The STM 10 is our school definition of the character, values, social skills and habits of the expert St. Thomas More learner. We expect all pupils to understand, embrace and apply these characteristics so that they can grow into expert learners.
Pursues excellence in all areas: enjoys engaging in learning and is enthusiastic, passionate and curious about the subject.
- Aim for excellence in everything you do?
- Participate enthusiastically in your work?
- Respond curiously about what you are learning, ask question?
- Learn from your mistakes to help you improve?
There is an ethos of excellence that permeates every aspect of the culture and drives pupils to engage in learning and aspire to be successful both within and beyond life at St Thomas More School. We encourage pupils to be enthusiastic, passionate and curious about all of their subjects. Expert learners ask interesting questions and participate enthusiastically in discussions, as they have a thirst for knowledge and desire to deepen their understanding. Opportunities to extend learning are embraced by expert learners who are eager to work hard, learn from mistakes and take an active role in learning experiences. Ultimately, there is a culture where pupils embrace the responsibility to continuously improve.
Ensures behaviour is excellent, respects all members of the community and is compassionate towards others during the learning experience.
- Respect fellow students?
- Arrive promptly?
- Come fully equipped for the lesson?
- Show compassion in supporting and learning from others?
In order for expert learning to flourish it is vital that pupils have excellent interpersonal skills so that they can manage their behaviour effectively. At St Thomas More School there is a culture of mutual respect, which means pupils arrive to lessons promptly, speak politely and are fully equipped and ready for learning (books, homework, pen, pencil, calculator etc). We aim to shape pupils with lifelong social skills that prepare them for the challenges of working cooperatively with different people in a diverse world. This is a caring learning community where pupils respond to instructions quickly and effectively; they take an active role in discussion and ask interesting questions; and they demonstrate compassion when supporting and learning from others. Expert learners enjoy school and act as positive role models to all those around them.
Displays resilience and engagement when grappling with challenging learning activities to improve skills, knowledge and understanding (including literacy, communication & numeracy).
- Engage in lessons proactively?
- Display resilience and persistence?
- Have an open mind about the topic you’re studying?
- Think about, talk about and do things with the new information you’re given?
Experiencing challenge and grappling with demanding concepts is pivotal to excellent progress, as it sharpens skills and deepens understanding. Expert learners believe that intelligence can be grown; therefore hard work, struggle and constantly push the boundaries of what they think they can do is valued. Engaging in lessons, being proactive learners and seeking support or challenge immediately to maximise learning time are priorities for expert learners. They are resilient, persistent, determined to solve problems and find easy things boring. A culture of wondering and questioning allows them to thrive, as they are open-minded and have a healthy scepticism about what they see and what they are told. Thinking, talking and doing things with new information is something expert learners relish, as it broadens their academic horizons so they can aspire for more than examination success.
Demonstrates high levels of commitment to make excellent progress, is determined to struggle with difficult concepts and work hard to be successful.
- Have high expectations of what you can achieve?
- Work hard to exceed your goals?
- Devote time to closing gaps in your understanding and practising skills?
- Use literacy and numeracy effectively?
Having the determination to progress is the key to a brighter future. Expert learners demonstrate high levels of commitment in all areas of the curriculum; they have high expectations about what they can achieve and work hard to exceed these goals. We believe struggle is vital to develop; therefore pupils will devote time to search for meaning, close gaps in their learning and practise skills. An integral part of progression is having effective reading, writing, communication and numeracy skills. Therefore pupils will use numeracy and literacy mats to improve these skills, respond to literacy corrections appropriately and read widely. Expert learners know their current attainment grade and understand what they need to do to progress to the next level.
Recognises areas of strength and areas of development, understands how to improve learning and takes responsibility to act on feedback to make excellent progress.
- Place a high value on opportunities for assessment?
- Plan and prepare diligently?
- Proof-read and check work carefully?
- Take pride in the presentation of your work?
