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Our Curriculum

Assessment and Expectations

Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning, providing evidence to guide teaching and learning, and as such enabling us to do the best for all our learners. Assessment is ambitious, sets high expectations for learners and embodies a pathway of progress and development for each child. Assessment provides the opportunity for our pupils to demonstrate and review their progress, enabling them to achieve to the top of their potential. We work as a team to ensure consistency and accuracy of assessments and engage in high quality internal and external moderation to ensure consistency of provision for our learners.

Assessment at Oaklands is fair, inclusive of all abilities and free from bias.  Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for pupils to develop their learning and for parents to support their children at home. Through our assessment processes we aim to create happy and resilient learners, who are able to reflect on their progress and attainment and gain independence in planning their next steps.

We are determined to make our pupils aware of both their goals and achievements.  We assess daily through the use of formative assessment and then summative assessment at the end of each term.  This means we can check that our children are on track and plan any interventions that may be required. Verbal feedback is our most regular and interactive form of feedback. It is constructive and informative to help pupils take the next steps in their learning.

Our children also have a vital role to play in taking responsibility for their own learning, and in supporting the learning of their peers. We believe that our pupils must become actively engaged in accurately assessing their own understanding and taking action on that assessment; this helps them become lifelong learners and powers a growth mindset where they see their ability as something that can change and improve. By engaging in self-assessment, our children start to make sense of what they have learnt and use it as a stepping stone for new learning. Our pupils also regularly engage in peer-assessment and coaching of their classmates, 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children are assessed using the Foundation Stage Profile and the Early Learning Goals. 

From Year 1 onwards, teachers assess pupil progress against performance descriptors to decide whether children are  Working Below the National Expectations (WBNE), Working Towards the National Expectations (WTNE), Working At the National Expectations (WANE) or Working In Greater Depth at the National Expectations (WIGD). Every classteacher is provided with an analysis of SEN, FSM and Gender attainment and challenging targets for pupil performance are set and reviewed at regular intervals.   

At the end of Year 2 and Year 6, pupils sit external tests for English and Mathematics. They are assessed in reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematical calculations and mathematical reasoning. They are also teacher assessed on their writing abilities and this information is shared with the local authority and/or the government.

For further information, the following link will provide useful background about the tests carried out:

Key stage 1 and 2 national curriculum tests: information for parents - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Pupil progress meetings are held over the year after the latest results have been recorded on assessments trackers. These consist of a professional discussion between the teacher / team of teachers, Head Teacher, Assistant Headteacher and / or Inclusion Manager. Teachers analyse and update their class data /class action plans before the meeting so that they are aware of priorities for their year group. Meetings focus on progress made by individual pupils who have been identified as needing to make accelerated progress based on previous data, children whom the class teachers are particularly proud of and any groups or interventions that needed to be addressed. Book Scrutinies are also carried out regularly and consist of a professional discussion between SLT, governors and teachers to look at the progress visible in books. This time is also used to monitor implementation of school policies such as handwriting / presentation, use of feedback marking and pre- and post-assessments. 

Summative Assessments and Tests

  • Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

    At Oaklands, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. A secure, safe and happy start at school is important in its own right and we have clear guiding principles which shape our practice in our early years provision.

    We believe:

    • Every child is unique and is constantly learning.
    • Every child can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
    • Positive relationships are key in helping children to learn.
    • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time.
    • Children benefit from a strong partnership between our early years team and parents and/or carers.
    • Children develop and learn at different rates.

    We want every child to get a fantastic first impression of our academy. We also want them to settle as quickly as possible. In their first year, children will follow a child-centred, skills-based curriculum. Daily provision consists of a combination of child-initiated learning and teacher-directed learning. Our teaching approach in EYFS is through mainly playing and exploring. Our children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’. Learning is active and we encourage our children to keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements. Our children are encouraged to be creative and think critically; we want our children to have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

    At the beginning of the year, the majority of the day will be child-initiated learning, with the balance gradually shifting as the year progresses. During child-initiated learning, children are provided with extensive opportunities to develop their own skills and interests. This facilitates independent learning, improves social skills, and aids personal organisation. Children are assessed continually through recorded observations that inform future planning to ensure continual progression.

    Learning is focused on The Early Years Foundation Stage principles. These principles set the standards for learning, development and care. Our Foundation Stage children follow the revised EYFS curriculum which is for children in Nursery and Reception and offers balanced, all-round development. There are seven areas of learning and development that we must follow in our early years setting and all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

    Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving in life.

