Curriculum

The school’s curriculum is devised to be child centred with a focus on exploration and investigation. We believe children need to be able to find out how something works, to gain a full understanding through a variety of learning styles. Our principle aim is to teach a child in the way that they learn best.
We provide a creative curriculum which offers children many opportunities to reach their full potential. A topic based approach allows the children to link learning experiences easily and develop skills and knowledge that can be transferred from subject to subject.

Literacy

Daily Literacy lessons are supported by separate reading, phonics and grammar sessions throughout the week. The teaching of phonics is about recognising the sounds of our language and is a principle method for teaching children to read and spell. Our pupils learn this in class through daily teaching following the Letters and Sounds Framework. This does not just happen inside the classroom. Reception and Year 1 are often seen outside building sounds in sand and with chalk on the playground.
We understand teaching phonics does not just stop when children reach Year 3. Children are continually assessed in their phonics and children in Key Stage 2 receive regular discrete teaching of both phonics and spellings.

At St. Nicholas Primary School children are encouraged to develop a love for reading and regular practice at home is required. Children have the chance to take home library books and reading is regularly celebrated throughout the school.
We aim to provide a positive and creative environment where children can learn and develop their writing skills. We incorporate talk for writing strategies, the use of VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation) and SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) in order to give children the tools to become confident and successful writers. Classes work hard to do this in an imaginative and memorable way. Don’t be surprised to see our children wearing stickers of wow words on their jumpers!
Children enjoy participating in World Book Day every March, dressing up as their favourite book character with staff participating too! Local authors are invited to talk to children about the craft of writing.

Maths

Through our cross-curricular links, Maths is enjoyed across the school in lots of practical and innovative ways such as cooking, reading temperatures in the learning lodge and measuring the perimeter of the field.
We place a high value on learning core number skills such as times tables and the knowledge of place value. This is enhanced through the use of visual aids such as interactive number squares and Numicon.

ICT

ICT plays a part in all our lives in this rapidly changing world. We aim to give the children at St. Nicholas every opportunity to access new technologies. ICT is interwoven throughout the curriculum. We recognise our role in teaching the children the importance of keeping themselves safe when online. Regular ‘esafety’ lessons and assemblies occur throughout the school year.

Art, DT and Music

Art and Design and Technology play an important role in the children’s creative experiences. The emphasis is on learning through enjoyment and the children are taught to try a variety of mediums. Arts week celebrated a vast range of work produced by the children led by a range of visitors and specialists.
Music is highly valued at our school. Singing and percussion lessons take place weekly and the children in upper key stage 2 enjoy learning brass instruments. Many children take up the additional opportunity of joining the school choir that regularly sings in Church and with other local schools.

Sports

Enjoyment and participation in sport ignites children’s motivation, team building skills and self-esteem. Children at St. Nicholas are taught by specialist sport coaches and dance teachers. Participation in sport is encouraged through a range of after school clubs, including football, tag rugby, netball, rounders and ribbon dancing.
Competitive school matches are scheduled and take place during the school day and after school.

Science

Science is taught weekly throughout the school and great use is made of our outdoor learning classroom and environment. The children are encouraged to ask questions, test their theories and discuss what they have discovered about the world they live in. Children at St. Nicholas Primary School enjoy having the opportunity in competing towards the Super Scientist trophy through practical science experiments.

History and Geography

History and Geography is taught through topics using Chris Quigley’s skills ladders to ensure that children are challenged and stimulated through every lesson. Children compare, interpret and analyse different forms of evidence from a range of sources. The outdoor environment and exploration outside of school is used to support and develop children’s knowledge and experience. Where possible the children’s learning is enhanced through school trips including Carrymore Environment Centre, The Roman Baths and Nothe Fort.

Extra Curricular Activities

We have a range of activities that support our curriculum. Sports, Art and Music clubs after school allow the children to follow other interests, whilst sport coaches, dance teachers and local artists support the curriculum and develop specific skills.





Cross Curricular Issues including

Personal, Social, Health Education

(PSHE) and Citizenship

These are often confused with thematic teaching but actually refer to areas of the curriculum that go beyond any one subject. They in fact provide curriculum coherence which discrete teaching does not. These areas include Personal and Social Education, Health Education, Equal Opportunities, Environmental Education and many more. These form a very important part in the education of the ‘whole child’ and reflect the ethos or philosophy of our school.

We believe issues such as personal relationships, respect for others, general behaviour, the joy of learning and doing ones best, as well as the way other staff interact and work together to provide the learning environment, are an integral part of education at this school. These fundamental curriculum issues are supported by many from outside the school such as the nurse, dentist, vicar, visiting theatre groups, local community, etc.

Sex education should be incurred in its widest form, that of preparing young people in the process of growing up. Our school plays a very important role in this development, helping children to understand how the human body functions in the context towards gender. The topic approach to learning provides many opportunities for project work centred around animals, plants, seeds and ourselves. These studies lead, quite naturally, towards concepts related to sex education. Teachers give correct information, develop sensible attitudes, make children socially and morally aware and familiarise children with health and hygiene matters. The older children are made aware of dangers associated with misuse of substances harmful to the body, e.g. illegal drugs. Further details can be found in the school’s PSHE and Citizenship Policy.