St Nicholas CE Primary School
A caring community where all pupils are valued
and achieve well.
Welcome to St Nicholas Church of England Primary School. We hope that our prospectus will give you a flavour of what our school has to offer. You are invited to come to see us at any time so please contact us on 01235 763 858 to arrange to meet the Headteacher, Mr Andy Browne, and to have a look around.
At the heart of everything we do at St Nicholas is our values, please take a moment to read them. At St Nicholas we have very high standards of behaviour, teaching and learning because every member of the St Nicholas community is important, created and loved by God and deserves the greatest opportunity to achieve the very best that they possibly can.
Where are we?
St Nicholas School is situated in beautiful surroundings which over-look the Vale of the White Horse. The school serves the village of East Challow as well as attracting pupils from surrounding villages, Wantage and Grove. We welcome children between the ages of four and eleven.
Academy Status and the Vale Academy Trust
On October 1st 2014 St Nicholas CE Primary School became an academy and joined the Vale Academy Trust (VAT). The VAT consists of King Alfred’s Academy, Charlton Primary School, Millbrook Primary School, Wantage CE Primary School and St James CE Primary School, East Hanney. Simon Spiers (pictured below with St Nicholas pupils and Andy Browne) is Chief Executive of the VAT and heads a team of head teachers and staff committed to providing the highest standard of education possible to all children and young people in the Wantage and Grove area.
Children are admitted in line with the Oxfordshire County Council schools admissions policy. Children who are four years old (Reception children) enter school in the September of the academic year that they will become five.
The School Day
8.45am children arrive at school
10.45am – 11.00am morning break
12.00pm – 12.50pm lunch
3pm end of school day
Reception class parents and children arrive at the Reception class from 8.45am to ‘hand over’ the children to our Reception staff.
Children in Years 1 to 6 arrive from 8.45am and go straight to their class where they can prepare for the day and complete ‘morning work’ before the register is taken at 9:00am.
Punctuality is essential and ensures that children arrive at school in the right frame of mind ready for a new school day.
The school is an inclusive community. The school has very good access arrangements for disabled adults and children and is responsive to the needs of everyone who joins our school community.
Safeguarding our pupils is of paramount importance and safeguarding procedures are rigorously maintained and developed.
St Nicholas is a Church of England school. As a church school we have close links with St Nicholas Church. Visits are made to the church to celebrate Christian festivals throughout the year. The school provides a daily act of collective worship for all pupils.
The Friends of St Nicholas
Friends of St Nicholas supports the school by organising a range of social and fundraising events which benefit the school community. The term ‘Friends’ includes all children, staff, parents, governors and members of the local community. All parents automatically become members when their child starts school.
Friends of St Nicholas plays an active and enjoyable part in school life. If you would like more information about Friends of St Nicholas please contact us initially on 01235 763 858 and we will put you in contact with our current Chair.
The National Curriculum
Children at St Nicholas School follow the National Curriculum.
The curriculum is split into three stages:
1. On entry children will be in the Reception class for a year, which is sometimes known as the Foundation Stage.
2. Children then move on to Key Stage 1 which is Years 1 and 2.
3. After Key Stage 1 children move on to Key Stage 2 which is Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
At St Nicholas we have 4 classes each taught by a teacher and teaching assistant (TA). Reception, Year 1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6.
English, Maths, Science, Religious Education and ICT are known as the Core Subjects.
History, Geography, Art, PE, Design and Technology, Music and Personal, Social Health and Citizenship Education, and Spanish are known as the Foundation Subjects.
Sex and relationships education is taught to Year 5/6 and it is your right as a parent to withdraw your child from these lessons if you wish to.
Religious Education (RE)
The school provides teaching of RE for all pupils in accordance with the Oxfordshire agreed syllabus. We follow the Discovery RE curriculum, recommended by the Diocese of Oxford.
Special Educational Needs
If the school identifies a child as having special educational needs we will consult parents to discuss the type of special educational need they may have and any support that we feel they may require. We work with parents to achieve the best progress and development of each child. Parents are kept fully informed at all times and are included in any decisions taken concerning their child.
The Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at St Nicholas is currently Mrs Julie Batten. Please contact the office at St Nicholas for further information and a copy of our SEN policy.
More Able Pupils
Our aim is that all pupils are provided with the optimum opportunity to develop their full potential. More able pupils are identified and provision is made to support and promote that aim.
The curriculum is enriched by a wide range of after-school clubs which run throughout the year. We have clubs that include Art, Choir, Coding (computer programming), Football, Netball, Chess and Cricket. St Nicholas pupils regularly compete against other schools in a variety of sports.
Trips and Visits
We love to get out and about and research shows that children learn much better when they are actively involved in their learning. We aim to make our curriculum as creative as possible with each topic involving a ‘wow’ factor which is usually a trip to somewhere exciting and engaging or a visit from someone from the local community.
We value the crucial educational partnership between home and school. Homework is just one of the ways in which we seek to foster this partnership.
There is an expectation that parents will support homework in line with our Home School Partnership Agreement. Successful completion of homework is really is dependent on parental support.
We believe that throughout a child’s primary school life one of the most important opportunities we can give pupils to further their learning is to share books with adults and to read together regularly and often.
Read to their child
Support their child to read a book
Listen to their child reading independently.
