‘The curriculum is interesting and wide-ranging. The external provisions pupils attend are thoughtfully matched to their interests’. Ofsted April 2019
The Curriculum at Oak Bank supports our vision to provide outstanding education, which is child-centred. Our fundamental belief is that every pupil has the potential for growth. We believe that by having high expectations and aspirations, all our pupils can learn and achieve. We aim to provide a curriculum that allows pupils the opportunity to learn and develop in a supportive and creative environment, in which there is a focus on recognising achievement and supporting progression and in which pupils feel safe and are happy.
The school is committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum, based on the National Curriculum for those pupils of compulsory school age. This is blended with opportunities for pupils to develop functional skills, social, emotional and independence skills and skills for working life as appropriate in line with the 14-19 Curriculum.
The curriculum is designed to promote the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of the pupils as well as their intellectual and physical development. We want our curriculum to engage pupils as active participants in their education.
The promotion of social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is delivered throughout all subjects via our ASPIRE values.
Oak Bank School ASPIRE values
Our values curriculum is an essential part of Oak Bank School life. Our values-based approach is referred to as our ‘ASPIRE skills’ and this is embedded in all we do.
We believe the values contribute to a strong learning environment that enhances achievement and develops pupils social, emotional and relationship skills. Not only are the values held in high regard, acknowledged and celebrated in the pupils, but they are modelled by the staff throughout.
Our whole school approach helps develop well rounded and resilient learners. It breaks down the pre-conceptions of ‘fixed mindset’ and allows personality and character to flourish in a safe and progressive way. It quickly liberates teachers and pupils from the stress of confrontational relationships, freeing up quality learning time where a positive attitude is most valued.
Oak Bank School ASPIRE skills are key to equipping our pupils with relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school and in their futures.
We believe that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented so that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares pupils for the next stage in their education. Lessons are engaging, inspiring and suitably differentiated so that pupils are able to achieve, or go beyond, their potential.
Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics whilst also developing the ASPIRE values. Teachers plan learning that use data and prior attainment information and that allows pupils to embed and recall knowledge. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level of their learning.
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2 s a supportive setting that seeks to prepare children for Oak Bank school life. Classes are small and are supported by key specialised teaching staff with a breadth of primary school experience. There is a great emphasis on the development of language and communication, which is modelled by the whole staff team.
Fun and enjoyment of learning is of high priority. The approach to teaching in all subject areas is to praise effort and engagement above attainment. We aim to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ over a ‘fixed mindset’ in our young learners. As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.
Key Stage 3
In Key stage 3 we transition from the primary setting into the main school. Pupils are supported in their move towards a main school timetable. This is done by expanding the breadth of discrete subjects, increasing the variety of staffing and the teaching areas used.
This process is conducted with careful consideration as our year 7’s become more subject conscious. They will have learnt classroom expectations and will have increased their self-confidence as learners.
Year 8 and 9 develops subject knowledge across a broad range of subjects. Pupils are encouraged to explore their potential. Often gaining specialised subject knowledge in these years leads to potential pathways at Key Stage 4. High expectations are set for attainment outcomes using available data and progress at Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4, pupils focus on acquiring specialist knowledge and accredited outcomes in order to prepare for their next steps in education, training or employment. The Government require young people to either:
· stay in full-time education, for example at a college
· start an apprenticeship or traineeship
· spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
In order to prepare for these next steps, all pupils in Key Stage 4 are expected to follow an accredited programme in all subjects to give them the widest variety of options at the end of Year 11.
In Key Stage 4, all pupils follow a curricular pathway which is then personalised to meet both their needs and future aspirations.
Key Stage 5
‘Pupils have aspirational and highly personal learning plans so that they can excel. They are provided with a highly personalised curriculum that meets their needs, providing suitable challenge and a clear progression pathway. Consequently, pupils who remain at the sixth form make consistently good and better progress’. Ofsted April 2019
In Key Stage 5 we provide a supportive education for our pupils wishing to continue their progress into adulthood. We help pupils to make positive contributions to their personal life, family and community.
By providing a continuation of our strong education and pastoral support we can give the appropriate pupils a more positive start to further education, skills for employment and life.
Sixth Form pupils have access to accredited courses and learning which includes GCSE’s and recognised vocational qualifications to provide them with employment opportunities.
Personal development is an important component of Sixth Form. We recognise that pupils have reached a milestone in their lives where an independent lifestyle beckons. Becoming a well-rounded individual is about more than acquiring qualifications. Our curriculum at this stage is highly personalised and all pupils will engage with programmes that support their independence, social interaction and opportunities for recreation.
At Oak Bank, our curriculum will:
• ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.
• enable all pupils to fulfil their potential.
• meet the needs of pupils of all abilities at the school.
• allow pupils to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.
• develop pupils ready for their next phase of learning and beyond.
• enable pupils to develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally.
• enable pupils to develop social, emotional and relationship skills.
• enable pupils to develop into well rounded and resilient learners.
• successfully prepare pupils for employment, further education or training.
Establishing pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding on entry to the school is a challenge. Often negative experiences of previous educational settings, and a wide complexity of social and emotional issues may have led to extensive gaps in subject knowledge.
At times, academic progress may not be a high priority for the pupil and the family. Therefore, although very important for a young person’s success into adulthood, progress at Oak Bank School focuses on many aspects of school and family life and not solely on academic outcomes alone. Our behaviour & welfare team, attendance officer, learning support, home tuition, family support, external provision team, teaching assistants and teaching staff all make a coordinated contribution towards improving the child and successes are celebrated where progress is made.
Sustained effort and engagement in learning, mental resilience, well-being, positive contribution to the community and attendance are celebrated at Oak Bank School. Our rewards programme, behaviour support team, wellbeing and level 2 programme are some examples of day to day practice that supports the positives changes that we make.
Our induction process is important in the early stages and we look to establish positive links between school and home. Where appropriate, baseline testing takes place on entry to the school. Information from previous educational settings is often sparse but any data collected is used alongside early professional judgements to ascertain pupils’ starting points within our curriculum.
To coordinate the collection of information we use our own ‘Unique Profiles’ package. The school platform acts as a hub to present users with quick links to systems we use to record assessments for academic, social, emotional and learning behaviours. pupil, class, key stage and year group level
‘Data Collection Points’ in the calendar ensure quality summative data is entered before each parent / carer report in generated. The subject leader with accountability will overlook department data collected (KPI Grids) and use this to update departmental reviews and targets set for the subject.
Progress data can be reviewed alongside behavioural information and anything else we know about each individual to form an overall judgement