The Pastoral Curriculum

The Pastoral Curriculum

Personal Development

The vision of St Nicholas Catholic High School is to transform the lives of children and our wider community, through inspirational education. 

 We recognise that in addition to providing outstanding daily learning experiences in their lessons, we must also provide a comprehensive and well-structured programme of additional learning and personal development opportunities to build the ‘cultural capital’ of our students. Our pastoral curriculum complements the academic curriculum. 

 Every element of the way in which our school operates is informed by our desire to support our students to achieve their full potential both during their time at St Nicholas Catholic High School and for the rest of their lives. 

 We can identify 15 key elements of our school practice that make a particularly important contribution to the personal development of our young people. 


Gospel Values

Our Pastoral Curriculum is rooted in the Gospel Values, each term students reflect on these values through Assemblies and Form Time Activities and consider how to embed those values into their everyday interactions with others.  


Enrichment and Student Leadership

We have extensive enrichment opportunities available for students to attend and which will give your child the opportunity to achieve, meet new people, try new activities and support their academic progress. 

 We offer a wide range of educational visits and enrichment activities.  The impact of these visits and activities is maximised by being carefully integrated into our subject curriculum plans. Visits overseas and within the UK are all designed to enrich the core curriculum and provide opportunities for students to go beyond this. When planning visits and enrichment, we have a focus on raising aspiration and providing opportunities for all. 

 Student Voice has always been an important part of St. Nicholas Catholic High School with Students taking part in the appointment of Staff. 

Our Student Leadership Team includes: Form Reps, Sacred Space Ambassadors, Mental Health Ambassadors, Prefects, Senior Prefects and Head Prefects 

Visit our Enrichment page 

Broad and Balanced Curriculum

All students follow an aspirational curriculum that gives them the opportunity to study a wide range of high-quality subjects, including EBacc subjects. There are also opportunities to pursue a wide range of creative and practical subjects and all students develop the digital literacy skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. 

The Curriculum at St Nicholas

Independent Learners

As part of our Foundations for Learning teaching and learning model, all students are taught how to use a series of ‘thinking tools’. Across all subjects and year groups, students become experts in developing their metacognitive skills. Students are given practical skills to allow them to think deeply and independently. 

Reciprocal Reading and Learning to Learn

Literacy Excellence

Across the school, students are given the chance to employ the Reciprocal Reading approach. This allows them to learn the skills they need to extract the meaning of challenging texts. As well as the skills necessary to read well, we also foster a love for reading and appreciation of the power of books. Building vocabulary is also integral to our day-to-day practice and all staff recognise their responsibility to support students with this. 

Literacy at St Nicholas

Prayer and Liturgy 

Through assemblies, liturgies, chapel time, and Sacred Space, we support students to think deeply and develop fundamental Gospel and British values that include mutual respect and tolerance. Exploring these allows students to develop a deeper understanding of important issues that affect the world around them. 

Careers Journey

Our investment in Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance has led to the school successfully achieving the Quality in Careers Mark. Our ‘Careers Journey’ also meets the eight Gatsby Benchmarks that are the nationally accepted standard for high-quality careers provision. Partnerships have also been forged with local education/training providers, employers and higher education institutions. 

Our Careers Programme

Community Engagement and Service

There are numerous opportunities for students to represent the school in sporting or other activities. Our approach to charitable giving is driven by our student body and this is just one of the ways in which they are able to engage positively with the local and wider community.  We also have a close partnership with Duke of Edinburgh Award and large numbers of our students volunteer to take part in their community engagement programme each year. 

Engaging with the Wider World

We take time to encourage all of our students to engage with and reflect upon the wider world.  We recognise important events such as Black History Month, Mental Health Weeks and Anti-Bullying week and do so in a systematic manner that is embedded into our curriculum and allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the wider world. 

Mental Health 

Students learn about confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy.  

We work with the local Mental Health Support Team to ensure the best support, strategies and research is shared with students. 

 Here are some links to Mental Health Websites our students recommend:  


 Here are some apps that can improve your overall mental wellbeing:  

 Best OverallMoodfit 

 You can also find out more specific information about how St Nicholas support students wellbeing through reading our Mental Wellbeing Policy

Our SMSC Curriculum

Our SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) curriculum incorporates lessons relating to PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education, including Relationships and Sex Education), Citizenship and Careers Education. Our carefully-sequenced five-year curriculum is supplemented by a series of events that create additional learning time and give students the opportunity to extend their learning in different contexts and through the input of a wide range of external experts, where this is appropriate. 


PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, Economic) education.

Students have a clear understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle, including giving ample opportunities for Students to be active during the school day and throug


Relationships, sex and health education.

Our 10:10 RSHE Curriculum ensures students receive an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationships and sex education. 

Students are able to recognise online and offline risks to their wellbeing – for example, risks from criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism – and making them aware of the support available to them. 

Students can recognise the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media. 

RSHE at St Nicholas


Students learn through the Pastoral Curriculum to be Responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to play their part and become actively involved in public life as adults.

Character Education

St Nicholas Catholic Ethos and focus on Gospel Values ensures that a student’s character is developed so their character can inform their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others.

Our personal development journey

Our Curriculum Maps and Booklets