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Academic Excellence

Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School follows a curriculum that is based upon the 2014 revision of the Primary National Curriculum. We aim to give all children the opportunity to grow and develop from the very earliest opportunity to reach their full potential upon leaving Key Stage 2 and onward into the next stage of their learning journey.

This is delivered through a wide variety of activities and lessons throughout the years, that excite and enthuse the children, promoting a thirst for knowledge and an appreciation of the joy of mastering new skills.

Our aim is to educate the 'whole child', developing their academic, social, emotional and physical skills, along with fostering a curiosity and willingness to take on challenges.


Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.  Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Prime Areas
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language: listening, attention, understanding and speaking.
  • Physical development: moving, handling, health and self-care.
  • Personal, social and emotional development: self-confidence, self- awareness, managing feelings, behaviour and making relationships

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

Specific Areas
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy: reading and writing.
  • Mathematics: numbers, shape, space and measures.
  • Understanding the world: people, communities, technology and the world.
  • Expressive arts and design: exploring and using media and materials and being imaginative.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The Foundation Stage team will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests. In addition to our daily classroom activites our timetable enhancements will provide the children with extra opportunities to develop in these areas. For example, Forest School, Dough Gym, Cooking, PE, Music, Creative Writing, Kinetic Letters and much more! 

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking. These are known as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ and will be used to gain information on the way in which your child learns, activities can then be tailored to meet their learning style.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 is taught during Years 1 and 2 of primary school. During this time, children make the transition from the Early Years Foundation Stage into a more formal setting. Targets defined in the National Curriculum are assessed during this period in reading, writing and mathematics. These include the Phonics Screening test (Year 1), and the Key Stage 1 SATs (Year 2).   

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 is taught during Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 of primary school. Here the children further develop the range of skills set out in the National Curriculum. The key targets are assessed at the end of Year 6 in the Key Stage 2 SATs.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

The school places a high priority in meeting the needs of all children, whatever their ability. We aim to challenge the able and support those experiencing learning, behavioural or physical difficulties. In meeting children’s special needs, we may design individual programmes of work to be used within or outside the class with small groups or individuals. Advice may also be sought from outside agencies in consultation with parents.  If parents have particular concerns about their child’s progress, they should contact their child’s class teacher.  


The Nicholas Hawksmoor curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently adapting language and style
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debates
  • Are reading for pleasure and reading a wide variety of texts
  • Are enjoying poetry, fiction and non-fiction ranging from modern books to the classics from our rich cultural heritage
  • Receive direct teaching of spelling rules
  • Write with increasing speed, maintaining legibility and style
  • Write across the curriculum - core skills should be transferred to independent writing in all subjects
  • Are to be taught debating and presenting skills

We use a wide variety of resources to deliver our English curriculum. Some of these include:

  • Letters and Sounds for our phonics provision
  • The Oxford Reading Tree for the delivery of Key Stage 1 reading
  • Nelson grammar and spelling schemes for all children in Key Stages 1 and 2
  • Rising Stars - Cracking Comprehension to further enhance the skills of reading for children in Years 2 - 6


The national curriculum for mathematics in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics;
    reason mathematically;
    solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems.

Mathematics in Key Stage 1 follows the Singapore method of teaching which develops pupils' mathematical ability and confidence without having to resort to memorising procedures. With this approach there is an emphasis on problem solving and comprehension; allowing pupils to relate what they learn and connect knowledge. This method of teaching is then built upon in Key Stage 2 using the White Rose Maths Hub framework which provides many opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum.


 We follow the national curriculum for science which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics 
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.


 We follow the national curriculum for computing which aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation 
  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

The Arts

Our Arts provision is delivered by specialist teachers and is rightly renowned; please visit our Arts page for further details.

Physical Education (PE)

PE is another area of the curriculum that Nicholas Hawksmoor prides itself in; please visit our PE & Sports page for further details.

Religious Education (RE)

We aim to help the children to develop a responsible attitude towards other people, to foster their sense of wonder at, and reverence for, life. We also aim for the children to have an understanding of Christianity and other religions and cultures. The school follows the county’s agreed syllabus for Religious Education.

You have the right to withdraw your child from these lessons. 

Health and Wellbeing (PSHE and SMSC)

At Nicholas Hawksmoor, we see the importance of every member of our school community leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to mental, physical, emotional and health and wellbeing of our children and our staff. We have a broad and a balanced Health and Wellbeing Curriculum that incorporates elements of relationships, personal identity, behaviour and health & safety education. We aim to make our children confident, active, global citizens aware of their rights and responsibilities. Once a year we are visited by the Life Education Bus which further develops these themes with relevant year groups. As part of this programme we also deliver SRE and Drug Education to all children. All this work is age-appropriate and is centred around relationships and empowering children to make positive choices. As children reach Upper KS2 they will begin to learn about the changes they will face both physically and emotionally as they head towards puberty. Furthermore children will learn about the reproductive process of conception relevant to their age of development in Year 6. Parents will be informed when your child’s undertaking SRE sessions and invited to view any resources.

You have the right to withdraw your child from these sessions.


We follow the national curriculum for geography which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time 
  • Are competent in a range of  geographical skills needed to:
  • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.


 We follow the national curriculum for history which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed 
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Children at Nicholas Hawksmoor are taught French weekly throughout Year 2 - 6 delivered by specialist provision.

Educational Visits/Visitors

We firmly believe that children learn from first-hand experience, therefore we ensure that all children at school are given the opportunity to regularly attend trips and visits that will enhance their understanding of subjects and areas of learning. These are chosen specifically for the benefits that they will bring to the children's educational experience and over the course of their time with us, children will experience a huge variety of exciting and inspiring trips.  A voluntary contribution towards the cost of transport and relevant entrance fees is requested, with payments being processed online via ParentPay. If you are unable to contribute towards the cost, please contact the school office directly; rest assured that such conversations are held in confidence. 


 We provide an extensive range of before and after-school clubs. Please visit our extra-curricular page for further information.