At Oakwood School we offer a curriculum that is rich in opportunities to enable our children to grow and develop to be the best that they can possibly be.

Our curriculum is flexible and bespoke to cater for each individual child. It is responsive to each child, and builds on individual strengths and interests.

In 2018 -2019 we are moving towards a three three tiered curriculum where children will have greater opportunities to succeed and embed personal targets:

  • Informal for our PMLD children
  • Semi-Formal for our SLD children 
  • Subject specific National Curriculum where appropriate

Our curriculum is holistic and focuses on developing the key skills of communication, cognition, independence, physical development and self-care, all transferable skills. Based on skill and context it encourages active engagement in learning.

Teachers use meaningful experiences to engage and motivate children which ensures progress. 

Click here for our curriculum overview


In accordance with EYFS guidelines, Oakwood practitioners offer planned and purposeful play in order to engage and stimulate pupils to their maximum potential.  Consideration is taken into account of children’s interests, through observations made during child initiated activities.  Practitioners are also mindful of any schema exhibited by pupils, in order to take advantage of their patterns of play.  These strategies help to build on the three characteristics of effective learning – Play and Exploration, Active Learning, and Creativity and Critical Thinking.

The areas of learning and development

All areas of learning and development are of equal importance and inter-connected, three of which are particularly essential in order to promote children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.  These three prime areas are:

  1. Communication and Language
  2. Physical Development
  3. Personal social and emotional development

Oakwood also supports children in four specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the World
  4. Expressive Arts and Design

Reception Welcome Brochure - July 2018


Key Stages 1 & 2


In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the semi-formal creative curriculum provides a more thematic approach for all pupils.  Six topics have been chosen for each year, over a four year cycle, allowing adequate subject coverage for each year.

Methodologies, approaches, access and materials are modified and differentiated according to the needs of individuals within each class. Planning of the semi-formal curriculum is undertaken to ensure breadth, balance, depth and progression of learning for all pupils.  In addition, some aspects of personal and social education are given a high priority and form part of the individual education for each child. 

Pupils with more complex needs can access the curriculum though the use of multi – sensory approaches.  This enables the children to use and integrate their senses, to learn about themselves and the world about them. 


Sensory Learning Group (SLG)

We recognise that all of our learners with complex and multiple needs deserve to have their needs met through high quality teaching and the provision of appropriate learning opportunities. They also have an entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. Close partnership with parents and carers, along with input from a range of professionals, will be required to provide these entitlements for this group of learners at Oakwood.

The informal curriculum in SLG has a focus on developing the learner’s understanding both of the world around them and of social interactions and relationships. It values the process as much as achievement. It is flexible in order to be responsive to the needs of the individual learner and it is delivered in an integrated manner incorporating learning, therapy and health needs. Tasks are relevant and purposeful to maximise motivation and to help learners make sense of the world around them. Curriculum experiences are carefully planned in line with latest research.