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Curriculum Statement

Underpinning our curriculum is our school vision: exploring possibilities together’. The aim of our curriculum is for all pupils to flourish: to have high aspirations, be confident and resilient individuals and to make a positive contribution to the school community and beyond. The curriculum is underpinned by the school’s personal values of respect, curiosity, community and friendship. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are also woven through the curriculum. Children learn best through positive home school partnership and in this parents and the wider community play an active role in all aspects of pupil development.

Curriculum Intent

Year 1 – Year 6

St Nicholas CE VA Primary School offers a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. We have developed a rich and vibrant curriculum that incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum (2014) and meets the needs of all our children in our local context, where knowledge and skills are taught in engaging and meaningful ways. We are dedicated to addressing disadvantage by providing all children with essential knowledge and experiences that build on their starting points. We aim to provide an inclusive curriculum which is coherently planned and sequenced so that the children are able to make good progress across all areas of learning.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Teaching in the EYFS setting at St Nicholas CE VA Primary School is delivered in accordance with the Government’s statutory document ‘The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ (March 2021). This document is a principled approach to the Early Years education, bringing together children’s welfare, leaning and development requirements through four themes: ‘A Unique Child’, ‘Positive Relationships’, ‘Enabling Environments’ and ‘Children Learn in Different Ways and at Different Rates’.

The curriculum is centred on 3 prime areas of learning: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

We also support activities through four specific areas, which strengthen the prime areas.

These are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Play is a very important part of your child’s development and most learning is introduced through a mixture of carefully planned opportunities for play and some adult-led focused activities. We also provide opportunities for your child to choose activities that appeal to them, following their own particular interests. As the reception year progresses, the learning may start to become more formal, ready for Year 1 and the National Curriculum.

Curriculum Implementation

We are using Cornerstones to help support our delivery of the National Curriculum.

Cornerstones is a fully sequenced and interconnecting curriculum which begins in Reception and is developed across the key stages to Year 6. It is designed to help children build and sequence knowledge using a creative and thematic approach to learning. The curriculum begins with a ‘Big Idea’ or a higher-level concept that links subjects and connects the whole curriculum.  The ‘Big Ideas’ are then broken down into smaller parts which they call ‘aspects’. Aspects are then broken down to form robust knowledge and skills. Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill.

It is important to sequence the delivery of the curriculum so that over time children can build on their knowledge and development of skills and so different engaging topics are used to enable children to revisit and build on their learning in a variety of different subjects. The half termly projects will provide a clear purpose and value to learning, have a variety of different subject foci (Subject Driver) and bring creativity and opportunities for inspirational learning activities. The projects are delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs), Knowledge Leaning Projects (KPIs) and Companion Projects. Given that science is a core subject and to ensure necessary coverage, Companion Projects are taught throughout the year with each project.

Cornerstones enables this to happen through a four stage teaching and learning philosophy – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.

Engage – is the first stage. Children will have memorable first-hand experiences or WOW experiences where they investigate and discover or be introduced in exciting ways to a new topic.

Develop – during this stage children will dig deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum, practice new skills and maybe even follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests.

Innovate – at this stage children will apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding to real life contexts. Be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from earlier stages.

Express – the final stage. Children will become the experts, the informers. They will share their achievements and evaluate any finished products or processes.


Maths, English, P.E, R.E, MFL, and PSHE are taught separately in KS1 and KS2.

Links are made where possible to teach these subjects with the current project.

Computing and Music are also supplemented to ensure curriculum coverage.   

All other subjects follow a 2 year rolling programme in EYFS and a 3 year rolling programme in KS1 and KS2.

For further details, please click on our Curriculum Subject pages or read our Curriculum and Assessment Policies, which can be found on our policies page.

Click below to view our Curriculum Rolling Programme – LTP


Curriculum Impact

The impact of pupils’ learning will be assessed in the following ways:

  • Formative assessment through teacher feedback
  • Summative assessment will identify children who have reached expected standards and those working either above or below. Pupil responses – this may be evidenced in project journals and will give an indication of children’s understanding.
  • Each class collates a Big Book where whole class work is collected.
  • There is a display board in each classroom that is dedicated to the project which is a working process. As well as informative materials, children’s investigations and work will be displayed. 
  • EXPRESS end of unit activities that allow children to collate and present their learning in independent and creative ways.


Curriculum Review

  • Subject leaders regularly complete book and planning scrutinies to ensure there is no mismatch between the planned and delivered curriculum.
  • Book, planning and pupil questioning will demonstrate whether pupils successfully ‘learn the curriculum’ and are using specific subject specific vocabulary effectively.


Parents and our Curriculum

For each new half term project, A Parent Project Overview Map is sent home to parents. It explains the name of the project for the half term and what the Driver Subjects(s) is, the Companion Project, the Memorable Experience and their Innovate Challenge. On the back is a range of optional extra home learning activities that parents may choose to do with their child at home to reinforce and widen their learning.


The Extended Curriculum

There are many opportunities for children to participate and contribute to the life of the school and we encourage them to take responsibility and become active citizens of our school community, our local community and the wider world. We appreciate that learning is not just restricted to the classroom. Provision of visiting speakers, external visits and extra-curricular clubs provide excellent opportunities to enhance and enrich the children’s learning. Each Cornerstones Project begins with a memorable experience that stimulates children’s curiosity and prepares them for a new theme. A memorable experience often involves an educational visit out of school or a visitor coming into school to share their expertise with the children.

We aim to provide enrichment activities to enhance the curriculum at St. Nicholas Primary CE VA School. The school organises themed days, linked to various aspects of the curriculum. Examples being: Art/Science/RE/other curriculum linked days or weeks, World Book Day, Comic Relief Day, Children in Need Day etc.

We also aim to provide a variety of extra-curricular activities for all children that will meet their needs, interests and enhance their skills and learning. These clubs are delivered by school staff and other professionals; for example, sports specific coaches and forest skills teachers. Clubs are changed termly and can be found out what clubs are available that term on the website or school office.


Click below to see an example of a Parent Project Overview Map


Click below to see our Cornerstones Curriculum Plan


Click below to see our Curriculum Policy


If you would like paper copies of any of these documents, please email or visit the school office.