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The New St Nicholas’ Curriculum A new approach to learning for the modern world

For the past three years, St Nicholas’ has undertaken a journey to modernise our curriculum and how children learn, combining success in grammar and independent senior school examinations with innovative and creative teaching strategies.

Education has changed very little in the past 100 years - a race to retain information and knowledge. Now though, with children growing up in the Information Age, with instant access to knowledge via the internet, we aim to teach children how to understand and apply, to develop skills that prepare them for life at senior school, at university and within the workforce throughout their lives.

We maintain our focus on 11+ applications, and have enjoyed a huge amount of success, which we are very proud of. We achieve this by developing children who are self-motivated learners, who are encouraged to ask questions and investigate, who are responsible and ambitious, and most importantly, approach their education with a positive attitude.

This document outlines how we have achieved this - how subject boundaries have been merged, how modern strategies and technologies have been embedded, and how children are able to succeed without the need for cramming with a tutor or sterile learning approaches.

How is our curriculum different?

Independent learning at core of curriculum, embedding skills and motivating learning.

Inquiry Projects deliver content relevant to a broad curriculum of topics, teaching skills to interpret information, moving away from simple fact retention.

STEM lessons covering Science and ICT content

Accelerated curriculum to deliver success at senior school

1:1 iPad provision

11+ Preparation

We have developed an accelerated curriculum, teaching content significantly beyond the expected levels, recognising the high standards required for 11+ applications.

This accelerated curriculum is a feature throughout the school, from a child’s first day in Reception through to their senior school applications in Year 6, meaning that we never have to rely on excessive academic pressure and the need for external tuition.

Our small class sizes mean that teachers have an exceptional knowledge of each child’s strengths and areas for development, meaning that we can target our support, address misconceptions and extend children throughout all ages of the school.

2020 Senior School offers

Scholarships obtained:

University College School (Academic), Haberdasher Askes Boys (Academic)

Merchant Taylors’ (Academic), John Lyon School (Music)

North London Grammar School (Academic)

Examinations passed for:

Queen Elizabeth Boys’ School, Mill Hill County

Watford Grammar, Slough Grammar

Senior School offers:

Merchant Taylors’, St Albans

Mill Hill County, Haberdasher Askes Boys

John Lyon School, North London Grammar

Northwood College, Islamia Girls

Independent Learning

Children are given freedom to explore the curriculum; lessons have broad parameters, which encourages enquiry skills.

Children choose how to present their work, increasing the quality of finished product and resulting in a stronger understanding.

Pupils develop as self-motivated learners.

1:1 iPad provision

Each child has an iPad to supplement their learning. Screen time is closely monitored, with the devices used to support and extend all areas of the curriculum.

Children have knowledge of a broad range of apps; written work comes to life with green screen movie making, projects involve 360 views of ancient ruins or the Mars landscape, and our independent learning curriculum is supported with opportunities to research.

Inquiry Projects

Uniquely designed content, delivering accelerated skills so that children can analyse information effectively and apply knowledge independently.

Pupils leave St Nicholas’ having explored a majority of KS3 skills

Lessons developed to embed higher-skills, such as essay writing introduced from KS1

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths)

Content is centred around development of investigation skills

Framework for conducting investigations introduced in EYFS

Coding knowledge applied to modern devices

Embedded technology

Virtual reality is embedded across the curriculum, inspiring writing, contextualising geographical features and bring ancient sites to life.

Our coding curriculum is applied to drones and smart speakers to show pupils how their learning has real world applications.

Curriculum designed to encourage analysis of information

Unique content, delivering accelerated skills. Pupils leave St Nicholas’ having explored a majority of KS3 skills

Essay writing framework embedded in KS1

Sporting success

Curriculum incorporates Sports Science, focussing on how science is applied to sports.

ILG Football, Athletics and Rowing champions.

The Arts

Pupils sit LAMDA and ABRSM examinations from Year 1

Older pupils study the Shakespeare LAMDA syllabus.

Individual music lessons offered to pupils from Reception

Personal Development

Timetabled meditation lessons from Reception help children to develop emotional maturity and resilience.

Our small class sizes mean that everyone knows everyone, creating a supportive environment for learning and growing.

Contact us

We are incredibly proud about this curriculum, and would be delighted to share more information on how our innovative curriculum can shape your child’s future.

E mail admin@stnicholasschool.org.uk to arrange a time to speak with the Headteacher to find out more.

Visit our social media pages to see more of the wonderful work our children produce!

Twitter: @stnicks1937

Instagram: stnicholasprep1937