We hope to hold an Open Evening late September 2020
Below is some feedback from parents/visitors to previous Open Evenings
Feedback from visiting parents on open evening 2015
"Great atmosphere", "children look happy and confident", "Friendly, happy, settled & focused", "We love it, so friendly and warm", "Friendly, supportive, clean. Well looked after. Really liked Mr Hickey's attitude", "Excellent, very welcoming mature students who care. Impressed with academic achievements","Friendly, modernised, good sense of community", Fantastic, lovely warm atmosphere. Children are embraced", "Lovely pupils, friendly staff", "Lovely to see students' talk in hall. Ex students were great!",
"Has visiting St Thomas More changed your opinion of the school?"
"Even better", "School was highly recommended and now I know why!", "It has shown me that a small school can offer as much as a large school", "Reputation preceded it and it didn't disappoint", "Less formal than I thought", "Further impressed", "No I have always loved it", "It reaffirms our opinion. STM is exceptional!"
Speech given by The Head Girl - Alice - 30th September 2015:
Good evening and welcome to St Thomas More Catholic School. My name is Alice Featherstone and I am proud to be Head Girl.
Despite the fact that our school is the smallest high school in Derbyshire, it makes a huge impact on every single person that passes through its doors and into the local community.
Although I am not renowned for being the world's best speller, I am aware of the fact that there is no 'i' in the word 'team', or fact in the word 'school'. This shows that we do not work alone, but rather together, with one another to achieve our goals. Part of the respect we show towards each other is acknowledging the fact that we are all entitled to have our own religious beliefs; whether that be Catholic, Christian, other faiths or no faith ~ we all work together as a team. Although we are given plenty of opportunities to reflect and develop our own ideas in Masses and RE lessons, religion is never forced on us; instead we are encouraged to open our eyes to the world around us. We work collectively as a school unit with the church, other schools and many charities, to make donations and raise awareness to organisations that mean a lot to us.
I first started visiting the school from the age of 6, to watch one of my older brothers perform in various concerts. I remember watching Bugsy Malone and was blown away by the costumes, sets and the way the students worked so well together to make the performance so believable. I hoped that one day I would be part of a musical put on by the school, and I think that playing the part of Frenchy last year in Grease fulfilled that!
Whether in year 7 or in year 11, every pupil will look out for you; give you a smile if you are looking down and open a door for you. I hope that this evening, you get an idea of the team work that operates here at St Thomas More. Thank you.
Speech given by The Head Boy - Josh - 30th September 2015:
Good evening. I am Josh Brown and I'm the head boy here at St Thomas More Catholic School.
I have been asked to speak to you on how I feel about this school and my experiences from my time here.
A school is about education, whether we like it or not, but that does not simply have to mean the kind of education that you get from sitting behind a desk while someone writes on the board in front of you. While this is obviously sometimes necessary, I know that I personally have learnt a great deal from my life experiences, more than a textbook could have taught me.
The time for choosing which Secondary School to go to is a very important and maybe even stressful time for you. I have always thrived with pressure and going to new places but I have to admit that I was concerned for what future awaited me at secondary school. Having come from St Mary's in New Mills, I was part of a small group that year that chose to make the transition to St Thomas More. This was the perfect opportunity for making new friends. I was of course quite nervous when I started, however I felt that the friendly environment of this school was perfect for meeting new people. I don't just mean that the teachers were friendly, which they are, but that the actual atmosphere just encouraged friendship. I put this down to the Christian values which are held at the heart here.
Anyway, I remember one of the first people that I saw when I started was someone else from a far off primary school and who had come on his own. I introduced myself and since then we have always been friends. The atmosphere of this school is perfect for learning both through the curriculum and through life experineces (like commuting on the train for example). It has set me up perfectly for exactly what I want to do in the future.
Things don't always go to plan and I recall the time that I badly broke my leg in year nine and was on crutches for over a year. But there were so many people offering to carry my bag and things. I had so much encouragement and was even able to do DofE that year. What I am trying to say is that no matter what situation you are in, St Thomas More is a great place to learn and develop as a person.
Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy your evening.
Speech given by Deputy Head Girl - Temeca - 30th September 2015:
Good evening. My name is Temeca Forster and I am this year's deputy head girl. I am also the house captain for Columba and prefect in the school. Now, all of that probably means nothing to you all, however it shows how much can be achieved in this school.
For example, when I started here in 2011, my confidence was low and not many people knew much about me. But by my first Christmas here at the school, my mum forced me and my sister to enter the talent show and we sang so badly we won first prize. I guess this was when my confidence started to blossom. From then on I started volunteering for all kinds of opporutnities that the school offered such as netball, cheerleading and choir.
I have been on a music tour to Barcelona, successfully completed my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, been involved in 2 musicals and competed in 4 different sports days. When people think of the word 'school', they often compare it to strict education and copying from a text book all day, however, that is not the case here. At St Thomas More, there's an opportunity round every corner. If someone told me 5 years ago that I would be standing here making this speech, there is no way I would have believed it. I have developed so much as a person and it is all because of this school and the community within it.
Thank you for listening, enjoy your evening.
Speech given by Deputy Head Boy - Matthew - 30th September 2015:
Hello, my name is Matthew Etchells and I am deputy head boy at St Thomas More Catholic School.
I'm sure many of you are feeling scared or a bit worried about going to secondary school. I hope that after tonight you will experience our great community here at St Thomas More and feel less worried about it.
What strikes me most about our school is that everyone is always friendly and smiling which cheers you up even if you feel a bit down. Everyone helps you to do your best and helps you to pursue excellence in all aspects of school. Whether you're Catholic or not, this is a Catholic school and there are opportunities for you to strengthen your faith if that interests you.
Everyone here has expectations of the highest possible standards, resulting in the highst possible success and personal achievement. All the staff and fellow pupils will help you on your journey and make sure you enjoy yourself. If you show love to your fellow pupils, then they will share the love and joy with you too. This is another great part of our community.
When I started school I was interested in the sports hall and the PE department of the school. There are lots of opporunities for sports here from joining football and basketball teams to playing in netball and rounders competitions. There is a wide variety and even though we are a small school, we still compete and do very well in all competitions. I am now a sports leader which involves hosting sporting events for primary school children, so some of you may recognise me already, and I enjoy doing this very much.
Pope Francis said 'Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.' Our small community here means you can let your talents flourish and bond well with all students at school. This certainly helped me in year 7 to make new friends as I hope it will for you too.