- The School
International School Status
We are proud that the British Council has awarded us the prestigious International School Award for the last decade.
In order to achieve this award, we must show that we provide activities involving schools abroad, curriculum activities and language learning opportunities.
Erasmus+ International Exchange Projects
We can offer your child the chance to be a part of the exciting Erasmus+ school exchange programme. Students who participate in Erasmus+ (formerly known as Comenius) have the opportunity to spend a week abroad visiting one of our partner schools, staying in the home of one of their students and taking part in several exciting and innovative events during the course of their visit. They also host a student from abroad in their own home when our European partner schools visit us. Over the past fourteen years, we have built strong partnerships with schools in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Erasmus+ projects are funded by the British Council, so the cost to our families who take part is minimal. Our current project is entitled ‘Earth SOS’ and is looking at green issues and sustainability, very important issues in the 21st century.
Trips to France
Each school year we run the following trips to France:
- A day trip to Lille (Autumn Term)
- A day trip to Boulogne (Summer Term)
- A 3-day trip to Nice (Summer Term)
Pupils at Thomas More enjoy a plethora of curriculum opportunities where the international dimension is the focus.
Year-round International Immersive experiences
Each year, pupils enjoy a week of International Experiences as well as a multicultural celebration of cultures represented at Thomas More. This year this includes Indian dancing, Flamenco dancing and Sushi making.
Visit by Lorentz Lyceum from Croydon’s twin town, Arnhem in The Netherlands
Each year around 50 Dutch pupils spend a day in the Autumn Term with us after preparing a project about our similarities and differences. During the day we tour the school with our guests, working together on a shared project in DT, Art or PE. Afterwards, pupils enjoy their lunch together and there is usually an impromptu international football match at break time!
Impact on pupils
We are passionate at Thomas More about being able to provide opportunities for our pupils to increase understanding of other countries and their cultures. We know that the impact on pupils in the past has been huge. Not only do pupils at Thomas More have the opportunity to practise their language skills abroad with a preparation course beforehand but also to experience the culture they are studying. Our pupils are able to meet and work with pupils on ongoing projects with our Dutch school which prepares them for working with different people in their future working lives. They also have many opportunities to visit other European countries and practise language skills, make new friends and learn new skills. We believe this develops confidence in our pupils to navigate in different places both physically and emotionally. Our pupils learn independence and to value others and their different contributions. They also learn solid skills such as entrepreneurial skills, Art techniques, using IT to communicate ideas and using social media to stay in contact and make friends. Also through our curriculum, pupils learn how to appreciate the standard of living they enjoy in comparison with so many in the world who live in poverty. They learn that they can influence outcomes for other people through charity work and that we are all part of a global community where language and being able to deal with people from different backgrounds is paramount to the success of working with others.
Impact on staff
The impact our international programme has on staff at Thomas More is also enormous. A huge amount of work goes into organising around the numerous trips we take during the school year and we ensure a dedication to pupils having opportunities regardless of their personal background. As well as hard work, staff, of course, get to enjoy greatly the professional challenges of working together on our Erasmus+ projects, our international yearly immersion activities, our Dutch Day and our international work in classrooms. Staff involved are able to make friends with colleagues from all around Europe. There has been much camaraderie and laughter as well as hard work and diplomacy in keeping Comenius and Erasmus+ projects with the same schools going for over a decade. They have been able to share practices with each other for not only their benefit but also that of the pupils. Through international work, teachers have reported higher pupil engagement in lessons and therefore more enjoyment in teaching for them, particularly in subjects like Geography, History, Business Studies and English. Staff are proud to be a part of a school that is outward-looking and able to prepare pupils for an ever-changing world, where ability and experience in dealing with people from different cultures gives one the edge. One of the most interesting aspects of international work is the sheer variety of opportunities for teachers to try something different with different people and valuing staff well-being.