At all times this should be an enjoyable experience. Taking the time to discuss the book is an important part of this activity. Parents are asked to record any reading completed in their child’s reading record.
In addition to reading, other homework may be set when it is appropriate to support other areas of the curriculum. Some homework will encourage independent work and some homework will require parental support.
When the school sets homework we will ensure that:
It will be clearly related to current areas of study
The task will be explained to each child and matched to their abilities
Timescales for completion will be made clear to the children.
A copy of our homework policy is available from the school office.
Teachers use a range of assessments on a daily basis to inform teaching and promote learning.
Children are assessed in reading, writing and maths six times a year and annually to track pupil progress.
Children are assessed throughout and at the end of the Reception year.
At the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 (Years 2 and 6) children are assessed using nationally administered SATs (Standard Attainment Tests). Our aim is to ensure that every child makes better than good progress.
There are both formal and informal opportunities throughout the year to discuss your child’s progress. Because of the vital importance of an active partnership between home and school, parents are strongly encouraged to attend parent/teacher interviews.
Autumn term: Parent/teacher interview
Spring term: Parent/teacher interview
Summer term: Annual written report
Any concerns about your child should be raised informally with their class teacher as they occur. Teachers can be available after school, by arrangement through the school office.
We believe the development of appropriate behaviour is a vital element in the child’s personal and social education and to the general well-being of the school community. Qualities of mutual respect, fair play, consideration for others and good manners are regarded as the basis for good relationships between pupils and teachers at St Nicholas School. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
The whole school community works together to develop a shared ethos, which is the basis of common standards. A copy of the school’s behaviour policy is available from the school office.
School Uniform at St Nicholas CE Primary School
The wearing of correct, smart, school uniform is very important.
Children wear clothing and shoes which are appropriate for school activities.
It is particularly important that children wear appropriate black or brown flat school shoes.
Blue sweatshirts, cardigans and white polo shirts with the school logo are on sale from two suppliers:
Tesco school uniform is an online service which is very competitively priced.
Furthermore, Tesco donates 5% of the cost of all uniform orders to the school which we can use to purchase books and other much needed resources.
‘PMG Schoolwear’ which is based in Faringdon.
PMG Schoolwear, 8 Regal Way, Faringdon, SN7 7BX, 01895 809 321
Their website is: http://pmgschoolwear.co.uk/
This link will take you directly to the St Nicholas section of their website:
We encourage each child to be independent and develop a sense of responsibility for their own possessions. To help us and your child, we suggest that all clothing should be clearly marked.
Weaing makeup is not permitted at St Nicholas. 1 stud in each earlobe is permitted.
Children should wear a white T-shirt and navy shorts for PE. Navy shorts are also available from PMG Schoolwear. For outdoor PE children will need plimsolls or trainers. In winter children will need in addition a warm sweatshirt and/or tracksuit bottoms.
Earring studs must be removed or covered for PE and swimming. Long hair must be tied back for PE.
PE kit should be in school every day and should be in a named bag.
Swimming kit consisting of swimming costume, towel and cap must be brought for swimming lessons. (Caps are available from the school office - currently priced £1)
Our excellent on-site kitchen provides food cooked by King Alfred’s Academy catering service. Children may bring a packed lunch, or go home for lunch.
To support the school’s ‘Healthy Eating’ initiatives, water is available for all pupils. No child may bring sweets, chocolate bars or fizzy drinks as part of a packed lunch. For safety reasons NO GLASS containers may be brought in by pupils. Children may bring a snack of fruit or vegetables for morning break.
Dinner money must be paid in advance on the Monday of the week in which the meal is required. Parents may if they wish pay termly in advance. Dinner money should be sent in a named envelope marked ‘dinner money’.
Free School Meals
Free school meals are available to any child whose parents receive Income Support or the Jobseeker’s Allowance. This matter is dealt with sensitively and confidentially by all staff. An application form for free school meals is available from the school office.
We hope you have found our prospectus informative. We are very proud of St Nicholas School, we know that any pupil who joins St Nicholas will be nurtured, safe, cared-for and supported fully by both staff and pupils. They will experience great teaching and learning which is fun, engaging and meets their needs. They will be part of the family at St Nicholas which works together, plays together and worships together. They will leave us having made the best progress possible having developed the skills and personal qualities to prepare them for lifelong learning at secondary school and beyond.
If you have any further questions, please go to our website, address below, or contact us via the school office.
Mr Andrew Browne
Giraffe Class (Reception) Mrs Elise Keymer
Dolphin Class (Years 1 and 2) Miss Nicole Winter
Falcon Class (Years 3 and 4) Mrs Trisha Chandler
Panther Class (Years 5 and 6) Mrs Charlotte Gibson & Mrs Claire Taylor
Mrs Tina Gillies
Mrs Julie Quinn
Mrs Caroline Bailey
Mrs Debbie England
Mrs Nicky Hinton
Mrs Julie Ambrose
Mrs Julie Ambrose
Mrs Tina Gillies
Mrs Debbie England
Mrs Julie Quinn
Mrs Caroline Bailey
Mrs Jackie Cornick
Mrs Linda Butler
St Nicholas C of E Primary School
East Challow Wantage
Oxon OX12 9RY
Telephone No: 01235 763858
Headteacher: Mr A Browne