The Oaktree School curriculum offers our students a variety of shared learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant to each of them. We both respect and cherish our students’ individuality.
Our curriculum therefore allows for the personalisation and differentiation required to unlock their potential, all the while striving to foster their sense of self and assisting them to build and maintain meaningful connections with others. It is our intention, underpinning all that we do, to prepare our young people for adulthood and help our students to flourish into young people who have a definite role to play within their community and in society at large. We encourage our students to be brave in embracing challenges and we instil in them the idea of treating everyone fairly and equally. We also teach our students to consistently aim high in their endeavours, and as importantly, to respect and care for one another. We refer to these as our core ‘BEAR’ values, which are shared by all in the Oaktree community, and which are personified by our school’s mascot, Oakie the Bear.
Their Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) and Preparation for Adulthood outcomes play a vital role in structuring our curriculum, as they underpin the personalised approach we are proud to offer our students. The continuous development of life skills, as well as employability skills, is a key focus for our students as they make their journey with us on a pathway that is tailored to their aspirations. The range of subjects offered, alongside the targeted work of our therapy teams, ensures that our students develop the knowledge, skills and accredited courses needed for life after school and into their adult lives, all the while appreciating the joy of the awe and the wonderment around them.
Whilst partaking in this shared vision, each subject has its idiosyncrasies which make specific contributions to our students’ creativity and skills. The ethos of Oaktree School is driven by a fundamental desire to validate every aspect of the educational careers of all our students under the guidance of a completely supportive and continuously developing, totally committed staff. We acknowledge the bravery of our students as they embrace the differentiated challenges that are presented as a part of our truly broad and balanced curriculum.
We measure what we value not value what we measure.
At all key stages, the overall intent is each pupil engages, achieves, and makes the most personal progress they can over time to enable them to have the most fulfilling, enjoyable, and independent life possible.
The school has mapped out:
for pupils working at below pre-key stage standards that are pre-subject specific, the intended progression of fundamental key skills and knowledge. The National Curriculum subjects provide a context which is adapted for our pupils and assessed through our curriculum assessment trackers to engage pupils in learning and to achieve the pre subject specific/cross curricular skills and knowledge. Also the 12 month outcomes set with parents/carers at annual review of EHCP. Most pupils will access elements in the continuum in the subject specific skills and knowledge based on their next steps.
For pupils who are working towards/within subject specific learning the school has mapped out the intended progression of skills and knowledge leading to the end points that are outlined in the National Curriculum. Pupils work on 12 month outcomes set with parents/carers at annual review of EHCP. The outcomes target key next steps to achieve and retain building towards career opportunities.
For each pupil their next step will be based on their assessed previous skills and knowledge rather than for their age or year group, it will be highly personalised. Due to the particular special needs of an individual pupil, some pupils may not have an even profile and steps may be broken down and further personalised. The curriculum provides the opportunity for pupils to access a broad and balanced curriculum at a differentiated level meeting statutory requirements.
The following form the foundation of all delivery:
Engagement and enjoyment, communication and understanding, personal and social development including increasing awareness of self, their own emotions and relationships with others.
Independence including life-skills. Progression is not necessarily about movement up a ladder of skills and knowledge. Lateral progression (managed through EHCP outcomes) is important in being able to apply the skills and knowledge that have been learned e.g. in different contexts, situations, with less scaffolding and support, with different people and in different environments. Retention of the foundation fundamental skills and knowledge to embed into the long term memory is also important- to know more, do more and remember more.
We want all pupils to have a successful transition into and out of our setting.
Oaktree School provides high quality teaching. Teachers carefully assess each pupil’s abilities. Teachers work with parents/carers and any linked professionals to target the next key steps in key priority areas that include communication/understanding, personal and social development and Preparation for Adulthood. These are agreed through 12 month outcomes set as part of the EHCP process and are reviewed every 6 months with parents/carers. Teachers also plan the next individual pupil steps in all curriculum areas. Teaching is informed by the planned and sequenced knowledge and skills in all areas.
