At St Nicholas Priory we aim to provide an in-depth exciting learning experience for all children at our school, across all key stages. Delivering a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum where children are interested and in turn develop into interesting young learners. Governors and staff believe that the development of pupils spiritually and pastorally plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with curriculum opportunities that embed our PATHS programme of study supporting British Values democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance alongside our Christian Values of love, service, hope, aspiration, friendship and trust. In addition, we endeavour to explore and deepen their understanding of a variety of skills and knowledge basis across the National Curriculum and beyond. We aim to ensure our children move on as successful learners, confident individuals and responsible members of 21st century modern Britain.
The curriculum, including additional activities, provides pupils with a broad range of learning experiences that enable them to enjoy school. This prepares them well for life in the 21st century modern Britain and for the next stage in the education. Ofsted, March 2019
We look to maximising the success for all of our children and believe that if they learn in an exciting way then they will remember what they have learnt. We strive to ensure our children gain more knowledge, and remember more knowledge. We believe that children learn best when they have options and choices and can develop their own skills, knowledge and interests on their terms. Continuous provision allows for this to happen and for children to revisit activities, skills and knowledge time and time again to embed learning. Carefully considered and constructed activities that have a curriculum-based theme or focus on a particular skill are used in the afternoons where children can free flow between the activities and access them at their own pace.
In KS1 our children learn through a book-based curriculum with a continuous provision approach. Each term focuses on a number of age appropriate books from a variety of genres, that are carefully chosen. Learning takes place across curriculum areas incorporating themes and activities based around the books or topics identified within the books. Structured lessons occur in the mornings covering maths, writing and reading and the afternoons see a continuous provision approach allowing all areas of the curriculum to be taught or revisited.
In KS2 children are taught the National curriculum through projects and an introduction to the continuous provision approach as seen in KS1 is being rolled out this academic year. From year 3 to year 6 each term has a focus and following our new KS2 curriculum maps year groups share a common theme that is taught across the school. These themes are People, habitats and countries. KS2 also follows a structured morning of maths, writing, reading and SPAG.
In Reception, our vision is to offer an environment where children’s natural desire to explore and learn is embraced. The Reception setting offers routines and boundaries set by the adults who organise and manage the classroom – providing a safe and nurturing space but where the children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning through exploration and fun. The Reception unit follows the early excellence model assessing children using the EYFS expectations. Staff work alongside the children in their chosen activities and encourage, validate and celebrate learning carefully watch for precious ‘teachable moments’ to enhance and develop their thinking and learning skills. By celebrating with interested adults around them children will feel motivated and enthusiastic about the experience of attending school and will be inspired by the opportunities to test and try new ways of learning. We also believe in having learning environments which promotes the characteristics of effective learning, nurturing pupils to become independent, curious, motivated learners, able to pursue their own interests and resource and manage their own learning. Our Reception unit echoes importance of the continuous provision for young learners, providing a range of flexible learning opportunities and resources to enable pupils to pursue their interests and curiosities independently and successfully.
All year groups have a skills/curriculum document that outlines the expected skills and curriculum to be taught within the year group. This also shows the progression of skills and what is being taught across the curriculum from reception to year 6. This is a big focus within our learning environment and is being promoted through continuous provision across the school. The facility to have many activities across a period of time allows children to re-visit different aspects of the wider curriculum and develop skills that they may not be able to attain through a different style of learning. We fully believe our approach is developing the whole child and promoting a deeper understanding of both knowledge and skills.
The Arts at St. Nicholas We are partway through our Artsmark project and have close links with our LCEP, ENJOY. Our commitment to Artsmark is helping us to develop our creative teaching ethos as a school and understanding the true value of the arts and culture within education. We have already improved children’s opportunities to engage with the creative and performing arts both within the curriculum and extra-curricular. To enhance the cultural capital of all our children we partake in a number of educational visits in our locality, within our county and to our country’s capital. We look to showing our children the world beyond St Nicholas Priory and the opportunities, possibilities and choices that lay in front of them. Through our Aspirations Day in the summer term and we want them to believe that they can be and can do anything they put their minds to.
Christian Ethos As a Church of England school Christian values are at the core of what we do and believe in. Through the use of exciting projects we embed these values by teaching children about the world and the current issues that affect it. We encourage our children to be good Christians throughout their school day with activities such as collective worship and through encouraging Christian behaviour throughout the school and during non-learning times. Our projects have a strong Christian ethos and in the past have enabled links with vulnerable people, donations of gifts to the elderly community and donations to wider world charities. We believe that not all learning is curriculum based and every moment of the school day is an opportunity to be a responsible citizen.
Extra Curricular Activities At St. Nicholas Priory we have developed our non- curricular activities to offer a wide choice of after school clubs such as football, sewing club and dance club. Children often have an opportunity to partake in sporting competitions and also have activities offered during lunchtimes such as ICT club.
The impact of our curriculum is be measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally: EYFS % of pupils achieving a ‘Good level of development’ (GLD), Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1, End of KS1 % of children working towards or at the expected standard and at Greater depth in reading, writing and maths, Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check and End of KS2 % of children working towards or at the expected standard and at Greater depth in reading, writing and maths. We use curriculum outcomes in foundation subjects to assess the success of pupils’ learning opportunities. The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps all of our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We use scrapbooks and floor books for children to evidence their wider curriculum learning.