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Foundation Subjects

Here are the Foundation subjects that pupils at Fred Nicholson participate in on top of the Core subjects available outlined by the Government to build up their knowledge and understanding and help them reach their full potential. These are subjects that are well liked by the pupils. They are very creative subjects and release a great deal of imagination from each of them


Art offers pupils’ opportunities to explore and develop idea’s using a wide variety of techniques such as : drawing and painting, collage, 3D design, printmaking and digital media. Pupils will experiment with and refine their skills in using a wide range of dry and water soluble materials including paint, charcoal, chalk pastels, oil pastels, clay, papier mache, ink and pencils.

Pupils will also:

  • Look at the work of a variety of artists of different movements and media to inspire their own work.
  • Work creatively in 2D and 3D forms
  • Evaluate and develop their work

Pupils who choose art in key stage 4 will have opportunities to study for the Arts Award or GCSE Art dependent on ability.


Drama plays an important part in our teaching at FNS. We practise ‘Drama for Learning’, where drama is used as a powerful tool to support learning in the classroom, across a wide range of subject areas.

We also enjoy ‘Drama for Performance’ when pupils choose to be involved in a range of activities ranging from our annual ‘Fred’s Got Talent’ show, whole school productions and class groups performing in assemblies. Live performance also plays a huge part in our school year, with visiting theatre groups coming in to school and theatre trips to both local theatres, including an annual Key Stage 4 trip to a London production.

Accreditation at Key Stage 4 includes a range of examination boards to ensure we meet the range of individual needs of our pupils; these include a wide range of modules through the Welsh Board (WJEC), Arts Award and OCR Life and Living performance modules. Pupils have the opportunity to take Drama as a 1 or 2 year examined course as a Drama Option.

Food and Design Technology

Design Technology/Resistant Materials

We offer a broad based Design and Technology curriculum at Fred Nicholson School.We follow the National Curriculum for all pupils, although pitched to their ability level rather than chronological age.

We also use the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and P Scales to inform our planning. Lessons throughout the school are embedded in real life, linked to context and reinforcing learning with concrete examples. Thus we aim to provide all pupils with a basic working knowledge of design, tools and safety so that they have the skills necessary for successful learning beyond school.

In Key Stage 2 and 3 we teach children to observe artefacts more closely and with a quizzical eye, questioning design and materials used. Pupils exercise strength and coordination in the use of tools and model making. These models incorporate various materials as well as electrical/mechanical components. They are taught to describe form and function and move on to model interesting designs based upon themes researched from different cultures and eras.

 Key Stage 4 accredited programmes cover the full range of practical skills with hand and power tools, mechanics, computer aided design and manufacture. The aim is to produce original designs based on an appreciation of design and manufacture from as wide a range of sources as possible. These skills and activities are accredited through Life and Living (OCR examination board), which covers a wide range of practical, social and academic criteria and combine toward a comprehensive award.

Food Technology

Our aim is that all pupils leave Fred Nicholson School understanding what a healthy balanced diet consists of and with the skills to be able to safely prepare a range of meals for themselves (with support where appropriate).

We follow the national curriculum for Food Technology. Food Technology is taught as a range of core skills and knowledge, (core competences) to enable pupils to make and implement healthy food choices.

Across KS2 pupils should know where food is grown, and understand seasonality. KS2 pupils will be taught how food is processed into ingredients that can be eaten or used in cooking. Across KS3 pupils should know that food is produced, processed, and sold in different ways and that people choose different types of food, and the reasons behind these choices. Pupils are also taught how to compare the cost of making their own food in comparison to eating out. Pupils will also be taught about the influence of food marketing, advertising and promotion on their own diet, and purchasing behaviour.

KS3 pupils will be taught how to cook a range of predominantly savoury dishes.They will learn a range of cooking skills, and how to adapt a recipe to change appearance, taste, texture and aroma. Pupils will learn about a balanced diet, and the importance of an active lifestyle. They will be taught that different foods and drink contain different substances, nutrients, water and fibre essential for health.

French (Modern Foreign Languages)

Modern Foreign Language is a target throughout the school on a daily basis with an emphasis on speaking and listening skills.  The skills are taught through a topic based approach, incorporating games, songs and cultural activities, and at a level to meet individual need.  Pupils also learn ‘Signalong’ signs to match the target word, enabling pupils to consolidate their learning and make links between their own language and the target language

We also encourage pupils to be curious about other languages and cultures through termly whole school theme days, International Cafes and opportunities to work with native speakers from within the school population and visitors to our school.


Humanities combine Geography, History and RE and are taught as a topic across the Lower School and Year 9.

Through the History strand, pupils will explore the past and how it has influenced future events. Pupils are encouraged to see that the present world has grown out of the past.

Through the Geography strand, pupils will develop an appreciation and an understanding of the variety of physical and human conditions of the Earth’s surface and how change has been caused developing a better understanding of the world they live in.

At key stage 4 pupils may choose to take a 1 or 2 year Entry Level course (WJEC), which also includes some Cultural Modules.

Life and Work Skills (Work Related Learning)

During their time at FNS pupils are encouraged to think about what they are going to do when they leave the school and are supported in gaining skills for the workplace. Pupils follow a careers guidance program, set out below.

In the Lower School, within relevant PHSCE, tutor time, and curriculum area topics, life and work opportunities and skills are discussed. During Year 9 the focus is on making choices.

