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St Thomas More High School for Boys
Kenilworth Gardens, SS0 0BW, UK Westcliff-on-Sea
+44 (0)1702 344933


St Thomas More High School was founded in 1960 as an all boys' high school and expanded in 1996 with the introduction of our mixed sixth form.

For the past forty years the school has been educating its pupils to realise their potential in an increasingly challenging and exciting world.

While continuing to teach Roman Catholic values, the school is determined to help every student achieve success by offering a modern and diverse approach to education.

In September 2004 we were awarded the specialist Maths and Computing college status. This has enabled us to develop these key areas, not only here at the school but also within the local community.

This is a Roman Catholic High School for boys aged 11 to 16 with a mixed Sixth Form. The school opened as a two form entry school in 1960. In September 1973 it was extended to become a four form entry school and its status was changed to a bilateral school (i.e it has both a selective - eleven plus intake and none-selective intake).

The school became Grant Maintained on 1st September 1993, and reverted to Voluntary Aided Status in September 1999. The first Sixth Form intake was admitted in September 1996. It is a co-educational Sixth Form. In 2001 we extended to become a five form entry school. It now offers 30 selective and 120 non- selective places. We became a Specialist School for Maths and Computing in September 2004. The school roll in September 2007 was 995 including 200 in the sixth Form.

While the majority of pupils come from Catholic Primary Schools, the Governors are pleased to accept applications from committed families of other Christian denominations and families wishing a Catholic Eductioan. Girls are admitted into the 6th Form.


St. Thomas More is the only Catholic Boys' Secondary school in the south-east of Essex and serves a wide catchment area.



  • Four Religious Education rooms
  • Chapel
  • Five English rooms
  • Five Mathematics rooms
  • Five Computer rooms
  • Seven Science Laboratories
  • Three History rooms
  • Three Geography rooms
  • Four Modern Language rooms
  • Five Technology workshops
  • Three Art rooms
  • One Music room
  • Three Music practice rooms
  • Recording studio
  • Hall/Drama Studio
  • Two Special Needs rooms
  • Staffroom
  • Prefects’ Common Room
  • Dining Room
  • Sports Hall

An ambitious refurbishment programme has upgraded the Science Labs and classrooms in English and Maths. The Computer and Technology, Sports, Careers, Business Studies and Media Studies facilities have all been improved recently. 


Phase one was completed in Autumn 2001. This has provided extra classrooms and a new reception area. Phase two (a large two-storey teaching block at the rear of the school, housing the departments of Technology, Art, Music, Business Studies, Graphics and Psychology) was completed in 2003. All classrooms have a digital projector and whiteboards. All teachers have a laptop computer. There are three pitches attached to the school, one of which is an all-weather Astroturf pitch. The school is bounded on two sides by playing fields belonging to two neighbouring grammar schools. Private housing and a main dual carriageway border the other two sides.


St. Thomas More High School was established by the Roman Catholic people of South East Essex to provide a Christian education for their sons within the discipline and traditions of the Catholic Church. Since 1996, the school’s Sixth Form has admitted girls.   The fundamental purpose of the school today is to maintain and develop this Catholic community so that:

  • boys and girls can become well-educated and confident young men and women who are spiritually, culturally and socially fulfilled,
  • boys and girls are well prepared to move on to the next stage of their lives,
  • pupils, parents, Governors and staff can continue to work together to ensure that the education provided will be as rich and successful as possible

The School objectives are:

1.    That, by the dissemination of Gospel values throughout all aspects of school life, pupils will learn the true meaning and value of their spiritual development in the Catholic faith,

2.    That each pupil will achieve his or her true potential and attain the highest levels of success of which he/ she is capable,

3.    That pupils will develop qualities of responsibility, reliability, initiative, loyalty and adventure, and an understanding of the importance of service to others,

4.    That pupils will develop an enjoyment of learning for its own sake,

5.    That pupils will be given, and will take, opportunities to develop the cultural, intellectual and recreational dimensions of their lives,

6.    That pupils will feel pride in the school and a lasting sense of the value and pleasure of their years here,

7.    That the school will be a living witness to Christian family values in a materialistic and secular society,

8.    That the school will maintain and build upon its good reputation in the community, to the advantage of every pupil,

9.    That teachers and other staff will find this a stimulating and fulfilling place to work,


The curriculum at St. Thomas More High School reflects the school’s Catholic ethos. We regard all the pupils’ experiences at school as contributing towards their spiritual, moral, physical, cultural and academic growth. Taught lessons form a major part of this experience. There are 25 taught lessons of one hour’s length each week at St. Thomas More including assembly and tutorial time. Some important details of the taught lessons are set out below.
In the Lower School (Years 7 to 9)
When boys arrive at the school in Year 7 they are placed in mixed ability forms and for a term they are taught like this for all subjects. Towards the end of the term their aptitude for each subject is assessed and after the Christmas holidays they are placed (wherever possible) into sets by departments. The core curriculum subjects: English, Maths and Science are set by the end of the first term. The setting system is reviewed on a regular basis and adjustments are made periodically where necessary. The form groups themselves remain the same throughout the Lower School.
Subject Periods (Per fortnight)
English 5
Mathematics 6
Science 5
Religious Education 4
Geography 4
History 4
French 4
Art 2
Music 2
Design & Technology 3
P.E. 4
Information Technology 2
Library 1
Tutor Time/PHSE 4

Year 8

The boys are placed into sets in all subjects in Year 8 according to their attainment in Year 7. Strong linguists study both French and German in 7 periods per fortnight. The remaining boys study French as their foreign language. Science receives 5 periods per fortnight and both Maths and English receive 6 periods for fortnight. IT receives 1 period with other aspects taught through other subjects. The time devoted to Library skills disappears now that these have been established.
Year 9
These are broadly the same as those in Year 8. Art and IT are taught in mixed ability classes. English has 6 periods per fortnight, Maths has 5 periods per fortnight and Science has 6 periods per fortnight. IT receives 2 periods per fortnight. During Year 9, boys and parents are helped to make choices between the optional subjects which the boys will begin to study for GCSEs the following year.
In the Upper School (Years 10 and 11)
Subject Periods (Per fortnight)
English 8
Mathematics 6
Science 8 or 4*
Religious Education 4
Information and Communication Technology 8 or 4

Boys must study three other subjects from the following list:

French: German: History: Geography: Art: Music: Business Studies: Media Studies: P.E. (G.C.S.E.): Statistics: Design & Technology (Resistant Materials and Electronics): Graphics: Law: CiDA (Certificate in Digital Applications): DiDa (Diploma in Digital Applications).

In addition, all boys in the Upper School have two periods of games each week.

*Science – Boys who are good at Science study the ‘Double Science’ course worth two G.C.S.Es and taking eight periods per fortnight. Boys who find Science more difficult are encouraged to opt for a ‘Single Science’ course worth one G.C.S.E. and taking four periods per fortnight.

This year the boys taking the Single Science will also be taking the CiDA or DiDA course in IT. This course will take up two or three of their option subjects. Each year a small number of boys who need extra help with their learning are advised to take one less G.C.S.E. course and spend extra time concentrating on their other subjects.

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