Year 5 and Year 6 experienced a careers morning where members of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industry gave up their time to come and speak to the children about their jobs.

The children absolutely loved learning about the different jobs that they could go into through this field and loved finding out more about these professions through research.

An enormous thank you to Mark Grimshaw from Timber Play Scotland who taught our children how the principles of STEM applied when designing and building their wonderful playgrounds. To Matt Coe from assystem who showed the importance of engineering in our everyday life and discussed his role as a mechanical engineer. Finally to Dr Stuart Grant from Withenshaw Hospital and the University of Manchester who discussed his role as a Specialist Cardiothoracic Surgeon, talked about his journey and brought in some of the equipment used to perform major operations.

You were all incredibly inspiring and we at St Thomas’ thank you for giving up your time to make this such a fantastic morning.

Father Jude Harrison emailed us earlier today to say this regarding our superb Year 2 pupils and staff.

“Just a little note to say what a pleasure it has been to have your children and staff here for the visit to St Alban’s Church. The children were full of interest and excellent questions  –  they were perfectly behaved and attentive  –  great at listening and full of smiles and ever so busy with their work sheets.Your staff are so encouraging with the children and supportive of each other.It has been a fabulous hour for me and I am sure it is so important that children of different faith backgrounds get to discover and learn about other faiths around them here in our town.

Thank you for allowing them to come. It has been a lovely morning all round. God bless you all and your school community.”


Feedback from Natalie, who did the mental health work workshops with year 6 last week.

“It was great to meet you all and the children are a credit to your school. They all engaged really well and hopefully they have taken something away from the sessions.”

Congratulations to our parents that have completed their workshops on maths. Here they are showing off their certificates for ‘Supporting your child with Inspire Maths’. Here’s some of the feedback from the workshops,

“Really good. Learned how to use text in different ways and using imagination. Understanding what you need. Really good session.”

“I enjoyed this workshop with my child and within a group. It was useful to be aware of other techniques to gather/collect useful information.”

“Enjoyed doing the task with the children and how the teacher explained.”

“I enjoyed reading, making things and being able to discuss with parents.”

A huge thank you to Jackie Wickes for putting these parent workshops on.

A huge well done to our children that presented their debate in a series of workshops at the Blackburn with Darwen Headteacher’s conference. They were absolutely amazing and here are some of the comments we have received by some of those Headteachers.

“Just had to email to say – your pupils were superb today!!! One colleague said she wanted them in her school! They were a credit to families, your school and our borough. They were brilliant – thank you for sharing them with us today.” Jo Siddle

“I just wanted to say how fantastic I thought your children were on Thursday.  They are a real credit to you and your school – the way they performed was amazing.  The work Paul has done with them is tremendous.   You must be really proud. Well done to all.” Sue Aldred

After a year of hard work by the children and teachers, we are delighted to announce that St Thomas’ has been awarded the Silver Primary Science Mark. We are very proud of achieving this nationally recognised award and hope to achieve gold in the near future. A huge thank you to Mr Bethell and MrMetcalfe for their hard work and dedication.

Yesterday we celebrated Easter at St. Thomas’ through singing. See Year 3 in action by clicking the link below.

Something strange happened at St Thomas’ this!

Thank you to Mr Simpson at ‘littlebigmouth’ productions for making this possible.
click the link above to find out.

As a follow up from Brian Haworth’s visit to school as part of our ‘Stay Safe’ week, Mr. Bethell’s class ventured our on the train from Blackburn to Accrington to learn more about trains and how they operate. We thank Brian again for his time and here’s what he had to say about our children.

“Just a quick note to compliment the conduct of the children from St Thomas, who visited our classroom in Accrington yesterday . Their behaviour was brilliant and they were a credit to the school, it was a pleasure working with them.”



As part of British Science week the children have been looking at forces, construction and fossils down at Blackburn Museum. The children and staff have had an amazing time down at the museum. Thank you to Mr. Metcalfe and Mr. Bethell for organising this with the museum.

Blackburn museum is an incredible resource that is right on our door step, open Wednesday – Saturday 12 noon until 4:45pm AND IT’S FREE! For more information visit:

St Thomas Church of England primary, Blackburn, has been appointed as an Inspire Maths Advocate School as a result of demonstrating good teaching and learning of the Singapore approach in 2016/17.

