The Oakhurst Curriculum
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum which can be found by clicking the link below. We have developed our curriculum over recent years to ensure we not only meet, but exceed the requirements of the national curriculum in providing our pupils with a knowledge-rich education to ensure their success as they move into Key Stage 3.
The National Curriculum document shows the statutory objectives for the knowledge, skills and understanding that we teach at Oakhurst Community Primary School from Year 1 to Year 6 and can be accessed by clicking here.
At Oakhurst Community Primary School, we offer a broad, balanced and academically rigorous curriculum for all our learners. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught using the EYFS framework with an emphasis on developing key skills, knowledge and understanding through direct teaching and structured continuous provision.
A Knowledge-Based Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more.
We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children not only have access to engaging and thought-provoking learning experiences, but are taught this in a way that ensures they can remember the curriculum content in future years.
We make use of Knowledge Organisers (which are sent home regularly) to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular topic. There is further information about Knowledge Organisers below.
Central to the presentation of our curriculum is the aim to help our children grow to become knowledgeable, curious and interesting young people to talk to. Our staff will refer to knowledge as being ‘sticky’; if we learn and remember one fact, it is easier for the next one to stick to it and so on until great mountains of knowledge are grown!
This is why we place particular emphasis on children knowing by heart and building rich webs of knowledge as they progress through the curriculum. Parents can support this work through quizzing children on their knowledge organisers.
At Oakhurst, we use Knowledge Organisers (KOs) in class and as homework to help children to learn the essential knowledge they need for each topic they study. A Knowledge Organiser sets out in detail what we want children to know by heart by the end of the topic. We expect the majority of children to be able to recall all of the information on the KO by the end of the unit of work.
The children will be informally quizzed on these in class each week to help them remember what they are learning.
At the end of each topic, there is a test to find out what the children have remembered.
It is also useful for children to go back to previous KOs and revise these so that the information from previous learning is not forgotten.
Please navigate to your child’s year group under the ‘Classes’ tab in order to access the relevant KO for the current topic.
Subject Specific Information
At Oakhurst Community Primary School, we aim to embed oracy across the breadth of our curriculum, to enable our pupils to become proficient in their speaking. Oracy encomposes children’s speech, fluency and use of vocabulary which is promoted in a variety of ways. In our school community, correct speech is modelled to ensure our pupils can talk with confidence in a variety of situations, which will support them in the future. Vocabulary is highlighted and explained consistently in lessons and promoted using our Knowledge Organisers.
We believe that learning a forgeign language gives our children a strong foundation to move to secondary school and study other languages. The study of French also supports children’s understanding of English and, in particular, grammar and etymology (where words come from). To support our teaching of French, we utilise the Rigolo scheme produced by Oxford University Press.
Purpose and Aim
At Oakhurst, we have chosen to use the RE Scheme of Work called Discovery RE, written by Jan Lever which is mapped to the Swindon Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2016-2021.
The Swindon Agreed Syllabus states the following:
“The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develops responses of their own.”
Discovery RE, clearly states their intent for high quality RE:
“Our belief is that, using an enquiry-based model well, children’s critical thinking skills can be developed, their motivation to learn increased, and their knowledge and understanding of, and empathy with people and their beliefs, religious or otherwise, will be enhanced. This approach takes very seriously the philosophy that children are free to make their own choices and decisions concerning religion and belief. RE does not try to persuade but rather to inform and develop the skills with which evaluation can take place.”
Both of these statements are at the heart of RE teaching and learning at Oakhurst Community Primary School. The Discovery RE scheme of work provides clear opportunities for the intent to be shown in the implementation of RE within the school.
The delivery of this scheme is via a four-step enquiry model with each unit being based on an enquiry question.
Step 1 – Engagement – What is my starting point (human experience) in my own world?
Step 2 – Investigation – What do I need to know about the world of religion to support my enquiry?
Step 3 – Evaluation – Critical reflection on the knowledge I have now gained. What is my answer to the enquiry?
Step 4 – Expression – How does this enquiry affect my position/starting point?