    These are the prime areas:

    • Communication and language

    • Physical development

    • Personal, social and emotional development

    We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

    The specific areas are:

    • Literacy

    • Mathematics

    • Understanding the world

    • Expressive arts and design

  • English

    English occupies a central role in learning. It is founded on oral ability and is nurtured and developed by the experiencing of texts. It involves the child as a reader, composer, scribe and communicator across the whole curriculum. At Oaklands Primary Academy, we believe that language and English is fundamental to the overall development of a child and their access to the curriculum in all its aspects. We recognise that the acquisition of English, both spoken and written, will empower our pupils and provide the foundation for all future learning. We promote a culture of reading, not simply as a life skill, but to also develop in pupils a love of books and literature that will not only support their learning across the curriculum, but also enrich their lives.

    Speaking and Listening
    Our curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.

    Through work and play children develop the ability to communicate effectively with each other and as a result learn about themselves, other people and the world around them. We encourage children from an early age to listen attentively to stories, poetry and discussions and to comment on them. Class conversations, thematic work and drama activities give children the opportunity to express their ideas and thoughts so they begin to extend their vocabulary and use of language and learn to speak with confidence. Speaking and listening activities form an integral part of all curriculum areas not just English.

    In order to broaden pupils’ vocabulary, a whole school approach is Word of the Week. Each week a new complex word is selected and shared with all. Pupils are encouraged to use this new word in their speaking and writing and are rewarded for doing so.

    We carefully introduce the children to the printed word and teach them the letters and sounds of the alphabet through our comprehensive phonics programme. Daily Phonics lessons are taught in every Key Stage 1 class (and in KS2 if appropriate to the needs of individual learners) using Monster Phonics. During year 1, teachers build on work from the Early Years Foundation Stage, making sure that pupils can sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using the phonic knowledge and skills that they have already learnt. Teachers also ensure that pupils continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words, including common exception words.

    Pupils also develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. This is supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skill and their knowledge of common exception words. At the same time they hear, share and discuss a wide range of high quality books in VIPERS sessions and whole class reading time to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

    Reading in KS1 and KS2 focuses on the reading content domains. At Oaklands, we use VIPERS in order to ensure that our teaching of reading covers all the domains. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains and are the key areas our pupils need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. The daily teaching of reading takes place through a VIPERS session in each class.

    VIPERS stands for:

    • Vocabulary
    • Inference
    • Prediction
    • Explanation
    • Retrieval
    • Sequence or Summarise

    The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, etc.  Pupils are regularly exposed to quality texts in class VIPER sessions and during whole class story time.

    Oaklands is a Reading For Pleasure school. Adults fully promote their own love of reading in assemblies and class story times and we expect that all pupils are read to regularly by adults in the school. We believe that children who choose to read, enjoy reading and read regularly reap the benefits in many ways. We want children to discover the magic of reading, so we surround them with a range of interesting and exciting books that include picture books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and e-books. We have a collection of reading schemes and select books that are appropriate for each child’s developmental needs and interests. Each classroom has an inviting well-stocked reading area with a wide choice of children’s fiction and non-fiction for them to enjoy.

    Each year we celebrate World Book Day by participating in the national initiative where every child receives a free book token. We also have whole school and year group “dress up” days linked to favourite book characters or themes which inspire children to broaden their reading choices and give them the opportunity to act in role. We believe that learning to read is a shared responsibility and encourage parents to work in partnership with us for the benefit of their children. With shared reading, each child takes home a reading scheme book on a regular basis to read and enjoy with their family. Our aim is to help children to read not just with fluency and understanding but with enjoyment and confidence.


    Spelling: Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription. In order for effective transcription to take place, pupils must be able to spell quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the word structure and spelling structure of words. At Oaklands we carry this out in exciting, fun ways in order to generate a real enthusiasm for language. In addition to twice weekly discrete spelling lessons, children are expected to carry out online Spelling Frame activities at home as part of their weekly Dip And Do homework.

    Handwriting: At Oaklands Primary Academy, cursive handwriting is taught through a sequential and progressive approach. Pupils at Key Stage 1 develop a legible style and begin to use cursive handwriting in Y1 by starting to join their letters. Correct letter orientation, formation and proportion are taught in line with the school’s agreed handwriting style and this continues in Year 2 and all children are expected to be fully cursive in their style by the end of KS1. In order to achieve this, we follow the Letter Join handwriting programme throughout the school.  At Oaklands, we believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation.

    Composition: We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at regular points during a term. The children are given frequent opportunities, in school, to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences.

    Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation:  Wherever possible, the teaching of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation is carried out within the context of ‘real’ writing and reading. Sometimes discrete teaching is needed to secure children’s understanding of certain grammatical structures and punctuation. The development of children’s grammar in spoken language is just as important as their written grammar, so a lot of attention is paid to this with regular oral repetition of correct sentence structure. Pupils are expected to learn and use the correct grammatical terminology from the time they begin their learning journey at Oaklands.

