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Children at St. Nicholas are taught  a topic based curriculum. We regularly review our Curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of  our pupils. Where possible we link different subjects together to develop pupils' skills. Please click on the link to open the whole school curriculum map.  For any further information, please see the class pages where there will be newsletters and photographs about the topics being taught. 

Curriculum Intent Statement

Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6


At Newchurch St. Nicholas we have designed our curriculum to acknowledge that within our diverse school community children are all individuals bringing different experiences and personalities to school.


Our curriculum aims to develop basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values by engaging pupils in learning which is tailored to their needs through providing exciting , relevant opportunities which motivate our children and develop critical thinking and give them a thirst for learning. Timetabling prioritises Maths, English and Phonics which are taught for the vast majority of the time in the morning . Core skills are reinforced through cross curricular work which enables children to make links . Our curriculum also aims to capitalise on the school’s local community recognising changes within it and the impact of these on its culture and opportunities.


We acknowledge the Christian foundation of our school and foster close links with church. Our Christian values are threaded through everyday life at St Nicholas and promote tolerance and understanding, positive attitudes to learning and foster healthy relationships.


We are committed to ensuring that  the education the children receive here will provide them with ambition and inspire them to further their horizons. Our curriculum will provide a firm foundation which will enable children to build their potential and progress confidently into the next phase of their education and life journey. It is also part of our vision that in the ever changing world we live in, our children are equipped to embrace whatever comes their way with a positive outlook.

Our pupils will leave with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit Christian community.




The National Curriculum

A ‘curriculum’ is a list of content to be taught and learnt – a course of study for schools, colleges and universities. From September 2014, schools in England follow a new National Curriculum - a course of study decided by the Department for Education.


Structure of the National Curriculum

At Newchurch St Nicholas Primary school, there are three phases in total:

  • Early Years: ages 4-5 (Reception); the National Curriculum does not cover this phase. For details of the Early Years Foundation Stage’s seven areas of learning and the 17 early learning goals, (see document below)
  • Key Stage 1: ages 5-7 (Years 1-2)
  • Key Stage 2: ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)

For Key Stages 1 and 2, there are three core subjects:

  • English (spoken language, reading, writing, including grammar and punctuation)
  • Mathematics (including number and place value, calculations, fractions, measurements, geometry)
  • Science (including ‘working scientifically’)

In addition, there are foundation subjects; for Key Stages 1 and 2, these are:

  • art and design
  • computing
  • design and technology (DT)
  • geography
  • history
  • music
  • physical education (PE)
  • religious education (RE)


A language is also a foundation subject in Key Stage 2 – we have been teaching French to children from year 3 to year 6.

To view the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for each subject ( and your child’s year group) click here


The  Early Years Foundation Stage is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of reception year. The curriculum is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning.


The EYFS Framework sets out the expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”


They address how a child learns and include:


Characteristics of effective learning:


Playing & exploring – Engagement

Finding out and exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to ‘have a go’


Active learning – Motivation

Being involved & concentrating

Keeping trying

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


Creating and thinking critically – Thinking

Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things

Newchurch St. Nicholas Pupil Passport 

At Newchurch St. Nicholas we believe that there is more to coming to school than just sitting in a classroom.

School years should be filled with fun, memorable events and it is with this in mind that we have created a ‘Passport’ that we will aim to complete with our pupils during their time with us.

Please click on the link to view the passport.


At Newchurch St Nicholas, we teach phonics using the Phonics Bug programme.

It is a fast paced, clearly progressed phonic programme that takes children through six phases.

Children progress through the phases at different speeds. In order to make this learning relevant to all children, we have grouped them according to the phase they are at.

Phonics is taught in daily twenty five minute sessions before lunch. A variety of short activities make up these sessions. Phonics at Newchurch is as interactive and engaging as possible to enable all children to access the work.

We  use Phonics Bug to plan and deliver our phonics sessions. Our reading books are also linked to this so that children can read books that they are able to phonically decode. 

