St Nicolas CE Primary School, Abingdon

Learning Excellence




What We Teach


(Please see our class pages link above  for up to date termly topic webs and planning letters)


The Government has laid down clear guidelines for what should be taught in schools. Our Foundation Stage children cover all areas of the Foundation Stage Curriculum which prepares them for their development through the National Curriculum. This framework, the National Curriculum, contains eleven subjects, with a significant proportion of time being devoted to the development of children’s literacy and numeracy skills.


  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • P.E.
  • Religious Education

In addition, Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE) are taught through a scheme of work called Jigsaw (see summary document below). At St Nicolas we also teach Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in Years 3 to 6.
We teach the children through a programme of subject-centred work (e.g. Mathematics) and integrated work, where subjects are combined together to make the links in learning. Our teachers prepare yearly and termly ‘curriculum plans’ as well as weekly lesson plans. An overview of each term’s planned work is published for parents and is available on the school website.
We want every child at St Nicolas School to reach his or her full academic potential. To help them, we try to ensure that our lessons are:

  • Challenging
  • Varied and balanced
  • Suited to each child’s needs and abilities

Our curriculum is the complete “learning package” offered by the school. By that, we mean that it encompasses more than just the lessons and activities provided while children are at school. It also sets the tone, standards, quality and discipline of the school and the attitudes and values we wish to encourage. We feel that HOW children learn and behave is just as important to us as WHAT they learn. The curriculum at St Nicolas is equally concerned therefore, with personal qualities, behaviour and conduct, as well as the knowledge and skills the children should acquire. For this reason, we nurture and encourage:

  • friendship, responsibility, teamwork, respect and loyalty
  • politeness, courtesy, consideration and social awareness
  • high moral standards, good character and behaviour
  • qualities of curiosity, imagination, creativity and inventiveness
  • care for the school and the wider environment

To aid parents in following how we teach certain aspects at St Nicolas we have produced leaflets on 'Phonics' and 'Calculation' which are available at the school reception.
Educational Visits

Educational visits enable us to capitalize on a wealth of exciting and educational resources beyond our school. They provide a real opportunity to reinforce learning, widen horizons, develop new skills and engage in new experiences. Parents can view an outline of intended visits for the year and their likely costs below.
We also offer two residential visits:

  • Year 4 – 2 night residential
  • Year 6 – 4 night residential

These are wonderful opportunities for the children where particular skills are focused upon within the context of an outdoor adventurous week.
In order to undertake visits and activities, we ask for voluntary donations from parents to cover costs. Voluntary contributions are requested to cover costs such as coach charges, admission fees, visiting companies’ charges and insurance. Parents are always advised in advance of such requests and provision is available for anyone having difficulty in affording to pay.
Physical Education and Games

The main aim of our P.E. programme is enjoyment of physical activity, with the added bonus of improved skill, fitness, strength and agility. Our children take part in gymnastics, dance/movement, games skills, athletics. Where possible we try to supplement our P.E. Curriculum and to take advantage of opportunities offered to us to allow children to try different sports within the school P.E. programme such as Karate, tennis, basketball and many others. There is also a full swimming programme at a local pool for Year 3, 4 and 5 children.
Prayer Space

Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people to explore faith and spirituality from a broadly Christian perspective in a safe, creative and interactive way. A range of flexible resources are adapted to work for the pupils to bring an experiential dimension to a variety of subject areas and to pastoral aspects of school life. At St Nicolas we currently hold 2 to 3 ‘Prayer Space’ weeks a year, with the support of the local churches, when the children have at least half an hour in the prayer space during these weeks.

The school provides a wide range of after school clubs and activities. At appropriate stages in their school life, children are actively encouraged to involve themselves in our programme. Extra curricular activities are seen as an important extension of school life where children can try things out, extend skills or compete in a structured and planned way. Teachers, classroom assistants, external agencies, parents and friends of the school are all involved in providing the following range of activities.

Football                       Netball/High Fives
Choir                           Chess
Orchestra                     Recorders
Hockey                        Tennis
Athletics                      Karate
Rugby                         Drama      

Where professional coaches are used there may be a charge to parents.
Musical Instrument Tuition

St Nicolas has a long standing, strong tradition in music and the Performing Arts and the children benefit from our own music and drama teacher. Children wishing to learn a particular instrument can enroll with the County Music Service which provides tuition for groups during the school day on site. (Further information about this service is available from the school office).