    Links to other subjects: We promote the basic skills of reading, writing and oracy through all areas of the curriculum, including computing. The ability to use these skills effectively is central to every child’s progress in all subject areas. There is an expectation that pupils apply their English skills across the curriculum so that they use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling when recording in other subjects. Where possible, texts chosen allow for cross-curricular links to be made.

  • Mathematics

    Mathematics is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that our children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards the subject that will stay with them. At Oaklands, we aim to produce children who are numerate, confident at Mathematics and able to use and apply their skills and knowledge in a changing world.

    As set out in the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all pupils:

    • Become confident in the principles of mathematics, through diverse and regular practice with progressively complex problems over time, so that pupils develop theoretical understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and correctly.
    • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, exploring relationships and making generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
    • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of real-life and imagined problems with increasing complexity, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
    • Develop as an independent mathematical thinker with a range of skills, knowledge and understanding with which to tackle mathematical questions, finding maths both enjoyable and stimulating.

    Even though learning in Maths is organised into distinct areas, we encourage our pupils to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.

    At Oaklands Primary Academy, learning is heavily influenced by White Rose Maths. The White Rose Maths Schemes of Learning are designed to give sufficient time for teachers to explore and understand concepts in depth, rather than covering it superficially and then returning several times. This practice and consolidation helps children to grasp the links between topics and to understand them more deeply.


    In Reception we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (September 2021) and use this as a basis for our planning.

    EYFS Mathematics is divided into two areas:

    1. Number

    2. Numerical Patterns

    As set out in the framework, we see developing a strong grounding in number as essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding, Oaklands’ pupils will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition to a focus on number, we also ensure that our curriculum includes rich opportunities for our pupils to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures.

    We believe in the importance of our pupils developing positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, looking for patterns and relationships, spotting connections, talking to adults and peers about what they notice and to not be afraid to make mistakes.

    All children in the Foundation Stage are working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals for Number and Numerical Patterns by the end of Reception.  

    Key Stage 1 and 2:

    We aim to improve children’s calculation skills, both mental and written.  An ability to calculate mentally lies at the heart of numeracy.  Mental methods are emphasised from the early years onwards with regular opportunities for all pupils to develop the different skills involved.  Informal written methods are introduced at the end of Reception. Standard written methods of carrying out calculations are introduced in Year 2. We aim to extend children’s ability to use and apply mathematics they have learned in a range of contexts and also to communicate their methods and reasoning, exploring reasons for any wrong answers.  Pupils are expected to learn and use correct mathematical vocabulary and notation.

    Our Maths Curriculum design:

    The fundamental idea behind our curriculum design is to support pupils to be able to perform simpler tasks so they can then move on to perform more complex tasks. We teach in blocks and within each of these blocks are ‘small steps’ which are again sequenced in order of difficulty and dependency. Each step builds carefully from the previous step, building on pupils’ prior knowledge to develop new skills, with nothing left out.

    Our curriculum follows many of the mastery principles – spending longer on topics to help pupils gain deeper understanding, making connections, keeping the class working together on the same topic and a fundamental belief that all pupils are capable of understanding, doing and improving at mathematics. But we also recognise that just spending a good chunk of time on a topic does not mean that all pupils will ‘master’ it the first time they see it, and that they need to see it again and again in different contexts. In each of the major topic areas (Number, Measurement, Geometry and Statistics), the curriculum is broken down into key areas. Our curriculum is cumulative so that once a topic is covered, it is met many times again in other contexts.

    Methods and tools of calculation:

    We use a range of methods and tools of calculation at Oaklands and fully believe in the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract model (CPA). The Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach is a system of learning that uses physical and visual aids to build a child’s understanding of abstract topics. Oaklands pupils are introduced to a new mathematical concept through the use of concrete resources and manipulatives. When they are comfortable solving problems with physical aids, they are given problems with pictures – usually pictorial representations of the concrete objects they were using. Then they are asked to solve problems where they only have the abstract - numbers or other symbols. Building these steps across a lesson can help pupils better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world, and therefore helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.

    Following the CPA model in each year group allows all our pupils, regardless of age or attainment level, to deepen and embed understanding. For many pupils, the CPA approach is a ‘way in’ to a topic whilst also it can be challenge for pupils to find an alternative representation to the ones they already have.

  • Science

    At Oaklands, we teach much of our Science curriculum through a cross-curricular thematic approach, plus through additional discrete units of learning. We encourage our pupils to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. Our Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.