Below is a list of the different sounds and tricky words your child will be taught at each learning phase.

In Phase 2 children will be practising blending sounds for reading and learning to read tricky words. 

If you require any further information please speak to your child’s class teacher.


Phase 1:

Children are encouraged to listen to sounds in their environment. 

Ask your child questions e.g. ‘What can you hear? How do you know?’


Phase 2:

The following sounds are taught...

Set 1: s a t p

Set 2: i n m d

Set 3: g o c k

Set 4: ck e u r

Set 5: h b f,ff l,ll ss 

The children learn one set per week and are taught to blend sounds as they learn them.


Phase 3:

Set 6: j v w x

Set 7: y z,zz qu 

The following graphemes are taught...

ch sh th (as in that) th (as in think)

ng (as in strong) ai(as in paid) ee (as in week) igh (as in night)

oa (as in coat) oo (as in wood) oo (as in moon) ar (as in car)

or(as in torn) ur (as in turn) ow (as in cow) oi (as in coin) 

ear(as in ear) air (as in air) ure (as in sure) er (as in her)  


Phase 4:

Children are taught to blend and segment a variety of words, shown below

Consonant Vowel Consonant Consonant words eg. Tent

CCVC words eg. Frog

CCVCC words eg. Crisp

CCCVCC words eg. Shrink


Phase 5:

Children are taught the alternative spellings for the sounds they learned in Phase 3.

ay day oy boy wh when a-e make ou out ir girl ph photo e-e these ie tie ue blue ew new i-e like ea eat aw saw oe toe o-e home au Paul u-e rule

Teaching alternative sounds for spellings:

wh, ph

ai, a-e, eigh, ey, ei

ea, e-e, ie, ey,y



y, i

ow, o-e, o, oe

ew, ue, u-e

aw, au, al

ir,er, ear


Phase 6

Mainly concerns itself with teaching spelling. We follow the No Nonsesnse Spelling approach at Newchurch St Nicholas. More information can be found on the spelling page. 

  • We look at how to use and spell past tense words 
  • We learn rules to help us make correct spelling choices  
  • We learn how to add suffixes eg, ed, ing, ly, est, ful, s, es,            
  • We learn how to proof read. 


Some useful websites for all phonics phase games can be found at:


At Newchurch St Nicholas we use the No Nonsense approach to spelling. Further information can be found on the attached documents. 


The teaching of reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer. A rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading.  Reading is taught initially via high quality and pacy daily phonics sessions following the 'Phonics bug' scheme. There is a sharp focus on ensuring that younger children gain phonics knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read, and the skills to communicate, gives them the foundations for future learning. 

The children have a rich reading curriculum and the skills of reading are taught through effective shared and guided reading sessions which are sequential and build upon prior learning.


In Early Years and KS1 children read books which are matched to the phonics phase that they are currently working on and read bug club books. In KS2 children read books that match the year group they are in, following the bug club scheme. If they complete these books then they are 'free readers' for the remainder of the academic year. Guided reading takes place in all classes, using texts matched to the needs of the children. 


A love for learning is promoted throughout school with daily reading time, class reading areas, visits to the school library and promoting reading where possible through special events such as World Book Day. KS2 regularly take part in Lancashire's Fantastic Book Awards to celebrate new and exciting books and KS1 have begun to participate in the Brilliant Book Awards. 



Religious Education

Religious Education at Newchurch St. Nicholas C.E. Primary school aspires to enable every child to flourish and to live life in all its fullness.


The curriculum aims to educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together. We teach a full, progressive curriculum that prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of life in a modern interconnected world. Christianity is central to our curriculum and our Christian values are embedded throughout all we do in school. Christianity is studied as a living and diverse faith and is focused on the teaching of Jesus and the Church. The curriculum also provides sequenced learning about a range of religions and worldwide views with the aim of fostering respect for others and their beliefs.

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