Curriculum Statement for Oak Hill

Our Curriculum

The introduction of the most recent Primary National Curriculum for England and Wales in 2014, coincided with our conversion to academy status. We 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 to ensure that the children enjoy a fun but challenging learning experience that will prepare them for life in modern Britain. Our aim is for children to be able to enjoy a range of sporting activities, have the opportunity to learn new musical instruments as well as take advantage of our fantastic facilities, including the sports field, Library, iPads, laptops and gardening allotments.

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. We personalise and tailor the curriculum for children to maximise their learning opportunities.

The Aspirations Academies Trust Ethos

‘To be able to dream about the future, while being inspired in the present to reach those dreams'

- Dr. Russell J. Quaglia

We are committed to helping schools foster children aspirations so that all children reach their fullest potential. When children have high aspirations, they have the ability to set goals and think about the future while being inspired in the present to reach those goals. The Aspirations Trust and Oak Hill Academy believe that for children to have high aspirations, three Guiding Principles must be present: Self-Worth, Engagement, and Purpose.

The Guiding Principles, in turn, are lived out through the 8 Conditions that emphasise relationships, active and engaging teaching and learning, and a sense of responsibility over one's own aims and goals. The 8 Conditions are: Belonging, Heroes, Sense of Accomplishment, Fun & Excitement, Curiosity & Creativity, Spirit of Adventure, Leadership & Responsibility, and Confidence to Take Action. The 8 Conditions make a difference because they help  put into practice the three Guiding Principles that guide the Aspirations curriculum.


Reading

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum! Each year group reads at least five texts as part of their English curriculum through the year. These books are written 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 our daily accelerated reading programme, 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 children have access to the accelerated reading books in our school library. We also have an Oak Hill Patron of Reading, Mr Vobes who visits school each term and runs reading workshops with each year group on rotation.

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 and non-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, editing and publishing processes.

Maths Mastery

In September 2016 we introduced the Maths Mastery programme to the school curriculum at Oak Hill.

Maths Mastery is the UK version of the highly successful Singapore maths teaching model, rated number one in the world for having most impact and success in educating children in maths.

The Maths Mastery programme uses concrete, pictorial and abstract teaching methods and approaches. Maths lessons are fun, practical and stimulates children’s curiosity to think and explain what they are being presented with. Lessons require children to work and talk together in pairs, groups and in whole class contexts to explain their learning and understanding. There is also time in each lesson for independent work.  Maths Mastery is an excellent maths programme which has proven to be highly effective in supporting children’s’ mathematical learning at Oak Hill in the last two years. We run a Maths Mastery parent information session for all new Year 3 parents interested in seeing the programme in action each autumn term. There are also opportunities to Work With Your Child during morning lessons in the autumn and spring term.

Science

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

Foundation Subjects and Sport

At Oak Hill Academy, we deliver the full National Curriculum which includes many foundation subjects. To do this effectively, we plan topics for each half term and deliver the foundation subjects using either a cross curricular approach; (for example, studying history and writing a play, biography or narrative about it) or through discreet learning for example studying Rivers in Geography which focuses only on the learning content.

Circle Time and Philosophy for Children (P4C)

Circle Time is a technique for teaching children how to explore ideas through discussion. In these sessions, the class sit in a circle, so that everyone can contribute and listen equally. P4C discussions start from a given 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. Circle time is a vehicle for children to express feelings and problem solve together to support their emotional needs.

Computing

The use of Computing is embedded across the curriculum. We are very well resourced with laptops, ipads and chrome books in every class and year group across the school. Children are encouraged to use computers and ipads as a tool for learning where appropriate. Weekly Computing lessons enable children to understand how to use computers and stay safe when online. It also helps them develop skills such as coding and blogging. Keeping children safe when using the internet (e-safety) is of paramount importance and the school has a firewall in place to protect children when researching online.

Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship in Education (PSHCE)

We wish 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 use one of the 8 Conditions as a theme and as well as explicit teaching of Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship in Education PSHCE, we are committed to providing excellent pastoral care, ensuring every child feels valued and appreciated.                     

Special Educational Needs and More Able Provision

Every child is unique and we ensure this individuality is celebrated and supported.  We make ensure that all children, including those with academic, behaviour or emotional difficulties are well supported.

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. 

The Assistant Principal, Mrs Hayley Mulhall, is our School Inclusion Lead and SENCO.

Our More Able children are challenged daily within the classroom and are given opportunities to take part in national / local school enrichment days and competitions. We work closely with Rivers Academy who provide us with specialist Language, Maths and English teachers. Very able children are identified and selected to take part in ‘Explorers Academy’ during the spring term 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 and clubs or music lessons.

Learning Mentor & Parent Liaison: Our children also benefit from having access to our Learning Mentor, Mrs Cooper, who supports behaviour and all other for pastoral issues.  Mrs Cooper is also our Parent Liaison link and is available to meet parents whose children need support with behaviour, attendance or other pastoral needs.

Assessment and Target Setting

Each child is set a target for the end of Year 6 (this will be the National Expected or Greater Depth Standard) as well as a target milestone for the end of each term and year. If he/she achieves their end of term targets then staff know they are on track to make the progress expected by the time they leave us. If, however, they do not achieve their target, support and afternoon interventions will be put in place to help them get back on track. We contact all parents as necessary and discuss the support we will provide.

Parent Consultation Evenings

Our termly Parents’ Consultation Evenings will provide all parents the opportunity to come and meet the class teacher and discuss their learning progress.  If required, a meeting with Mrs Mulhall, our SENCO, can also be arranged for you.

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