    At Oaklands Primary Academy, our principal aims in teaching Science are:

    • To develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life.
    • To build on pupils’ curiosity and sense of awe of the natural world.
    • To carry out a range of investigations and practical activities to give pupils a greater understanding of the concepts and knowledge of science.
    • To introduce pupils to the language and vocabulary of science and to encourage their use across the curriculum where appropriate.
    • To develop pupils’ basic practical skills and their ability to make accurate and appropriate measurements, drawing upon Mathematical skills to support this.
    • To develop pupils’ use of computing in their recording and research in science.
    • To promote healthy lifestyles in our pupils.
    • To develop a knowledge and appreciation of the contribution made by famous scientists to our knowledge of the world including scientists from different cultures.
    • To encourage pupils to relate their scientific studies to applications and effects within the real world.

    As well as the study and exploration of the National Curriculum Science objectives, each year group ‘adopt’ a scientist each term to learn about and to note their impact upon the world we live in. The scientists are carefully chosen to represent the diversity of the scientific world and to challenge fixed stereotypes about what a scientist looks like.

    Early Years Foundation Stage

    Young children are naturally inquisitive, full of questions about the world around them and the drive to investigate how things work. By tapping into their natural predispositions early on during this key developmental phase, we nurture and establish a positive approach to science education that will stay with them into the future. By encouraging and directing their natural curiosity, and familiarising them with basic scientific vocabulary, we help our children to begin to make sense of the world around them and gain some understanding of how things work.

    Science activities in EYFS provide children with opportunities to develop and practice many different skills and attributes. These include communication skills, collaborative skills, team working and perseverance, as well as analytical, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Our adults also help them expand their vocabulary by using scientific terms that are appropriate for their age group and encourage them to extend and embed their learning through related literacy, numeracy and creative activities.

    In our EYFS department, we believe the process is more important than the results: although it is really valuable for the children to gain some scientific understanding along the way, finding the ‘right’ answer is not our primary objective; our main goals are to channel their curiosity and to foster their investigative skills through child-initiated discovery. We encourage our pupils to always experiment and ask questions and always ensure that there are multiple resources available for them to use.

    Key Stage 1

    The main focus of our science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and manmade world around them. We encourage our children to be curious and ask questions about what they notice and we support them in developing their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions. Ways in which our pupils achieve this  include observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information.

    At Oaklands, KS1 pupils build on the simple scientific vocabulary they picked up in EYFS, and build upon this, to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas. Much of the learning about science is carried out through practical experiences, but there is also some use of secondary sources, such as books, photographs, websites and videos. We also expect that KS1 pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word-reading and spelling knowledge.

    Key Stage 2

    In years 3 and 4, our main focus of science teaching is to enable our pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments. In KS1, our pupils were supported in the generating of investigative questions; in KS2, our pupils are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them. As part of this investigative process, our pupils are taught how to observe changes over time, notice patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Pupils are taught how to draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language to discuss and/or write about what they have found out.

    By the time pupils are in Years 5 and 6, our key focus is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. This is achieved through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena and analysing what they have found out more systematically. By the time they begin Y5, our pupils encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. Through their exploration of physics in particular, our pupils begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. Pupils also build on earlier investigative techniques and are expected to select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. In upper KS2, we expect that our pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

    Links with other subjects

    Science encompasses every aspect of our lives so we relate it to all areas of the curriculum where possible. We ensure that pupils realise the positive contribution of both men and women to science and the contribution from those of other cultures. Through some of our thematic topics, we not only emphasise the positive effects of science on the world but also include problems which some human activities can produce.

    We also aim to develop meaningful links in the following ways:

    • Maths: Taking measurements (length, time, mass, etc), data handling and presenting data in tables and through the use of graphs and charts.
    • Computing: Providing pupils with the opportunity to use computing to research, collect, analyse and present scientific findings.
    • Geography: Explore the science present in and around the school environment.
    • History: Providing opportunities to research and learn about famous scientists from history and how their achievements have changed or impacted upon our lives.
  • Computing, Coding and E-Safety


    In an area where progress and innovation are constant features, it is intended that children will have many opportunities to experience and broaden their understanding of Information and Communication Technology and E-Safety which has relevance across the whole of our curriculum. Consequently, valuable links are often established with other curriculum areas, enabling children to view ICT within meaningful and realistic contexts. Children are encouraged to develop their understanding of how ICT affects the lives of themselves and others, whilst learning to recognize the implications and potential power of ICT in a world which is rapidly changing. 

    • Competence in coding for a variety of practical and inventive purposes, including the application of ideas within other subjects.
    • The ability to connect with others safely and respectfully, understanding the need to act within the law and with moral and ethical integrity.  This includes a huge focus on E-safety and how to stay safe on the internet.
    • An understanding of the connected nature of devices.
    • The ability to communicate ideas well by using applications and devices throughout the curriculum.
    • The ability to collect, organise and manipulate data effectively.

