Curriculum Statement for Oak Hill

Our Curriculum

The introduction of the new Primary National Curriculum for England and Wales coincided with our conversion to academy status. We have used this as an opportunity to revisit our curriculum and create one that better suits our children’s needs. We have created a curriculum which is dynamic, broad, balanced and innovative that takes advantage of our fantastic facilities, including the sports field, Library, iPads, laptops and outdoor area to ensure that the children enjoy a fun but challenging learning experience that will prepare them for life in modern Britain.

Our curriculum weaves together the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum (2014) and the principles of our Aspirations philosophy: Self-Worth; Engagement and Sense of Purpose.

Our school provides an engaging curriculum that is balanced and broadly based; it promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain. The National Curriculum forms only one part of our school curriculum, we capitalise on every opportunity to broaden children’s experiences out side of the classroom and the school day. We utilise classroom teaching, trips, visitors and assemblies in order to instil a clear understanding of the social values we uphold and tolerance and respect of the cultural diversity within our academy, the town, county and world we live in. Our close relationships with the local community ensure we can extend learning experiences and provide a context for learning.

 

British Values and Modern Britain
Central to our curriculum are the Citizenship and PSHE requirements, ensuring that we prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain.
Throughout our Aspirations Curriculum we promote the British values of:

·         democracy (starting with our Aspiration Heroes through to understanding Britain as a democratic
          country);

·         the rule of law (class and school rules, our place in the community, to British law);

·         individual liberty (promoting rights and responsibility in all we do, standing up to bullying);

·         mutual respect (learning to understand each other’s points of view);

·         tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs  (celebrating the diversity of our community,
          looking at modern Britain, our place in Europe and the wider world)

 

Through a carefully planned blend of discrete subject teaching and thematic study, the curriculum is taught through cross curricular themes based around one of the 8 Aspirations Conditions; these are carefully mapped out to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum whilst instilling motivation, drive and ambition in our learners which is demonstrated through the children’s perseverance, resilience and drive to succeed. Each of our 6 termly units has a topic theme that is progressed through each year group, ensuring knowledge and skills are progressively taught and developed.

Belonging:  focusing on the world in which we live and how we can contribute to our world, both now and in the future, promoting identity, diversity and equality.
 

Heroes:  focusing on listening, respect: for others and self. We study people from the past who have made an impact on our life today, and lessons we can learn for the future.

Spirit of Adventure: How to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, learning how to manage risk including personal rights, responsibilities and consent.
 

Curiosity and creativity: Linked to our Space Studio School and promoting the key skills of problem solving, questioning and creative thinking.
 

Leadership and responsibility: preparing our children for the future world of work, exploring enterprise and developing an understanding of money.

 Fun and excitement: promoting self-motivation, participation and engagement.

Throughout every theme children are given the opportunity to set personal goals and to reflect on their learning, so developing critical reflection skills.

 

Our aim is to ensure that no pupil is allowed to fall behind; this is reflected in our high end of Key Stage results.  Regular assessments ensure we can provide learning experiences tailored to individual pupils’ needs, for some pupils, this requires extra support or additional challenge, this is provided on a regular basis by highly trained staff.  We also have opportunities for different groups of our pupils to take part in workshops with other pupils from other local and national Aspirations Academies and local partnership schools.  

 

As part of the Aspirations Academies Trust we believe that our curriculum reflects our pupils’ abilities, interests and needs. Our pupils are involved in helping to shape the units of work that they are studying by giving them opportunities to guide us with their interests and at the same time ensure that they are offered a broad and balanced curriculum. This individualised approach enables all pupils to feel engaged and excited about their learning and encourages them to strive to be the best.

As part of their learning journey, pupils are expected to complete homework related to their classroom experiences. This is in the form of English and Maths work but also includes an extended study each term related to the topic at the time or to upcoming topics. Pupils love having the responsibility that this entails, and we encourage parents/carers to get involved in their learning. We provide meaningful contexts for learning and make time for pupils to share their learning with their families and each other thereby fostering a sense of aspiration and ambition within the family setting. Each half term parents are given a curriculum overview with details of the content of the curriculum for the half term and information on how they can support their child’s learning.

Developing English and Maths skills underpins our whole curriculum. The teaching of reading, writing, communication and mathematics is cohesively planned and opportunities provided to apply these skills through the wider curriculum. Through our diverse and exciting curriculum, Oak Hill Academy pupils will develop skills in English and Mathematics as well as a lifelong love of learning. Our system of assessment and personal targets used throughout the school aims to ensure each child makes the progress that they need. Every child is set targets for Reading, Writing and Maths. These targets form the basis for regular one to one mentoring meetings between child and teacher.

