final Senior Certificate examination. It is the school’s responsibility to recommend and provide motivation for the candidates for concessions/accommodations. The eligible candidates must be in Grade 10 or 11. For more information, please contact Claudia Vosters on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Thomas More College campus was declared a conservancy in September 2001. This was initiated after a staff member and some enthusiastic students started tackling the daunting process of clearing the rampant alien growth. The school grounds cover an area of 20 hectares and apart from the buildings and fields, are fortunate to have the source of the Palmiet River, a running stream, forest areas, grasslands, rock faces and several species of small animals such as dassies and genets. There is a wonderful selection of birds, not to mention trees and other fauna. Trails, paths and a few picnic areas have been developed and these are regularly maintained by the service providers of the school. An information lapa can be found near the entrance of the conservancy. Thomas More College educators have unlimited access to the area and so do the pupils. Biology and Geography pupils do research and little ones can walk and just observe something as exciting as seeing a spring for the first time. Arbour days are also observed. Thomas More College has a Board-approved environmental policy and before any development takes place an Environmental Impact Assessment has to be done. In our school gardens we strive to have a 30%/70% exotic/indigenous ratio for planting. The gardens also strive to be environmentally friendly. We have planted at least 250-300 indigenous trees in the grounds in the last 10 years. We were re-awarded our international Platinum Flag Status from WESSA for our 2017 Eco-school submission at a WESSA prize-giving. We continue to monitor (High School & Senior Primary alternating), on a monthly basis, the amount of eggs being laid by the Kloof Frog in the Crowned Eagle Conservancy in Gillitts. (This frog, unique to the Kloof area, is on the endangered species list.) The whole school is also involved in recycling. We are now working on our 10th year portfolio.
Outreach is the Thomas More College way of giving back to the local underprivileged community. Outreach is a whole-school project, with each phase or grade having an Outreach assignment. The tasks vary from year-long activities, (e.g. SMILE in Gr 11), to annual projects, (e.g. winter woollies/blankets/love boxes). Outreach not only ensures that the Thomas More College community assists the less fortunate, but also brings our pupils into contact with the reality of life for the majority of people, thereby teaching them to be grateful and gaining valuable life skills. All monies spent for Outreach are fund raised, primarily through the Sponsored Walk held in Term 1. There is an Outreach Committee that meets termly in order to discuss and plan the various phase commitments. Staff representing each phase of the school, a member of the Board of Trustees, as well as the pupil body are all represented on the Committee. Thomas More College firmly believes that before one can receive, one has to give, and this is part of our ethos.
We have a well-developed Student Portal that we are always adding functionality to, to assist and support students in their learning. This is mainly used by the High School, as the focus starts to shift towards the students becoming more independent and responsible, in preparation for real life. This portal is full of information for the student, and is a landing place for finding links and information that they will find useful. There is a section here called LMS, that allows subjects to post notes, activities and tasks for their students to be able to access from anywhere that they have an internet connection. We have had a number of parents wanting to see what is in this section, so we have now made a limited “view” of this inside the Parent Portal too. Some of the features available in the Student Portal are shown on the right. The students are shown how to access the portal during school time, and use the same details to log in as they are given to log in to the school computers. The quick link below will take you straight to the Student Portal login page. The address can also be saved in their device’s browser for quick access:
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