Liam Noon (Assistant Headteacher and Mathematics Lead) and Judith Myhill (Numbers Count Teacher and Mathematics Lead) said;

“Inspire Maths has had a huge impact on our whole school approach to mathematics. We feel that we are now addressing the three main national curriculum aims through a more structured and connected programme. Through the professional development that we have received and the detailed teacher guides, our teachers have developed a deeper understanding of how children become successful mathematicians. By implementing Inspire Maths across our school it has brought a new found vibrancy towards the teaching and learning of mathematics.”

We are delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be an advocate school for INSPIRE maths. We are excited about the journey that we are on and look forward to the future

St. Thomas’ opened its doors to other teachers from school in Blackburn to show how we are implementing Inspire Maths in our school. We had 22 visitors for the afternoon and they got to see maths lessons in every class. A staff network meeting was then held after school where teachers could talk and discuss practice in their setting.

The event was super and we have received numerous thanks from those who attended. Here is an example of one of the emails received.

I would just to say a great big thank you to all the staff at St Thomas for a fantastic afternoon! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing techniques and strategies learnt on the training days in action. It was also good to see the progression between the different year groups and all the children were enthusiastic about learning.
The staff were also passionate about teaching maths the Inspire way which was really good to see.

Thanks again to all for organising the afternoon.
Mrs. Makba

Year 4 welcomed Brain Howarth from Community Rail Lancashire who talked about the use of the railways and being safe when around trains and at train stations. He said that he would like to thank the children in both classes for their excellent behaviour. Well done to both classes.

During ‘Safety Week’ we welcomed Marilyn Hawes from ‘Enough Abuse, Stop the Risk – Save the Child’. We would like to thank all of the parents that attended the workshop.

Marilyn asked for us to pass this on.

“My thanks to you all for your hard work in engaging parents to attend. I would also like to add that the atmosphere was so friendly in the school and the excellent manners and helpfulness of the pupils was extraordinary and the polite way in which the children greeted me was a joy to see. St. Thomas’ is an excellent example of how a primary school should function.

To kick off our ‘Safety Week’ we welcomed Chris and Jan from Childline. Here is what they said about our children and staff.

“It was great to work with children and staff who were so up for everything. Credit to you, they had more knowledge that some of the school children and staff we see and it was obvious that you take Safeguarding very seriously.”

To kick off our ‘Safety Week’ we welcomed Chris and Jan from Childline. Here is what they said about our children and staff.

“It was great to work with children and staff who were so up for everything. Credit to you, they had more knowledge that some of the school children and staff we see and it was obvious that you take Safeguarding very seriously.”

Mr. Bethell has been on Talk 4 Writing training, again at Burnley Brow Community School in Oldham. He has come back with lots of amazing ideas to implement in class.

The Lego team have been busy preparing for their Lego project this time which is ‘Bees’. They have had a Q & A session with Joe Harper – CEO for Just bees Drinks (pictured), a visit by Russell Piercy and local bee keeper and a visit to Offshots Permaculture at Townley Park , Burnley. The children, as always, are giving this project 110% and no doubt they will do themselves proud when it comes to the competiton.

Our amazing EYFS team payed a visit to Burnley Brow Community School in Oldham, which is a Talk 4 Writing training centre, to observe T4W in action within the Early Years and Key Stage 1. A fantastic time was had by all three of our staff members and they can’t wait to put some of their new ideas into practice.

Again thank you for your kind donations this harvest. As always we have  donated to Blackburn Foodbank and here is what Ross Duerden (Foodbank Manger) wrote in a letter to us.

“Thank you so much for your amazing donation of food from your Harvest Collection; it weighed in at 65kg. This will provide 155 meals. It is greatly appreciated and ensures that we can continue to support people in crisis in Blackburn with Darwen.”

Thank you for your kind donations this harvest. As always we have  donated to Blackburn Nightsafe and here is an email received from Diane Page, the office and finance manager. “Hi everyone. Thank you for your very kind donations for the young people at Nightsafe. It is very much appreciated. Best wishes.

This morning in Golden Worship, we celebrated our Healthy Travel to School Week. Cheryl Sandford, Connect Communities Co-ordinator, presented some children with prizes as a result of them walking, cycling or coming to school on their scooter. In total 326 children completed the challenge. This is an amazing achievement and a huge WELL DONE to everyone.

Cheryl stayed for the whole of the Golden Worship and commented on what a great feeling the celebration had and praised how happy the staff and children seemed. Thank you for your kind words Cheryl.

