The curriculum offered at Oakwood School is broad, balanced, relevant and is adapted to provide for the academic and personal development of individuals with complex learning needs.  Activities are planned to ensure that children are successful in their learning and recognise that they are valued as individuals.  The aim is for them to enjoy their achievements at school.

The emphasis given to different areas will change as the children move through the school as their personal requirements change.  Throughout the school, great emphasis is placed on communication skills.  For those at early developmental stages, objects, photographs, symbols and signs are used extensively to make choices.  As their skills develop pupils are encouraged to use language appropriately in academic and social situations.

Here at Oakwood School, pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 are offered a daily period of time dedicated to literacy and maths.  The length of the session will necessarily vary according to the needs and abilities of our pupils.  Expectations are high and allow for pace and rigour throughout the sessions. Literacy and maths will also be an integral part of all subjects delivered by means of the Creative Curriculum and where possible the Creative Curriculum theme will be reflected through literacy & maths.

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


Key Stages 1 & 2


In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the Creative Curriculum provides a more thematic approach for all pupils. Each class group are offered at least one new topic per term according to their needs and abilities. 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 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 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.