Reading

English is at the heart of our curriculum and Reading is a key part of this. Each year group reads at least five texts as part of their English curriculum through the year. These books are by classic authors, linked to their topic or simply books that we want the children to enjoy. We foster a love of reading and the ability to read for information through guided reading sessions, author visits and regular use of our fantastic school library. We select high quality texts from a range of authors, ensuring that the children enjoy a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry alongside media texts. Children also have regular lessons to help develop their reading comprehension skills and all have access to a Reading Scheme which is linked to our library books.

Writing

Children's writing skills are developed through the use of ‘Talk for Writing’ within a cross curricular text based approach to learning. The children are taught a range of narrative techniques used by writers to improve their work. Additional daily lessons in spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) ensure the children have the skills to write accurately and concisely. Children have regular opportunities for extended writing following the drafting and editing process.

Mathematics

We emphasise the importance of developing a sound basis for calculation through securing mental maths strategies alongside formal written methods. We also focus on using and applying mathematical skills in practical problem solving situations and regularly develop skills in shape and statistics.

We endeavour to challenge all children at the right level so that children learn to love Maths and not be scared of it.

Abacus is an online resource that supports learning in Maths, alongside Mathletics.

Science, Foundation Subjects, Sport

At OHA, our Science lessons are a mix of practical investigations and fact based learning. The skills of scientific enquiry and investigation are linked across the curriculum, and provide children with essential tools for learning. Through their work in Science, children are encouraged to question and hypothesize and, in using their initiative, to develop skills of seeking and exploring.

Topics are Geography, History or Science based each half term. See our curriculum map on the school website for further details. Click here for Curriculum map.

RE, Music, PE, Speaking and Listening and a foreign language are all taught by specialist teachers fortnightly.

Philosophy For Children (P4C)

This is a technique for teaching children how to explore ideas through discussion. In P4C sessions, the class sits in a circle, so that everyone can contribute and listen equally. Starting from a stimulus, children suggest questions that will encourage an exciting exchange of ideas. They learn to respect each other’s opinions, to justify their views, and to be prepared to change their minds.

ICT and Computing

This is embedded across the curriculum. We are very well resourced for ICT and encourage children to select ICT as a tool for learning where appropriate. We encourage the use of iPads as a tool for learning – an exciting initiative which has seen children’s enthusiasm for learning grow even faster! Children develop their Computing skills through regular discrete lessons and the use of digital technologies to enhance their learning across the curriculum.

PSHCE

We aim for children to develop a strong sense of values which guide their choices in life and to develop self-esteem and a positive attitude towards others. Each half term we have one of the 8 Conditions as a theme alongside weekly explicit teaching of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) topics. We are committed to providing excellent pastoral care, ensuring every child feels valued and appreciated. Click here for the PSHCE/SMSC - Scheme OF WORK Curriculum Map

Special Educational Needs and More Able Provision

Every child is unique and we ensure this individuality is celebrated and supported.  Our tracking systems ensure that all children, including those with academic, behaviour or emotional difficulties are supported. All children have individual targets and benefit from the teaching and guidance of our highly skilled staff and good range of resources.

From time to time, some children require additional intervention to ensure they make good progress throughout their OHA journey. We identify these additional needs early and, working closely with parents, ensure that the correct provision is in place to cater for their needs and enable them to become independent learners. 

Our children also benefit from having access to our learning mentor.

Our more able children are challenged daily within the classroom and are given opportunities to take part in inter-school competitions. We work closely with Rivers Academy who provide us with specialist Maths and English teachers regularly. Very able children are selected to take part in ‘Explorers Academy’ once a week at Rivers Academy.

Children with a talent for Music, Sport, Art and Drama are encouraged to develop their interest through our wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities.

 

Assessment Procedures

As part of the Government’s reforms to the national curriculum, the current system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress has been removed. This has allowed teachers greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess pupils’ learning, providing greater opportunities for formative assessments.  The programmes of study within the new National Curriculum (NC) set out expectations at the end of each key stage, we have developed a curriculum relevant to our pupils that teaches this content. We are currently developing and trialling an assessment system which enables the class teacher and the academy’s senior leaders to check what pupils have learned, whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and to report regularly to parents.

 

E-SAFETY

E-Safety is a vital part of our curriculum at Oak Hill Academy. We have an up to date policy which demonstrates how we keep our children safe online. Alongside this we our E-Safety Curriculum helps the children learn about how to keep themselves safe when using the internet and digital technologies. Our Internet Safety Rules are displayed around the school, regular theme weeks and assemblies are held to support the promotion of E-Safety. We have devised a Parents’ Guide to E-safety booklet and organise parents workshops to help parents understand their role in keeping their children safe when using ICT.

Click on the links below for E-Safety guides for parents and carers:   
Supporting Young People Online        Parental E-Safety Leaflet     Safeguarding for parents -booklet OHA