Core Subjects

The core subjects are those that have been classed as essential and are taught to all pupils across the United Kingdom. 


Being one of the core curriculum subjects, computing and information communication technology is used throughout the school as an important tool in developing skills and supporting the achievements of all pupils.  The previous ICT curriculum is now embedded in other subjects.

The four Key Areas of the National Curriculum are :

  • Use, evaluate and apply information communication technology to solve problems.
  • Understand and apply computer science including logic, algorithms, data representation and communication
  • Analyse problems in computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
  • Be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information communication technology.

Across the curriculum students have access to coding software, guided access to the Internet, digital photography, animation packages, word processing, educational games, programming, control technology and communications equipment.

We have networked PC platform computers throughout the school as well as an ICTsuite in the atrium. The school has interactive whiteboards in each classroom a class set of iPads and a class set of Microsoft tablets. Accreditation to Entry Level is offered as well as life and living. The School sources its internet from Norfolk County Council; this provides an extremely high level of filtering and safety.

The school places a strong emphasis on e safety which is referenced throughout the computing curriculum and also in other subjects where appropriate. All pupils in KS3 have discreet e safety sessions. 1:1 intervention is offered to specific pupils who need extra support in this area.

The School is developing its use of technology to allow better access for all users. Communication iPads, literacy iPads/laptops, and differentiated keyboards and mouse devices are becoming more common across the school.

At Fred Nicholson School we recognise that science develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world around them. There is a strong emphasis on practical work, encouraging pupils to observe and question what they see.

English (Literacy)

We recognise effective communication as a crucial part to our pupils’ ability to take their place in society in a positive and active way. We develop all areas of communication through the main areas of Literacy:

• Speaking and Listening

• Reading

• Writing

Pupils are taught through an integrated approach to English Lessons:

• ICT Software

• Hands-on phonics activities and games

• Drama

The National Curriculum for English is followed, adapted to take account of each individual pupil’s  ability and need. Literacy is taught across the curriculum with an emphasis on subject-specific vocabulary and writing styles.

We provide additional opportunities for pupils to make progress through a range of intervention programmes based on building skills and confidence with decoding (breaking down words into their individual sounds) and encoding (building sounds up into words for spelling and reading).  The programs that we use currently include:

·         Sound Discovery

·         Talkboost

·         Acceleread/write

·         ARROW

·         Catch up

Reading sessions are held during tutor times to support improving skills, along with class book boxes, themed library weeks, visits to the local library and regular book swaps, all popular amongst our pupils and encouraging reading to be seen as a pleasurable and achievable activity. We have several reading schemes that we currently use including:

·         Oxford Reading Tree

·         Wolf Hill

·         Dockside

·         The Jags

·         Livewire

Accreditation at Key Stage 4 includes Functional Skills in English, Entry Level English Modules in Literature and Media through the Welsh Board (WJEC), and Communication modules through ‘OCR Life and Living Skills Programme’.


We follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics. Pupils are taught to their ability this may not necessarily reflect their chronological age.  

For pupils working below the National Curriculum we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Mathematical Development (ELG 11 numbers, ELG 12 shape, space and measures) and P Scales (using and applying, number,shape, space and measure).

At key stage 4 we offer a variety of accreditations to our pupils which includes GCSE, Functional Skills, Level 1 and 2 and Entry Level 1,2 and 3, ASDAN and Life and Living.  At key stage 4 pupils follow the relevant syllabus for the accreditation they have been entered for.

We also offer interventions for pupils who struggle with confidence or progress in maths.

  • Talking Maths – this is delivered in small groups (of 3).  Pupils explore mathematical concepts through discussion and play.  This is targeted at specific areas of maths depending on the pupils needs.
  • Numicon Intervention Programme – This is delivered in small groups or on a one to one basis.  The focus is to use visual and kinaesthetic aids to support the development of number concepts.
  • One to one or group support sessions where specific areas of maths are taught to pupils to either address gaps in their knowledge or challenge pupils.

Personal, Health, Social, Citizenship and Economic Education

At FNS there is a strong ethos to support each young person’s progress in developing the skills they will need to take an independent active role in the adult world.

PHSCE.Ed is delivered across the curriculum as well as specific lessons. The emphasis is on developing skills such as informed choices, planning, communication and research as well as specific knowledge.

These skills are taught within the 3 broad areas of the PHSCE National Curriculum which are:

  • Health and well being
  • Relationships
  • Living in the wider world.

Skills and subject knowledge are delivered through a range of themes such as:

  • Our world
  • Who am I?
  • Healthy Living
  • The Future
  • Relationships
  • Understanding Others

Pupils are supported in their PHSCE Ed objectives by the Personal Independence, Protect Me, and ELSA programs, including interventions for individual pupils if appropriate.

Within Citizenship, pupils develop an understanding of how local, regional and national communities function. They also look at how both formal and informal rules are made. Time is spent working on the theme of differences and how conflict can be resolved. 

In Year 9 and KS4 pupils work towards the AQA Entry Level Certificate in Personal and Social Education (PSE).


Science at FNS supports the development of a wide range of skills including:

  •  Observation
  •  Prediction
  •  Experimentation
  •  Applying the knowledge and understanding gained in new situations

These skills are taught through the four science strands, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Enquiry.

In KS2 and 3 The National Curriculum for Science is followed and adapted to take into account each pupil’s ability and needs.

This may mean that pupils are not necessarily working to their year group targets but gaining skills to work towards these. Where appropriate pupils are taught in our fully equipped science laboratory.

Key Stage 4 pupils follow appropriate accredited courses.This includes modules from the AQA Unit Award Scheme.Where appropriate a pupil may also work towards a further Science GCSE, supported by an e-learning program.

Sex and Relationship Education

It is important that pupils have the opportunity to develop into active and responsible adults with a good understanding of healthy relationships.

SRE will be delivered where appropriate within the framework of the PHSCE Ed curriculum. Aspects of the SRE programme include:

  • Love and Caring
  • Family Values
  • Acceptable forms of behaviour and respecting the beliefs of different cultures and religions. It will take into account current issues, practical guidance andchanging attitudes.
  • Different kinds of relationships
  • Healthy relationships
  • Pupils in Year 10 are given the opportunity to take part in a Real Care baby program.

SRE at FNS is delivered in a way that is appropriate for the needs of the young people.

We follow the Norfolk Guide in our delivery of SRE.

Parents/carers will be informed when SRE is happening with their child.