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St Thomas' Church of England
Primary & Nursery School

Beacons of Light (Personal Development)

The definition of a beacon is a person or thing that warns, guides or offers support.

A lighthouse is an example of a beacon. The lights of a runway are an example of a beacon for a landing plane. A friend who offers direction and guidance is an example of a beacon for someone in need.


Our Beacons of Light curriculum is designed to offer guidance and direction as our pupils navigate through life, preparing them for all that lies ahead. The curriculum extends beyond the academic, offering valuable learning opportunities and experiences which will provide our pupils with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to become informed, valuable and confident citizens. 


Take a look at the Beacons of Light Overview for each year group to see how each strand is taught: 

The Strands of our Beacons of Light Curriculum are as follows:


Character Development

Healthy Lifestyles

 Mental Health & Wellbeing

 Life Skills and Independence

 Celebrating Diversity

Worship and Spirituality


 Keeping Safe

Experiences and the Wider Curriculum


Character Development 


Throughout our curriculum, we have developed opportunities for pupils to develop their characters. Character education is about important life skills children need to learn for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. An important aspect of character education is the development of character traits, such as: gratitude, compassion, empathy and confidence. Children will develop care and respect for themselves and others through Character Education. This important part of education is all about equipping children with skills that will set them up for successful adult lives. Morals and values are key parts of character education. Children will learn about considering right and wrong, making informed decisions, exercising empathy, and reflecting on their thoughts and actions. These skills will help children consider:

  • what role they play in their community
  • how they can contribute to society
  • how they belong in their community


Diversity and Equality


Diversity and equality is at the heart of our curriculum.  Considering the demographic of our school, we know the importance of opening our pupils’ eyes to the diverse world in which we live, equipping them with a deep routed understanding of the meaning of diversity and equality; what this looks like in our culture and some of the realities of inequality and discrimination in the world today.  Diversity and equality is also  a core strand within every subject. Diversity and equality is also woven throughout of curriculum through theme weeks and days such as our Inter Faith Day and our Black History celebration week.


Mental Health and Wellbeing



Mental Health and well-being of all members of our school community is a high priority at St Thomas’. Through our curriculum, our pupils develop an understanding of the importance of caring for our mental health and strategies for doing so. Pupils are encouraged to set goals for their future, learn how to build strong relationships and use the great outdoors to clear their mind – just to name a few experiences that encourage good mental health.

Our weekly Heartsmart lessons provide plenty of opportunities for our pupils to explore and understand mental health and consider strategies for keeping our minds healthy.  Pupils gain a deep understanding of mental health, from the importance of talking about our emotions with trusted adults; how our words can affect our emotions and others around us; and how too much social media can be bad for us!  We celebrate Children’s Mental Health week where each day focuses on a different strand of mental health, from mindfulness and setting ourselves achievable goals, to the benefits of exercise.


Our ‘Lighthouse Room’ is a designated safe space for our pupils to access. Our pastoral lead offers daily, lunchtime drop-in sessions, which all pupils can access if they are in need of support; a listening ear or just a quiet space. Some pupils also benefit from weekly counselling sessions. We have ‘Worry Monsters’ around school, which can be accessed by all pupils and are checked by our pastoral lead daily. Pupils may then be invited to a drop in session.


Keeping Safe


At the start of every PSHE lesson, our pupils are reminded of adults they can talk to in school and opportunities for doing so.


Keeping our pupils safe around school and equipping them with the knowledge of how to keep themselves safe is our top priority at St Thomas.

Our safeguarding curriculum is taught through whole school assemblies; PSHE/ RSE lessons; weekly safety reminders and whole school theme days and weeks. Our pupils experience a constant ‘drip feed’ approach to understanding how to stay safe.


Internet safety is a key part of our safeguarding curriculum, particularly as many of our pupils have access to devices at home.  E-safety is also taught through our computing curriculum and PSHE lessons. Each year we celebrate Safer Internet day and ensure that our pupils gain valuable knowledge needed to keep themselves safe online.





Responsibility is one of our Christian Values that is lived out by pupils during their time at St Thomas, and beyond! Pupils develop a deep routed understanding of what responsibility is and looks like in our day to day lives, along with opportunities from KS2 to join one of our nine Pupil Leadership Teams.  Pupils in KS2 vote for their chosen Pupil Leadership team at the start of the year and then will attend a half termly meeting working towards an agreed target. We offer a range of practical experiences for our pupils to develop an understanding of responsibility in school and the local community.


Healthy Lifestyles



We know the importance and benefits of leading healthy lives at St Thomas’ and want our pupils to leave St Thomas with a strong understanding of how to keep our bodies healthy.


Every day, our classes each run the Daily Mile. Not only does this give all children an opportunity to get in fifteen minutes of valuable exercise, but it also helps our pupils to recharge and refresh ready for rest of the day ahead. All pupils take part in this daily activity and are encouraged to take a brisk walk or run.We offer all pupils a healthy lunch, prepared fresh on site each day. There are plenty of options for children to choose from, including: two hot meal choices; jacket potatoes; fresh soup; salad bar; sandwiches and fresh fruit. Children are encouraged to try new foods and top up their plates with plenty of fruit and vegetables!

Our weekly Heartsmart and RSE lessons provide plenty of opportunities for our pupils to understand how they can follow a healthy lifestyle.




Life Skills and Independence


Through consultation with staff, parents and pupils, we decided that it was important to teach our pupils valuable life skills before they leave us at St Thomas’. These life skills are mapped our through our Five Be experiences and opportunities throughout their time at school.

The ‘Be the Best Version of Myself’ strand of our Five Be experiences gives all pupils opportunities to learn valuable life skills from swimming to making a bed!


In upper key stage two, our pupils are taught the skill of note-taking and are encouraged to use their own personal notebooks in lessons. Our pupils then use these notes to support them in retaining information and completing independent tasks. Our pupils also use these notes when completing their end of unit essay.

To develop independence, we have introduced the Five B’s for all pupils. This is a visual reminder in every classroom to support all children when learning independently: Book, Buddy, Brain, Book, Board. Our pupils understand that these tools can be helpful before they speak to their teacher.



Worship and Spirituality



At St Thomas’ we believe that worship and exploring spirituality can be the key to enabling every child to flourish.   Worship contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children. These aspects of development can be found in many of the school curriculum areas and are implicit in the ethos of the school. We begin every school day with a whole school worship. Worships can be focus on a range of areas – from our core Christian values, to a key Bible story or a more current issue explored in a children friendly way. Worship is an opportunity for every child to take time to reflect and consider Christianity as part of their daily lives.  Opportunities for the development of spirituality are planned across our curriculum, including time to pray, be still and appreciate God’s wonderful world.


All of our pupils are given the opportunity to plan and lead class worship in each academic year. Our pupils are allowed to choose their own focus, Bible stories, reading, songs and prayers for their worship. Every class has a dedicated prayer space which children can access at any time. Prayers spaces are interactive and inviting for all children.


Our Christian values are incorporated into our Five Be experiences, giving our pupils an opportunity to actively demonstrate one of our values, giving a real life context.




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Kenyons Lane, Lydiate
Liverpool, Merseyside, L31 0BP

Telephone: 0151 531 9955