    We see Computing, Coding and E-Safety as a key to the future. Children are encouraged to interact with ICT from the day they start . Every classroom is equipped with a computer connected to the internet and an interactive whiteboard. We also have a fully equipped laptop trolley and tablet trolley. In addition, learning is reinforced with the aid of many other ICT resources. These incorporate a large variety of electronic equipment and other visual aids and include ‘Roamer’ and ‘Pixie’ robots. We also have mobile tablets which are used throughout the academy and a wide range of laptops. Teachers use ipads in their everyday teaching and learning.

  • Art and Design

    At Oaklands, we believe that a high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge our pupils, providing them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As our children progress through the school, we want them to be able to think critically about art and design and also know how these both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture and creativity of the UK and the wider world.  


    The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity therefore we feel it is important that our children have regular opportunities to engage with art and design, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.  We support the children to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, and encourage them to experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function. We also encourage our children to share their creations with others, explaining the processes they have used. 

    Key stage 1 and 2:

    Much of our art and design curriculum is taught thematically but alongside our cross-curricular topics, we carry out Drop Down Weeks, a blocked learning approach to subjects. For our Art Drop Downs, year groups are allocated termly artists and crafts makers to explore – one modern artist; one classical artist and one crafts maker. Pupils learn about the historical and cultural development of their assigned artists’ art/design forms and produce creative work in their style, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences in sketch books and producing finished pieces in 2D or 3D forms. Our pupils develop proficiency in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques and each term and each year build upon their language of art, craft and design in order to evaluate and comment on their own, others’ and  artists’ work.

  • History

    At Oaklands, we believe that our history education helps our pupils gain a clear knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It inspires our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. We encourage our pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. 


    In EYFS, our History teaching focuses on the specific area of Understanding The World, with a particular emphasis on Past and Present. We aim to carry out visits in our local community and we listen to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems about the past and present to help foster our pupils understanding of our diverse world. We encourage the children to talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society and also illicit responses from the children so that they can demonstrate that they know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

    Key Stage 1

    Through our cross-curricular thematic approach to History, our pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They learn where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and are encouraged to identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. We believe that our pupils should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. We teach pupils about changes within living memory and events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally, for example, the Great Fire of London. Our thematic approach also allows for the exploration into the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements such as Florence Nightingale and Neil Armstrong.

    Key Stage 2

    We continue using a cross-curricular thematic approach in KS2 and this allows our pupils to further develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. We encourage our pupils to pose historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. Where possible, we use artefacts to bring learning to life but also use secondary sources such as books and websites to support learning.

    One full week a year is dedicated to a History Drop Down in all year groups. All subjects, Maths and English included, are thematically linked to the topic allocated to a year group. KS1 are allocated significant individuals to learn about whilst KS2 are allocated a period in British history to study in chronological order, with Y6 exploring characteristics of a past non-European society - The Maya. This dedicated Drop Down Week helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

  • Music

    Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity and it makes an important contribution to children's attitudes and development. Our children experience music in a variety of ways including singing in class and during whole key stage singing assemblies, composing, listening to music from a range of historical eras and cultures, evaluating and playing a wide range of instruments.


    In EYFS, our Music teaching focuses on the specific area of Expressive Arts and Design, with a particular emphasis on being imaginative and expressive. We teach a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs and encourage and celebrate when our children perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

    KS1 and KS2:

    Much of our music curriculum is taught thematically but alongside our cross-curricular topics, we carry out Drop Down Weeks, a blocked learning approach to subjects. During their termly Music Drop Down Week, pupils perform, listen to, review and evaluate and create and compose music on their own and with others. Each Drop Down Week, pupils have the opportunity to play a musical instrument and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. Music and Geography Drop Down Weeks are closely linked; our pupils will explore the music and geography of the same country as this allows them to put the music they’ve explored into context and helps them to make connections with some of their earlier learning.

    Music clubs and tuition:

    Our Music curriculum is supported and enriched by other lessons and activities such as specially arranged tuition and music clubs. Clubs include Recorder and Choir. Our school choir regulary perform within the community and at local and national events such as the renowned Young Voices concert at the O2 Arena. Music lessons from visiting peripatetic teachers are available for the following instruments: Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Guitar and Percussion. Please enquire at the academy office for current information concerning music clubs and tuition.

  • Geography

    At Oaklands, our geography curriculum aims to inspire in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Through a primarily cross-curricular thematic approach, we equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a clear understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As our pupils progress through the academy, we expect that their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.