Assessment is critical for pupils to make excellent progress. We want to mould powerful learners with an innate appetite for learning and equip them with a toolkit of habits, as an education is more than successfully passing an examination. Therefore, expert learners value self, peer, teacher and examination assessments equally as a way of checking understanding and an opportunity to receive feedback that will help them continuously improve. They review previous feedback; they plan work carefully using assessment criteria; they proofread and correct work to check it makes sense; they take pride in the presentation of their work; and they manage their time effectively to meet deadlines. Pupils take responsibility to reflect on strengths and development areas, as they realise assessment aids their learning journey.
Adapts their learning; values mistakes and struggle as a vital part of the learning experience; is determined to explore alternative ways to improve skills, knowledge and understanding.
- Respond flexibly and determined to overcome barriers?
- Ask great questions?
- Investigate different solutions?
- Have the courage to take risks?
We want to shape explorers who are willing to capitalise on mistakes, change direction and adapt their learning. There is a strong belief that intelligence is expandable. Therefore, expert learners are flexible and determined to overcome barriers: they are willing to ask questions and think creatively to solve problems; seek out and listen to advice from others; investigate innovative and alternative ways of doing things and act on it. This means they have the courage to take risks and fine-tune their response, plan, work or performance.
Improves both verbal and written feedback promptly, is resilient in the face of failure and can confidently explain how it will improve learning.
- Respond to feedback thoughtfully?
- Make purposeful improvements to your work?
- Practice difficult things eagerly?
- Ask for help if needed?
At St Thomas More School we provide all pupils with verbal and written feedback that is accurate, specific and helpful. Expert learners engage with feedback to think about areas of success and areas for development without being defensive. Learning is a bumpy road and sometimes there will be plateaus, diversions and ‘failures’, but expert learners are eager to practise difficult things as it accelerates progress. Responding to feedback is a priority and they dedicate appropriate time and energy to make purposeful improvements to their work. They know how to improve their work and will quickly ask for help if necessary.
Extends learning outside of lesson, responds with enthusiasm and invests appropriate time and effort to improve skills, knowledge and understanding.
- Show enthusiasm for learning in and out of class?
- Record homework accurately?
- Use a range of resources to develop your understanding?
- Plan and prioritise homework?
Expert learners demonstrate enthusiasm to extend their learning outside the classroom, as developing independent study skills is the gateway to lifelong learning. They record homework accurately in their planner, check they understand the task before leaving the lesson and use a range of resources to stretch their knowledge, skills and understanding. Often they will read widely and research a topic extensively to ensure they are fully prepared for the learning experience. Equally, if they are struggling with a task they will seek help and lean on support strategies to ensure homework is of a high standard. Expert learners are organised and complete homework so that it can be handed in on time. They also manage their time efficiently so that enough time is devoted to subjects where they are underachieving, rather than devoting all of their time to favourite subjects.
Works hard to overcome any barriers to succeed and is humble, yet self-confident, about achievements.
- Take the lead in a task?
- Enjoy working together?
- Enjoy thinking creatively?
- Enjoy solving problems?
- Show humble confidence in your achievements?
Equipping pupils with the skills and habits to be successful in the modern world is important; we want pupils to be successful learners for life, not just examinations. Expert learners enjoy working together collaboratively, thinking creatively and solving problems. They can take a leading role when necessary and have a fearless desire to improve, often showing initiative to overcome barriers to success. Expert learners can wield these skills appropriately to drive positive outcomes and demonstrate humble confidence about their achievements. Having high expectations, being ambitious and setting goals are imperative to pupils being successful in their life beyond St Thomas More School.
Reflects with integrity on mistakes in the learning journey and makes changes in order to be an expert learner.
- Show awareness of your strengths and development areas?
- Think carefully about your work?
- Contribute thoughtfully?
- Reflect on your learning?
Expert learners are reflective learners; they have integrity and are aware of their strengths and areas they need to develop. It is clear that they take an active role in discussions, listen carefully, make thoughtful contributions and frequently ask questions to reflect on their learning. They frequently reflect on their learning strategies and will explore new ways of doing things so they can become even stronger and secure success. There is a strong belief that they continually improve and grow their capacity for learning.