Our school curriculum is driven and shaped by our school vision, which informs everything that we do.

St Nicholas provides a welcoming, inclusive and aspirational learning environment at the heart of its community. We nurture, encourage and support all children, adults and their families to be the best as God intended. Following God’s example of love and trust, we develop resilience and creativity in all we do.

Learning, loving and encouraging through Christ.

An uncompromising focus on pupils’ personal development has made St Nicholas Church of England Primary Academy a place where pupils always come first. Ofsted 2019

We consider reading skills to be of fundamental importance and an early priority is to ensure that children can read, understand and enjoy a wide range of reading material. Books are taken home so that parents can help by listening to, and reading with, their children. In Early Years children will be given a reading book to take home. Initially this book may contain only pictures to develop the child’s confidence in retelling stories and in answering questions. As they become more confident at reading CVC words (A CVC word is a word that is made up of a consonant, vowel and consonant sound. Cat, hot, tip, man and hut are all CVC words) the books will begin to contain short sentences. As the children develop their reading skills through EYFS and KS1, the texts they are asked to bring home become more complex. We encourage a wide range of reading activities both at home and school. To allow information to be shared the children are given a reading record to record any reading that takes place. This continues into KS2 where the books become progressively more challenging as their reading ability develops.

Parents are encouraged to promote reading at home.

Reading for Pleasure

At St Nicholas CE Primary Academy, we try to encourage a love of reading. We stress the importance of reading any type of book, not just school books. We encourage children to join the local library by holding a Summer Reading Challenge during the Summer Holiday. Here are some of the other things we do:

  • Spring & Summer Reading Challenges with books as prizes each week.
  • Busters Book Club – weekly chance to compete with local schools and win prizes.
  • Author visits
  • Summer Reading Week & PJ night.
  • Book Swaps.
  • World Book Day events.
  • Reading Buddies (Year 6)
  • Book Fairs.
  • Able Writers sessions with Authors.
  • Summer Reading Challenge at the local library.
  • Access to Oxford Owl – free online reading books.

Reading Plus

At St Nicholas, we use Reading Plus with children in Years 4, 5 and 6.

Reading Plus is a web-based program that builds upon the foundational skills of phonics and phonemic awareness to develop reading with metacognition – reading for meaning.

The program combines a wide variety of age-appropriate texts with rigorous questioning designed to challenge a pupil’s deeper understanding. This, together with vocabulary exercises, builds a stronger foundation for reading comprehension.

Using a unique Guided Window system, Reading Plus accelerates silent reading speed and increases pupil’s stamina. Whilst often overlooked, reading fluency is an essential component for developing confidence, motivation, and interest in reading.

Reading Plus has a readability range from Y2 to beyond GCSE. Based on the completion of independent reading activities, it automatically assesses comprehension, fluency and reading speed and moves children through the scheme at a rate that suits their own ability. This means that children who find reading more challenging are given the correct level of support in building stamina and vocabulary, but also that our most able readers are constantly challenged and will be exposed to texts at a higher level than that of their own year group.

In school, Children have 2-3 sessions of Reading Plus each week and it can also be accessed at home as part of children’s home learning. Children who do not have access to a laptop at home, are given the opportunity to complete the assignments at school. There is an expectation that children complete all their allocated assignments for See Reader activities each week.