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St Thomas Primary School



The purpose of this booklet is to provide you with information about our school, our aims, our methods and our organisation so that home, school and community can work together to foster the happiness and all-round development of each child progressing through school.

The information contained in this booklet is accurate as of December 1999, but changes could occur during the school session and we will inform you of any changes when they arise.

Mr. Gerard Farrell

Head Teacher

St. Thomas R. C. Primary School,

Chapel Street,



Telephone: 01542 882256

Fax: 01542 886841

e-mail: admin.stthomasp@moray-edunet.gov.uk

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Welcome to St. Thomas’ which is currently a two-teacher primary school with 44 pupils ranging from 5 — 11 years old. In addition, the school has a recently opened, 20 place nursery unit. It is built on the site of the original school building beside St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church. Although we are a Catholic school, we have and welcome children from other denominations and none.

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The classes are organised each year to take account of the numbers of children within each group and stage. Normally this means either Pr.l-4 & Pr.5-7 or Pr.l-3 & Pr.4-7. It looks increasingly likely that due to our rising roll, next year there will be 3 classes Pr. 1-2, Pr. 3-5 & Pr. 6-7. We like the positive benefits that a small school brings particularly the family atmosphere, the responsibility that the older children have for the younger ones and the shared working that is possible in mixed classes.



Head Teacher Mr. Gerard Farrell
Class Teacher Mrs. Sheila Main
H.T. Relief Ms. Cathy Francis
Support for Learning Mrs. Anne Stewart
Nursery Teacher Mrs. Veronica Nicol
Nursery Nurse Miss Judith Toms
Visiting Specialists
P.E. Mrs. Sheena Edwards
Music Mrs. Anne Corbet
Art Mrs. Louise Matthew
Children’s Supervisor Mrs. Susan Bell
Auxiliary (S.E.N.) Mrs. Carole Moir
Classroom Assistantl Mrs. Elizabeth Parker
Auxiliary/Secretary Mrs. Sheena Mackie
Catering Supervisorr Mrs. Doreen Strathdee
Catering Assistant Mrs. Frances Clark
Janitor Mr. Bert Watt
Cleaner Mrs. June Hauley
Cleaner Mrs. Erica Birse
 School Chaplain Monsignor Copland

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These are the aims we have set for St. Thomas School.


Christian values permeate the ethos of the school. We aim to provide a happy, well-disciplined atmosphere

within the school.

We will achieve this by:

> promotion of Gospel values

> providing a secure and safe environment

> encouraging respect for all.

We aim to provide positive learning experiences for all our children.

We will achieve this by:

> offering a differentiated curriculum in line with 5-14 National Guidelines for Scottish schools

> providing challenging activities which appeal to and inspire the child

> equipping them with skills which are lifelong.

We aim to work in partnership with parents.

We will achieve this by:

> establishing good communication

> fostering an open and welcoming atmosphere

> supporting the Parents’ Association and S chool Board

> using their expertise to help with the various activities.

We aim to foster links with the wider community.

We will achieve this by:

> seeking closer co-operation between school, home, church and community.

> involving the church community at school Masses

> using the expertise available within the community to deliver talks etc.

> providing an open door to all members of our community including groups such as Sunshine, Teddy Tots and Parent and Toddlers.

We aim to develop a caring, awareness of the environment.

We will achieve this by:

> encouraging respect for one another, theft belongings and school property

> encouraging respect for living things in and around the school

> involvement in local community initiatives.

We aim to be efficient and professional.

We will achieve this by:

> careful planning and structuring of learning activities

> regular assessment and recording of children’s attainment leading to an appropriate pace and progression

> promptly responding to parental enquiries and concerns.

We aim to achieve excellence in all areas of school life.

We will achieve this by:

> having high expectations of all our children

> encouraging our children have high self-esteem

> encouraging our children to do the best they can

> acknowledging our successes and encouraging the children to be confident in their abilities.





The main areas of the primary curriculum are English Language, Mathematics, Environmental Studies,

Expressive Arts and Religious and Moral Education. These each have National Guidelines and are part of the


5-14 programme current within Scottish education.


Reading, writing, speaking and listening are of fundamental importance to children’s learning. We give high priority to these and to equipping children with a working knowledge of the structure of the language and the ability to use it accurately. Through the planned use of resources and texts such as stories, poetry, plays and information, children will be introduced to the range, power and variety of English as a means of expression and taught how to respond to its different forms and purposes with discrimination and awareness. We use All Aboard, Letterland, Foundations of Writing, Reasons for Writing and Hand for Spelling as core schemes. These are under constant review to ensure that we are providing appropriate material for the children.


Knowledge and understanding of number, money and measurement, shape, position and movement, information handling and problem solving techniques are also fundamental to the child’s understanding of the world. Understanding and skill in computation will have a high priority but opportunities for applying mathematical skills in real life and problem solving situations will also be encouraged. The use of calculators and computers can make a useful contribution to each child’s learning but these will be employed in a thoughtful way. The school currently uses Heinemann Maths as its core scheme.

Environmental Studies

This area is made up of the study of Science, History, Geography, Technology and Information Technology and Health Education. These subjects are taught in an integrated way through the use of themes or topics. Over the years in primary school, the children will study a variety of topics which cover the attainment targets set out in the S — 14 Curriculum documents. The children will learn about the factors which have shaped our environment and about other people, places and times.

Expressive Arts

Drama, Music and Art stimulate the imagination and develop children’s emotional and aesthetic responses to the world around them. Physical education develops functional and expressive movement and helps to form a basis for healthy living and fitness. Team games help to develop qualities such as co-operation, loyalty, leadership and the enjoyment of competition. From P4 onwards every child learns the recorder and the older children have the opportunity to learn the guitar. Information about the opportunities to play other musical instruments is contained in the Parents Information Leaflet which accompanies this booklet.

Football and sports days take place in the summer term with opportunities to play against other schools, weather permitting.

Religious and Moral Education

Religious education is a vital element of every child’s development. All children should be aware of the significance of and role that religion plays in peoples’ lives and in society as a whole. They will develop a sense of spiritual and moral values. These objectives will be achieved through a programme of religious education which is based in Christianity. However, knowledge and understanding of other World Religions will be taught to encourage sensitivity to others’ beliefs and for personal development. Moral education will be developed implicitly and explicitly and each child will be encouraged to develop as a mature and responsible member of society, capable of making decisions based on knowledge of their own self and the effect of their actions upon others.

The aims of our study in these areas are:

> to emphasise the Catholic faith and to encourage a personal relationship with ‘God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent’ (John 17:3) and so to grow in love and friendship

> to identify important characteristics of Christianity and other World religions and recognise religion as an important expression of human experience

> to appreciate and assimilate moral values such as honesty, liberty, justice, fairness and concern for others

> to investigate and understand the questions and answers that religion can offer about the nature and meaning of life.

The school uses the Veritas scheme which is currently being up-dated. We look to develop a close working relationship between home, school and parish.


Some photographs of the School


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