    In EYFS, our Geography teaching focuses on the specific area of Understanding The World, with a particular emphasis on people, culture and communities and the natural world. We carry out visits in our local community, providing opportunities for our children to describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps. We also explore similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, using stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.  


    As with other foundation subjects, Geography is mainly taught in a cross-curricular thematic way. Through our topics, which include All Dressed Up and Our World, our pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and our immediate location of Biggin Hill. We ensure that our pupils use and understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.


    Our cross-curricular approach continues at KS2 with Geography rich units such as Saving the Planet, Chocolate, Active Planet, Go With The Flow and Climate Control. Through these topics, our pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. As part of their learning, they explore the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features such as volcanoes, earthquakes, deforestation, climate change, the chocolate trade and rivers.

    In addition to the topics covered, each year group from Y1-Y6 experience three Geography Drop Down weeks a year. Each year group studies a British city, a European country and a world country. Focus is on developing knowledge of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

    Fieldwork and the local area:

    The extensive grounds and unique location of an airport within sight means that we aim to use the outdoor space and surrounding areas frequently and aim to apply learning to real-life contexts whenever possible. Our children are encouraged to observe their immediate surroundings and develop an awareness of the community around the academy. The academy’s proximity to an airport provides us with valuable opportunities to explore many geographical topics first-hand such as the effects of tourism, air pollution, locational awareness plus how the landscape has changed over time. In EYFS and KS1, a walk to nearby shops, facilities, houses or the park enables our children to make simple observations of the variety of land uses in the area. Such walks also greatly enhance the development of early mapping skills. Enquiry forms an important part of our geography studies and geographical investigations in KS2 are based around fieldwork on class trips such as visits to local rivers as well as classroom-based activities.

  • Design Technology

    Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical part of our curriculum and it fosters our pupils creativity and imagination. Throughout their time at Oaklands, our pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs. They gain a broad range of subject knowledge and also apply their existing knowledge of mathematics, science, computing and art to their projects. Two of our key values at Oaklands are Resourcefulness and Risk taking. Through DT, these two values are fully embraced as our pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising young people.


    In our EYFS classrooms, our children can be seen throughout the day constructing and exploring with different materials and tools. Design and Technology is taught through the specific area of Creative Arts and Design and whilst we encourage our pupils to ‘have a go’ and explore, we ensure that they carry out their exploration safely, using a variety of materials, tools and techniques.


    DT is embedded into our thematic approach and through a variety of creative and practical activities, our pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage confidently in the process of designing and making. In Y1, as part of their All Dressed Up topic, pupils explore clothing from around the world and design their own tartan. In Y2, as part of their Magic Toymaker topic, pupils explore how toys have changed over time and design and create their own toy. Food technology is also an important aspect of DT in KS1 and pupils engage in food tasting and preparation regularly as part of their topics.


    As at KS1, DT continues to be embedded into our thematic approach and through a variety of creative and practical activities, our pupils are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making, including researching, planning, creating prototypes and producing and evaluating their products. In Y3, as part of their Rainforest topic, pupils explore rainforest fare and create recipes using rainforest ingredients. In Y4, as part of their Chocolate topic, pupils create their own chocolate bar and produce packaging and advertising to support it. In Y5, as part of their Mission To Mars topic, pupils design and make a Mars Rover and in Y6, pupils design, make and test air raid shelters as part of their Local Study: Biggin Hill during the war.

    Drop Down Weeks

    In addition to the DT learning embedded into our cross-curricular termly topics, Years 1-6 also experience three DT Drop Down weeks a year. The subject is split into three termly components – mechanisms, textiles and food technology. Our pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. Each term they build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. They critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.

  • Religious Education

    Religious Education makes a strong contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children in many ways. At Oaklands, we believe that our children, whatever their background, ability or religious persuasion, will find themselves able to benefit from the experience of Religious Education. Our pupils are members of a multi-cultural society and therefore we encourage a reflective and tolerant approach to the  religious beliefs and practices of all. The teaching of RE also helps our children develop the ability to form reasoned opinions, based on evidence and argument. The main aims of R.E. are to learn about religion and to learn from it, so children understand the nature of religious beliefs and practices, and foster their own personal and spiritual development. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Worship and/or Religious Education if they wish. We follow the Bromley Agreed Syllabus for RE with 5% of curriculum time dedicated to the subject.


    In our Reception classes, our RE education is primarily linked to the specific area of Understanding The World, with a particular focus on the ELG of People, Culture and Communities. We explore the similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country through stories, visits, artefacts and costumes. Through the core area of PSED, we also explore knowing rules and right from wrong which is a basis for all world religions.