Alongside this, teachers identify the strategies that each pupil needs to access the curriculum and engage to achieve and make progress. This is individual to each pupil. Strategies include: Intensive Interaction, structured visual support, PECS, work/reward/ multi-sensory delivery, repetition etc. Teachers use a range of strategies to support pupils to learn and retain information. In partnership with parent/carers elements of a NHS health linked professional therapy programme may be implemented or integrated into the school day balanced with the educational access to the wider curriculum.
Reading is taught every day, starting with directed reading time every morning and is assessed twice a year through the New Group Reading Test (a standardised, adaptive, assessment to measure reading skills against the national average. Used [to] identify where intervention may be needed, and then to monitor impact and progress made). English and Maths are taught through regular timetabled lessons. They are based on careful assessment of pupil’s abilities and needs and their progressive sequenced next step of learning. Pupils are also supported through the whole curriculum where communication and understanding, early literacy and maths skills and knowledge and personal development are integrated into all learning as appropriate. The sequence of learning as it is in all subjects is personal to pupil or groups of pupils based on their prior learning and engagement in learning is central to all. Maths and English have a bank of resources and activities that can support teachers in the work with each pupil.
For other subjects, the curriculum overview that outlines the units of work for other subjects to be delivered across the rolling programme. The rolling programme allows pupils to be placed in mixed age classes in each key stage. This therefore allows pupils to be grouped in classes based on a range of factors e.g. pupil needs, abilities and friendships. The content has been carefully planned to enable repetition over time. Please see subject links to the right hand side of this page for further information.
Pupils with significant learning difficulties, for whom the units provide a multisensory varied theme context for the pre-subject specific knowledge and skills progression, may access reduced number of units to enable time for other priorities. For pupils working at this early stage of development, the planned curriculum units provide a theme/context for multisensory delivery. Pupils work on cross curricular priority areas of learning often including those set in the 12-month outcomes of the EHCP. The planned curriculum units enable pupils to access a wide range of creative and exciting planned activities to extend and build on known interests and motivations. The curriculum theme also enables repetition to sustain each pupil’s achievements. There is an intensive focus on all aspects of communication and personal outcomes and engagement through the themes. The planned units have the same titles as our pupils who are working on subject specific learning so that it leads to shared opportunities for all to learn together, and it does not ceiling pupils progress.
Parents/carers are informed about the curriculum units being covered in termly Newsletters. The units enable key skills and knowledge to be worked on in each unit within an exciting and motivating context. Each subject has skill and knowledge progression mapped, but each pupil will work on their next steps and teachers will break down into further small steps or widen due to the unique nature of each pupil and how they engage and access the curriculum.
Enrichment-wider personal development opportunities
The curriculum is provides many enriching creative learning contexts. Other wider opportunities are provided such as whole school. projects linked to citizenship such as Red Nose Day and Comic Relief.
Links to events as they arise e.g. the Olympics, national celebrations.
Use of external coaches/ professionals or internal programmes e.g. linked to sports, arts, science
Phase or whole school days e.g. World Book Day, Arts or Science days.
Opportunities can be planned and offered regularly linked to a year group or phase or may be that things are capitalised on when opportunities arise.
Please see further information in tabs on Cultural Capital and British Values
The aspiration for all pupils who attend the Oaktree School is they achieve their potential in all aspects of their development. All pupils who attend the Oaktree School, have additional learning difficulties often along with complex social and emotional health issues. Many pupils have also additional needs such as autism, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, complex medical needs etc. We work in a determined way to ensure that all pupils can achieve the most they can.
The outcome of the curriculum is highly individual. All achievement and progress is celebrated. Progress for our pupils can be demonstrated by:
Pupils making progress towards/achieving their intended outcomes set with parents/carers for 12 months within the EHCP annual meetings. These outcomes are informed by any relevant professionals working with the pupils.
Pupils making progress towards outcomes when reviewed in 6 month review meetings with parents/carers.
Pupils making progress/achieving in the curriculum planned by teachers. Progress and achievement in all subjects are within reports to parents in either EHCP (annual review) report or termly Curriculum report.
Achieving external accreditation for secondary aged pupils e.g. OCR accreditation.
Many students succeeding in courses post school that equip them for successful trades and/or careers/and or choices over their post school lives.
Using existing skills in a wider range of contexts.
Supported transition within, in and out of the setting.