Dear Parents and Friends
Welcome to St Thomas More Catholic School Website - now officially St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy.
St Thomas More is a wonderfully friendly, hardworking and successful school in the beautiful spa town of Buxton. There are just over 400 pupils on roll in this popular and successful 11 to 16 comprehensive school which serves a wide catchment area. Approximately 45% of our pupils are Catholic with many children travelling from all over the High Peak and from across the borders of Staffordshire and Cheshire to be part of our school community. Whether of the Christian faith, other faiths or no faith, our children are very proud of their school (see parent satisfaction tabs). We are partnered with Aquinas Sixth Form College in Stockport which means that our students are guaranteed a place at this oversubscribed sixth form college, as long as they apply by the required deadline and have suitable results to pursue a specific course. Having said that, students also go on to study in numerous establishments including apprenticeships. (see student destinations.)
Our academic record over the years has been excellent:
In our most recent examinations of summer 2019, out of the cohort of 77 students the headline figures show that 74% achieved 5 or more GCSE passes (grades A* to C and 9 to 4). 65% achieved grades 4 to 9 in both English and Maths with 71% achieving this threshold in Maths and 86% achieving it in English. 35% achieved at least 3 grade 7 or above (A/A* +grades) which, at this time of increased difficulty and changes in the exam system is a great accomplishment. The progress of this year's cohort indicate that it is the best in the local area and the best in the school's history.
Some particularly impressive performances came from Shannon Ardern, Max Cubitt, Finn Everest, Charlote Howard, Anna Martland, Leo Parker, Lauren Pooley and Sofia Turiano who all achieved top grades this year. Brilliant!
(see GCSE results tab for past results)
Examination results are extremely important but we also believe that learning outside the classroom is crucial in developing well-rounded citizens of the future. Being the smallest High School in Derbyshire has not stopped us: winning the Derbyshire Young Literature Challenge 2010, 2011 and again in 2013. We put on a performance of Bugsy Malone which was not only outstanding, but involved almost a quarter of the school. Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat was attended by many members of the public with no links with the school. One person, who brought her friends with her to two performances described it as better than the production at the Opera House. The interest in our performance of Grease was so great we created two cast lists and put on extra shows. Keeping up with tradition, our performance of The School of Rock was fantastic. The lead, Charlie Hodgkinson is now studying acting in Liverpool.
One of our most impressive achievements has been the outstanding performance of our basketball team. Derbyshire Champions (2011) and East Midlands Champions (2011). The team won through to the final four nationally, only to be beaten in the quarter finals by a school from Brighton, a sports academy and the eventual champions. They did however win the third place playoff against a school from Newcastle. Third place nationally for the smallest school in Derbyshire is a tremendous achievement and one we are very proud of.
There are many opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom: for example, science trips to Coombs Valley, history trips to Castleton and the people's museum, geography trips to the Albert Dock, numerous theatre trips and many more. There are also opportunities to travel abroad - for example music trips to Austria (2011), Barcelona (2013),Italy (2015)(2017)(2020); language trips to Belgium, France (2016) and Spain (2019); RE/geography trip to Rome (2012/2017/2020); ski trips to Austria(2012) and Italy(2015, 2017, 2019) and science trips to Iceland (2016, 2018 [and 2020]). There is also a trip taking place to China in March 2020. These are the times children remember most about their school days and we want our students to be happy in their learning.
I have heard some say that there is no point in applying to St Thomas More because they are not Catholic. To put the record straight: the school is open to pupils of all faiths and no faith who want to learn in the outstanding environment and from the excellent quality of education we believe we provide.
In September 2018, we chose to convert to becoming an Academy along with all primary and secondary Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Nottingham. We are now a member of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi-Academy Trust. Although for the most part, most members of the community will not notice much difference, it is hoped that this move will protect and support the future success of this small school
In May 2013 we were visited by Ofsted inspectors who judged the school to be good with outstanding behaviour (see Ofsted tab). We were visited again by Ofsted in March 2017 to check that we were still doing well and they were very happy that the judgements of 2013 still hold and we are still a good school (Ofsted tab).
We are very proud of our school. We believe that it is a high performing, caring and happy place where youngsters can grow, learn and laugh. When you look through our website, I hope you agree.