School Ethos and Values
St Nicholas’ Primary School aims to provide a challenging and creative learning environment within which the National Curriculum and the wider curriculum can be delivered effectively.
We encourage positive attitudes to learning so that each child may be helped to achieve his or her full potential and to enjoy learning throughout their life.
The school atmosphere is happy, energetic, purposeful, secure, creative and caring. We actively promote trust and respect between children, teachers, parents and others in the life of the school.
We aim to extend children’s social, spiritual, moral, environmental and cultural awareness within the school, the community and the world outside, and are committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.
Parents, staff, pupils and governors are all essential working partners in achieving these aims.
St Nicholas’ Primary School is committed to giving children an excellent, broad-based education, and nurturing within each child enthusiastic, positive attitudes towards life-long learning.
What Children Learn
Each child will be working on the four core subjects of: mathematics (numeracy), English (literacy), science, and ICT, as well as the six foundation subjects of: design technology, history, geography, art, music, and physical education.
These are all vitally important aspects of the curriculum.
In art, music and drama, children are given first-hand experiences of observing and performing in the Arts. There are visits from outside performers, musicians and artists during the school year.
Religious education is taught from Oxfordshire County Council’s agreed syllabus. Parents are reminded that they may withdraw their children from collective Acts of Worship.
Teaching and Assessment
We provide a broad curriculum, based on children having practical experiences in a stimulating environment. Work is developed through a topic-based approach, and each year and term has specific subject areas linked to the school’s curriculum map. Schemes of Work are published for each subject area and are supported by teachers’ weekly and daily plans.
Care is also taken to ensure a balance is maintained across and between subject areas, and time allocations are made to ensure coverage of all National Curriculum subjects are in accordance with advice from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
At the end of each Key Stage, Level descriptions are used to assess children’s progress and achievements.
|3 – 5||Foundation||Reception||Foundation Stage Curriculum||Foundation Stage Profile|
|5 – 6||Key Stage 1||Year 1||National Curriculum:English, Maths, Science, DT, ICT,
Art, Music & PE
PSHE & Citizenship
|6 – 7||Year 2||National KS1 Tests and Tasks in Maths & English|
|7 – 8||Key Stage 2||Year 3||Optional QCA tests in Maths & English|
|8 – 9||Year 4||Optional QCA tests in Maths & English|
|9 –10||Year 5||Optional QCA test in Maths & English|
|10 –11||Year 6||National KS2 Tests in Maths, English & Science|
Phonics and Reading Schemes
Reading and Phonics
At St Nicholas’ Primary School we have recently introduced the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to begin to teach children to read and write. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Using RWI, the children learn to decode effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
We carry out regular simple assessments and children are placed in a group that matches the stage that they need to be at in order to make the most progress. All the adults delivering the RWI programme at St Nicks have been trained specifically for that role.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using Fred Talk (sounding out each part of a word)
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
When using RWI to write the children will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
- write simple sentences
- compose stories based on picture strips
- compose a range of stories based on writing frames.
Once the children have completed the RWI Phonics programme they will follow a spelling based programme in order to continue their learning journey. This programme extends all the way to the end of KS2. Grammar and vocabulary development are an integral part of our teaching in English and are built into our daily teaching sequences.
About Read Write Inc
Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.
In addition to the reading that takes place during Read Write Inc. the pupils in Year 2 onwards take part in daily whole class reading where each child has a copy of the class story or text and tracks or follows the words on the page as the teacher reads aloud; modelling expression, intonation, explaining new vocabulary, etc. This means that all children are getting the opportunity to share a text that they may not have chosen themselves or may not be able to fully decode independently. The guided reading sessions also include opportunities to talk about the text and answer comprehension-based questions to further deepen their understanding of it. It is expected that our pupils read at home on a daily basis, or as often as possible, in order to build up their skills, confidence and exposure to a range of genres.
Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools including logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. It is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and in public decision-making. At St Nicholas’ we have introduced the Inspire Maths Scheme in Key Stage 1 in order to ensure all our pupils receive a strong foundation and begin to have the opportunity to apply their maths skills in a range of contexts, demonstrating a mastery and secure understanding of these skills. They also take part in a daily Maths Meeting which supports and reinforces the maths lesson and helps all pupils towards developing automacity in all the basic skills of mathematics.
Class Curriculum Coverage
Please refer to our Class Pages, linked below, to see an up to date overview of each classes termly curriculum coverage.