Druids Walk
Walsall Wood
Walsall
WS9 9JS

01543 452040

postbox@oakwood.walsall.sch.uk

Curriculum

Oakwood School is a primary specialist provision for children aged 3 – 11 years with complex educational needs.  Our learners all have a diverse range of severe and complex needs and with our safe, stimulating and nurturing learning environment we help our children learn in bespoke and innovative ways to ensure optimism progression.

Our highly qualified staff coupled with our forward-thinking approach to resources and technology allow children to communicate and participate in the world around them.  We promote a wide range of high quality learning experiences, catering for all learning styles so that no child is ever left behind.

We recognise that our children are individuals with different needs, learning styles, strengths and challenges and as such we have built our curriculum around their needs to encourage and give them the opportunities to be the best they can be.

Aims

We aim through our curriculum to equip our children with the tools to be:

  • as independent as possible
  • to be curious and engage with the world around them
  • to have a means to communicate their wants and needs
  • to live healthy lifestyles
  • to be kind, passionate and tolerant
  • to be prepared for the next stages of their lives
  • to be able to access and have new and exciting experiences that motivates and inspires them

We commit to:

  • providing a safe, fun, stimulating and challenging learning environment
  • encouraging independence and generalisation of skills
  • establishing a mutually supportive partnership in which all parties that are part of the child’s life work together in the child’s best interests
  • promoting an awareness of difference and respect of a diversity of cultures, values and beliefs and abilities
  • ensure that all children have appropriate and equal access to the curriculum.

 

Curriculum Organisation

To encompass the needs of all of our children our curriculum follows a five tiered approach:

 

Each tier representing a level in which our children are accessing the curriculum. It is also recognised that due to our children’s spikey profile that they may access their learning at different tiers for different aspects of their learning, e.g. for one child their physical skills may be a significant strength and their learning may be in the semi-formal curriculum and in other areas they are progressing with their skills at an informal level.

 

Pre-formal Curriculum:

The engagement curriculum 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 the 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.

Quest is used as an assessment tool to track and celebrate the children’s small steps of progress with the support Seesaw as a vehicle to record evidence.  End of Year 2 and 6 attainment is reported via the Engagement Scales/PLevels.

 

Informal Curriculum: 

The informal creative curriculum provides a thematic approach for all pupils.

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.

Pupils access the curriculum through the use of multi-sensory approaches.  This enables the children to use and integrate their senses, to learn about themselves and the world around and develop functional skills which will prepare them for the next stage in their lives.

MAPP assessment tool is used to track children’s progress against child specific targets focusing on developing their independence, fluency, maintenance and generalisation of the skill.  End of Year 2 and 6 attainment is reported via the Pre – Key Stage Assessments.

 

Semi-Formal Curriculum:

The semi-formal creative curriculum provides a thematic approach for all pupils.

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.

Pupils access the curriculum through the use of multi-sensory approaches.  This enables the children to use and integrate their senses, to learn about themselves and the world around and develop functional skills which will prepare them for the next stage in their lives.

MAPP assessment tool is used to track children’s progress against child specific targets focusing on developing their independence, fluency, maintenance and generalisation of the skill.  End of Year 2 and 6 attainment is reported via the Pre – Key Stage Assessments.

 

Bridging Curriculum:

As the name suggests the bridging curriculum helps to bridge the gap in the children’s learning from the semi-formal to the National Curriculum.

MAPP assessment tool is used to track children’s progress against child specific targets focusing on developing their independence, fluency, maintenance and generalisation of the skill.

End of Year 2 and 6 attainment is reported via the Pre – Key Stage Assessments.

 

National Curriculum:

A small number of our children are able to access some of their learning at the early stages of the National Curriculum.  Where children have a particular strength, interest and understanding in an area this is developed.

 

Early Years

Children who join us in the Early Years Foundation Stage benefit from planned, purposeful play in order to engage and stimulate the children to their maximum potential.

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

End of EYFS assessment is through Early Years Framework.  Within this framework, the majority of our learners are working at either the engagement or semi-formal tier.

 

Curriculum Wheel

The prime areas of the Early Years Curriculum drive the basis of the key areas on our Curriculum Wheel.

 

 

Our termly themes, hooks and celebrations provide the inspiration and motivation to develop the children’s skills for live long learning.

Our four key areas of learning development are driven by each child’s Personal Learning Targets (PLT’s) that are the starting point to how our children access our curriculum.  Targets are co-produced between home, school and outside agencies to build a picture of where the individual child is now and their next steps. 

We use our Rainbow Curriculum to assist us with pinpointing where our children are in their learning whilst recognising their spikey profile and understanding that our children do not always move through the developmental milestones in the same way as their mainstream peers.  In addition, great consideration is given to the age appropriateness of targets with the aim to develop each child’s functional skills preparing them for life beyond our school.

The four key elements to our curriculum wheel that form the cornerstones of our curriculum to achieve our aims for the children:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

This area encompasses the child’s self-help skills, eating, dressing their interaction with those around them and promoting their positive mental health.

Communication and Language:

Developing each child’s ability to communicate their wants and needs is an integral part of the children’s learning which, is a feature of every activity, every day.  We aim to support our children to generalise their communication skills which may be supported by appropriate alternative and augmentative communications (AAC) aids into every area of their life.  Our hooks provide the motivation to want to communicate and express their joy, happiness, sadness, displeasure etc

Creativity and Physical Development:

Being able to express themselves through music, art or drama

Problem Solving:

Considering how each child interacts with the world around them, how they make choices, understand the cause and effect of an action, how to use technology to achieve their objective, to persevere and try different options.

Each key area of learning is underpinned by four core strands that are the essential ingredients for good progress and enable greater independence and prepare children for the next stage in their learning:

  • Positive participation
  • Creating and thinking critically
  • Active learning – motivation
  • Playing and exploring - engagement