    KS1 and KS2:

    At KS1 and KS2, Religious Education is mainly taught thematically where the topic involves a moral or ethical issue or a directly religious study such as Diwali as part of the All Dressed Up topic in Y1. In addition to the embedded thematic RE lessons, RE Drop Down weeks take place six times a year – once every half term. (Additional RE is taught through the Christian festivals of Christmas, Easter and Harvest.) We follow the Bromley Agreed Syllabus for RE and our focus for learning is based upon three questions: What do people believe and do?  How do people respond to ultimate questions and big issues? How do beliefs and values make a difference to lives? Through RE, our pupils develop respect for and sensitivity towards others, in particular those whose faith, traditions, beliefs and values are different from their own. Our RE lessons further help pupils to express and explore their own responses to ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life and issues of right and wrong. Through Religious Education, our children achieve a sound basis of Christian knowledge and they also learn about and appreciate other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism, exploring their similarities and differences.

    Collective Worship:

    At Oaklands, children participate in a daily act of non-denominational Collective Worship. This may be organised for separate groups of pupils at any time during the academy day but generally falls at the same time each day. Arrangements for collective worship comply with both the Local Authorities agreed syllabus for R.E and also with the statutory requirement laid down by Act of Parliament.

    Links to places of worship:

    We maintain close links with St Mark's Church and New Life Church through regular visits. We also welcome religious personnel into the academy to work with the children and lead assemblies.

  • Physical Education

    Our Oaklands Physical Education curriculum inspires all our pupils to succeed and enjoy competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It provides opportunities for our pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. In addition to developing pupils’ physical fitness, we believe that opportunities to compete in sporting activities help to embed values such as fairness and respect – one of our key values at Oaklands.


    Physical activity, as set out in the statuary framework for EYFS, is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. The prime areas of Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development are key in these areas of development. Through adult modelling and support, our pupils learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and are encouraged to live active lives . Our EYFS team create exciting games and provide many rich opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors. They also support our children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility in fun yet physically challenging and rewarding ways.


    Physical Education at KS1 consists of three main areas of activity: Games, Gymnastics and Dance.  We aim to provide opportunities for children to develop a wide range of skills, together with enjoyment, self-esteem and confidence. Each class has at least two hours of physical education per week and takes part in a planned programme for each activity. Sessions take place outside when weather permits. Year 1 and 2 classes may be given the opportunity to participate in dance and sports clubs administered at the academy by a qualified coaches and academy staff. We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude towards physical activity which will benefit each child in the future.


    In KS2, each child takes part in organised PE activities each week, covering the six PE curriculum areas: Games, Gymnastics, Athletics, Dance, Swimming and Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. As well as learning skills specific to PE, the children learn about healthy living and are encouraged to opt into physical activity as a lifestyle habit. All children are expected to participate to the fullest extent. If for any reason your child cannot take part, please contact your child's teacher. During Y4, all pupils will have a course of swimming lessons.  KS2 pupils also experience a range of after academy sports clubs such as Netball, Cross Country, Football, Basketball, Athletics, Dance and Hockey. After academy sports clubs vary from term to term or year to year.

    Beyond the classroom:

    In addition to the designated 2 hours of PE per week, our children are encouraged to be active during playtimes and make good use of the high quality play equipment, ball court, fields and playgrounds. Pupils are also encouraged to carry out the Daily Mile. Specialist Sports Coaches visit Oaklands every week and carry out team teaching sessions plus small intervention groups, including ones to develop fine and gross motor control and others to train and support pupils in their roles as Sports Leaders. Our aims are that all children shall participate, and enjoy participating, in physical activities in a way that challenges their personal ability. We also aim that those with high levels of physical skills may have the opportunity to excel.

  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

    We believe that it’s our responsibility to promote health and well-being and that is why we provide a broad and balanced curriculum which:

    • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, emotional, social and physical development of pupils at the academy and in society.
    • Prepares children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

    We believe the teaching of PSHE and RSE is of high importance for our pupils and our school because it supports them in developing self-confidence in preparing for physical and emotional changes into adulthood. RSE lessons will focus on learning about healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy, both physically and mentally. We will also focus on how to live within the wider world, with a focus on developing financial stability and career advice. All three strands make up our wider PSHE curriculum.


    Our school’s overarching aims for RSE Education is to promote an understanding of the range of family types and other people who contribute to providing children with the care, love and support that they need to grow and develop. At Oaklands, we focus on supporting our pupils to understand the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. We ensure that our teaching of RSE is inclusive and meets the needs of all our pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by ensuring all pupils experience a programme of Relationship Education at a level which is appropriate for their age and physical development with differentiated provision if required.  We ensure RSE fosters gender equality and LGBT+ equality by teaching about all relationships, genders and family units, without promoting any form of sexual orientation. Since Relationship Education incorporates the development of self-esteem and relationships, pupils’ learning does not just take place through the taught curriculum, but through all aspects of school life including the playground.