Catherine Greenless delivered worship to tell the children more about the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal. The children listened intently during the ‘Golden Worship’ and Catherine then visited two classes. She commented on how pleasant the children were during her visit. We thank her dearly and hope to see her again soon.

Our first day back saw the staff at St. Thomas’ join together with St. James’ Lower Darwen to take part in training from Enough Abuse UK,  which provides education on ‘Grooming’, the preamble to sexual and other forms of abuse.

The training was fantastic and here is what the lead trainer thought about the trainees.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to train your staff and for your warm hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, ” MARILYN HAWES.

The English team visited The Redeemer Primary School today to look at how they teach reading and which resources they use. The ‘team’ had a great experience and can’t wait to start putting their action plan into practice. Thank you to those at The Redeemer for their hospitality.

The INSET day on Friday saw the staff take part in Team-Teach training. It was a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed by all of the staff. Here is what Mike, the lead tutor, had to say about the staff at St. Thomas’, “The staff were an absolute pleasure to train.” A huge thanks to Mike and his team.

On Monday we had a visit from Mrs. Hart who was from the NFER. She is a lady that used to be a Deputy Headteacher and is a volunteer in another primary school. She praised our children for their excellent manners, behaviour and how wonderful they were in general. We pride ourselves on these qualities and it is always great when a visitor comments on them. Thank you Mrs. Hart and well done St. Thomas’.

This morning we welcomed 22 delegates from a variety of schools in Blackburn with Darwen for the iPads in EYFS course. this was led by Mrs. Welsby and Mr. Dean. A huge thank you to both and from the feedback given it was a great success. A response received from a Headteacher of one of the delegates emailed the school to say,

“I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the training course which was delivered this morning which one of my staff attended on the use of Ipads in the EYFS. You have inspired Carol to enthuse about ICT after feeling incredibly nervous about attending.

This is down to the expertise of the course facilitators and the willingness of other practitioners to support her, and for that I thank you.”

We are extremely proud of both members of staff!

A science network meeting was held at school this week, led by Mr. Bethell, which saw teachers from The Redeemer, St.Luke and St. Phillips, Audley Infants, St. Peter’s and Cedars Primary School attend.

Day 2 of inset training was all about ‘Talk 4 Writing’. We welcomed Emma Caulfield and Carol Satterthwaite at St. Thomas’ for Day 2 of the staff’s training, with the focus being on non-fiction writing.

The first of our two inset days was all about being INSPIREd! We welcomed Liz Henning, who is a Professional Development Accredited Lead for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, and she delivered training on our new approach to teaching Mathematics – ‘INSPIRE’ Maths. The training was undertaken by all teaching staff, along with other colleagues from local schools.

Thank you to parents for the great turn out at the SATs meetings and a huge THANK YOU to our super dedicated staff for putting them on. Thanks to Miss Arshad, Miss Dootson, Mrs Kelly and Mrs Briggs.

Miss Butterworth has been using her historian expertise this morning, by delivering a history workshop to student teachers through the Schools Direct programme.

Mr. Noon and Miss. Vicky went to Witton CLC to undertake a course for including PREVENT in the curriculum. It was very informative and have come back to school with some great ideas.

Mrs Reed-Smith and her team have been working super hard and we are proud to announce that we have gained our certificate of achievement from The Communication Trust.

Mrs. Myhill visited Turncroft Nursery School in Darwen on her first SLE assignment. She shared with the staff how Numicon can be used in the nursery environment and how games can enhance children’s mathematical knowledge.
Mr. Noon and Mrs. Myhill recently attended the first two days of their five day training for INSPIRE maths. They also visited Gorsefield Primary School in Bury, which is a school already implementing the maths programme. More information on INSPIRE maths will appear on the school website shortly.

Here is some feedback from one of the many courses Miss Arshad runs as part of St. Thomas’ being a RTC school.

“This session was brilliant and I thought it was really good to have the mentors help us as we got a chance to see the programmes from a child’s perspective too. One of my favourite sessions so far.”

“Great to see how ipads can be used in the classroom – really useful!”

“I really enjoyed working with the student mentors. It was a lot of fun!”

“This session was probably one of the best I’ve been! It was fun and really cross-curricular with regards to the things she showed us!”

Well Done Miss Arshad!

Miss Dootson and Mrs Morton, part of our English subject leader team, went to visit St. Matthew’s Primary School in Birmingham to look at how they deliver Talk 4 Writing. Talk 4 Writing is a innovative way of teaching English and something that we are implementing throughout school.