Year 10 and 11 pupils spend at least one day a week developing Life and Work skills, finding out more about specific areas of work. During this time, pupils will have the opportunity to follow an Independence course, engage in supported group Work Experience (which includes choices of animal care and working at the Food Bank) and will also follow a work skills course in an area of their own interest.

If appropriate, in Year 11 a period of Independent Work Experience may be followed.

All Life and Work Skills in Key Stage 4 is accredited though the OCR Life and Living skills. Some pupils may also gain accreditation through their Work Related Learning courses.

Access to Careers guidance is available to all pupils through the following program.

 Autumn TermSpring TermSummer Term
Year 3-7Careers guidance is delivered throughout the Curriculum by embedding information in an engaging way, within relevant topics and lessons, including PHSCE.Enterprise day. Annual reviews.
Year 8Careers guidance is delivered throughout the Curriculum by embedding information in an engaging way, within relevant topics and lessons, including PHSCE and;
Moving On evening.Annual reviews.Enterprise day.
Year 9Pupils begin to work towards PSE Entry Level units, including Unit 1: Personal Action Planning
Moving On evening.Annual reviews.Enterprise day. Options Taster Days.
Year 10Moving On evening. Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. ** Careers day * Annual reviews.Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. Careers day * Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. Visits to colleges. Enterprise day. Options Taster Days.
Year 11Moving On evening. Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. ** Careers day *         Life Skills week. Visits to colleges. Annual reviews. Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. ** Careers day * Transition visits to new placements.Life and Work Skills, including enterprise, independence, work experience and skills for work. **Individual Work Experience Placements where appropriate. Transition visits to new placements. Enterprise day.

* Careers days include visits to work places, Jobcentre Plus and visits from employers/ company representatives.

** Life and Work Skills is a program followed each Monday by KS4 pupils. In years 10 and 11 Pupils continue to work towards PSE Entry Level units, including ‘Making Informed Career Choices’, ‘Applying for Jobs and Courses’, ‘Relationships, Behaviours and Practices in the Workplace’. This is replaced for Year 9-11 Willow class pupils by following ASDAN – ‘Preparation for Work’ units.


Most of our lower school pupils participate in whole class learning in the music room; they follow a structured lesson that incorporates practical music activities. We try to give all pupils access to music; for those who struggle in large groups the class may be divided into groups or they may have an individual time allocated to explore the instruments.

Yr 9 pupils work to achieve their “Discovery Arts Award” a recognised award organised by Trinity Collage. Our music option group go to a local music provider JDT Music Academy where they work to achieve a higher level of recognition from Trinity College with the “Bronze Art Award”.

Singing and Signing are a big part of our school culture and many pupils choose to attend our weekly choir, which is all about the enjoyment of singing with others.Some pupils choose to take singing lessons in preference to learning an instrument.

We are very fortunate to have a music room with a good variety of instruments;pupils can opt to learn to play an instrument as an individual or as part of an ensemble,with parental/ guardianship permission pupils have the opportunity totake home instruments for further practice in their own time. Our instrumentalists are encouraged to perform as part of the school orchestra; last year the Orchestra took part in a few events organised by Norfolk Music Services including the NorfolkMusic Festival.

A majority of our instruments have been donated and it is great to see the pupilsgetting so much out of playing them at our annual events “Fred’s Got Talent” or“Christmas Concert”.

Through music we celebrate differences, different cultures, religions and traditions.Our school recognises the benefit to social, emotional well being that comes through playing and sharing music and it is one of the things that bring us together as a community.

Physical Education (PE)

This is an area where children are encouraged to develop control, co-ordination and mobility. We cover a range of activities which focus on personal development, building up team skills and self confidence while giving children the necessary knowledge base to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are a wide range of teams within the school covering the many sports we do. Throughout the year these teams are entered into sporting competitions against other schools. All of our pupils are given the opportunity of representing the school if they have a desire to do so, and if they are willing to work hard in their chosen activity.

We are determined to provide the pupils here at Fred Nicholson School with a wide range of different activities. As a department we try to keep up to date with new initiatives to ensure that our curriculum is both exciting and varied in order to be able to make PE a positive experience for all our pupils.

For PE we offer all pupils the opportunity to be entered into the OCR Entry Level exam at the end of year 11. The students will be assessed throughout year 10 and 11 and those meeting the minimum requirements will be entered.

As an extension to what we offer the pupils here at Fred Nicholson School we are looking to develop the occupational therapy sessions that we offer for those pupils who are identified as needing additional support with their fine and gross motor skills. The therapy sessions we offer range from hydrotherapy to individual exercises which have been devised alongside NHS physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Religious Education (RE)

At Fred Nicholson School we recognise that there may be limited opportunities for pupils to experience religious and cultural backgrounds different from their own, or for time to reflect on life.

To increase this experience, R.E. is taught in line with the Norfolk SACRE Syllabus, with an emphasis on the 6 main religions (Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism). It is delivered as 6 focused days across the school year, when we consider a range of religious concepts, ideas and knowledge, through hands-on activities and opportunities for spiritual reflection; opportunities are also utilised throughout the school day to make meaningful links with religious or cultural themes.

People from the local community are invited in to school to talk to our students about their faith; we also visit a selection of local places of worship.

At Key Stage 4, pupils may choose to take a 1 or 2 year Entry Level course, which includes some Religious/Cultural Modules.