    Our PSHE provision:

    Our whole school PSHE provision covers three broad areas: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living In The Wider World. Even though much of ‘Living In The Wider World’ is not included in the government’s statutory requirements, the theme as a whole remains vitally important for our pupils’ personal development and economic wellbeing later in life. We also use our PSHE lessons to promote the British Value of Tolerance whilst embracing our schools 5Rs, with particular reference to Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. PSHE is taught discretely on a weekly basis however some of the biological aspects are covered in Science. Most of our RSE is taught alongside our PSHE to allow us to integrate it based upon relationships and our values. We also teach Relationships Education through other subject areas (for example Science and PE) where we feel that they contribute significantly to a child’s knowledge and understanding of their own body, and how it is changing and developing. There are also links to RE where children are taught about and reflect on family relationships, different family groups and rituals and traditions associated with birth, marriage and death.

    The role of parents/carers:

    We view the partnership of home and school as vital in the teaching of Relationship Education, believing the responsibility should be shared with parents and be mutually supportive and complementary.  We are well aware that the primary role in children’s Relationship Education lies with parents and carers. Here at Oaklands, we wish to build a positive and supporting relationship with the parents/carers of children at our school through mutual understanding, trust and collaboration. In promoting this objective, we will answer any questions that parents/carers may have about the Relationship Education of their child and take seriously any issue that is raised with teachers or governors about the arrangements for Relationship Education in the school. Parents and carers have the right to withdraw their child from some, or all, Relationship Education lessons, but not statutory Science lessons. If parents opt to withdraw their child from the lessons, they are encouraged to first talk it through with their child and then their child’s class teacher. Following this, a meeting with a senior leader may be arranged if necessary. A child will only be withdrawn if a discussion with a senior leader has taken place and the parental request has been confirmed in writing to the Headteacher.

  • Language Education

    At Oaklands, we believe that it is important for the children to discover the enjoyment and confidence that can be gained from communicating with people from other countries and cultures. Our Languages Education aims to foster our pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. By the end of KS2, we aim for our pupils to be able express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We believe that our language teaching will provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries in the future.


    At Oaklands, Language Education is taught from KS1 onwards, despite it not being a government requirement until KS2. Studies show that that by starting to speak additional languages at a young age is highly beneficial to a child because learning languages develops listening, observation, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Therefore, we immerse our children in a balance of basic conversational phrases and written vocabulary which is mainly taught implicitly with some explicit sessions throughout each term. Y1 and Y2 pupils at Oaklands learn to speak Spanish.


    Because our pupils have already learned how to speak a foreign language at KS1, they are more receptive to learning another new language in KS2. Y3 and Y4 learn French and Y5 and Y6 learn German. The children are taught to listen and respond to spoken language through listening to stories, singing songs and rhymes and playing games. In addition, they are supported in engaging in conversations, speaking in whole sentences by the end of Key Stage 2, asking and answering questions, expressing their opinions and responding to the opinions of others. They will develop pronunciation and intonation when reading by exploring the patterns and sounds of language through spellings, songs and rhymes. Pupils are encouraged to broaden their vocabulary, write phrases from memory adapting these to create their own sentences and by applying basic grammar rules.

    By the time our pupils leave Oaklands, they will have a repertoire of three  widely-spoken foreign languages which will stand them in good stead for not just developing their language ability further in secondary school but for life beyond the UK.

  • Inclusion and Special Needs

    We believe every child should have access to the whole curriculum, including those with specific and general learning difficulties, those with emotional, behavioural, physical and sensory needs, and those who are able and talented.

    At some time in their academy life, pupils may experience difficulties, long or short term, which affect their learning. At Oaklands we take account of their unique requirements and make provision to support individuals or groups of children as necessary. When children have been identified as having a Special Educational Need, we follow the stages for meeting these needs recommended by the Code of Practice.

    We provide many opportunities for support, catch-up, pre-teach and extension from highly skilled teaching assistants, bespoke 1-2-1 or small group support, speech and language intervention, play intervention, phonics support to name but a few. The academy follows the procedure in the 2015 SEND Code of Practice:

    Statutory assessment

    The Local Authority considers the need for a statutory assessment and, if appropriate, makes a multi-disciplinary assessment.

    Children with Education, Health Care Plans

    The Local Authority considers the results of a statutory assessment and, if appropriate, makes a statement of special educational needs, called an Education Health Care Plan and arranges, monitors and reviews provision.

    Our Inclusion Manager is happy to discuss with parents any concerns about their child's special educational needs.

    There are opportunities each term for parents to discuss and review pupils' individual needs with us but our door is always open.

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