Within Foundation Stage, religions are covered more broadly, looking at what makes people and places special, celebrations and stories. The materials have been aligned F1 (ages 3-4) and F2 (ages 4-5) to the most recent National Early Years Framework (England, DfE, April 2021).
From Year One, two religions will be studied each year. All year groups focus three terms on Christianity, whilst each year group has a different second religion to study so that it may be explored in more depth.
Throughout the units, children are encouraged to be involved in discussions and follow lines of enquiry which may arise in their lessons. This may require the use of additional resources to those provided within the Discovery RE programme. Where possible and appropriate, it is hoped that the use of visits and visitors may engage the children further and provide them with a deeper and clearer understanding of the content.
In addition, the Discovery RE Scheme of Work shows where there are SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities, along with critical thinking and evaluation through British Values and reflection complementing the work Oakhurst does in particular around Metacognition and Reflective practice.
RE lessons stand alone however, where there are appropriate links to be made, they are to be encouraged so that the children gain even greater context and understanding to those enquiries and links being made – PSHE is a good example of where there is often a cross curricular link. This in turn is aimed to develop the philosophy of children being able to make their own choices and decisions regarding religion and belief.
In order to have evidence of the impact of the RE learning taking place across the school, we will use children’s ongoing learning alongside assessment activity sheets (as appropriate). Ongoing learning evidence can be gathered through the children’s exercise books as well as class floor books. As RE is taught through enquiry-based activities, some, but not all, lessons may focus on discussion without individual written work. Using floor books for evidence will allow learning to be captured through: photographs of children carrying out a practical activity or using appropriate resources to support their discussions, annotations alongside the photographs etc.
In addition, the end of unit assessment sheets help to determine where a child/group of children fit within the age-related expectations. These allow children to self-evaluate as well as use peer evaluation and feedback and progress will be tracked.
There are three colour-coded descriptors in Discovery RE to aid assessment.
Green: Personal resonance with or reflection on the concept/belief underlying the subject matter of the enquiry. Child’s own thoughts, opinions, belief, empathy.
Blue: Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of that enquiry [subject knowledge]
Red: Skills of evaluation and critical thinking in relation to the big enquiry question
Children will be assessed as Working AT (WA), Working Towards (WT) or Working Beyond (WB) based on where evidence has been collected for the above coloured categories.
For more information about Discovery RE, please click here.
Art and Design
In art, our pupils will learn about some of the most famous pieces of art that have been created and about the artists that created them. They will encounter a range of pieces, celebrating many cultures and diversity. They will also learn how to produce their own pieces of art using a range of different forms and media. We ensure pupils have many opportunities to practice the basic skills and are able to use these alongside their knowledge to create their own pieces of art.
Design and Technology
Our Design and Technology curriculum is aimed to provide our pupils with the opportunities to exercise their imagination and creativity to design and make products for a range of different purposes and audiences, whilst preparing our children for their future in a rapidly changing world.
The subject encourages children to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making a product and reviewing its effectiveness. Through the study of design and technology children combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and use in the real world. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impact.
Design and technology helps all children to become critical innovators of the future. We live in a technological age, surrounded by products which have been designed and produced for us. We aim to make our children consider what they can potentially contribute to the future world through their own understanding and investigations of products, fabrics, materials, food, how and why things are made the way they are, what can be improved and what their purpose was, is and will be in the future.
At Oakhurst, we base our computing curriculum on the Switched on Computing scheme from Rising Stars. This scheme provides progression across all three strands of the computing curriculum: digital literacy, computer science and information technology. Through exposure to a range of programmes and concepts, children develop knowledge and skills which enable them to make connections across different topics and subjects. Children are set independent projects that require them to solve real-life problems as well as tackling challenges in group activities which enable them to work collaboratively.
“A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.”
(Department for Education)
We aim to inspire children to be curious about the past and how the world has developed into the place that we experience today. We hope for children to understand the complexity of people’s lives at different times, the process of change and the diversity of societies around the world at different points in time.
Our Knowledge Organisers detail the content covered in each year group. Topics in Key Stage 1 have been selected to invigorate children’s interest in learning about the past and an understanding that changes occur over time. Topics in Key Stage 2 cover knowledge and understanding of British history chronologically (as detailed in the National Curriculum) as well as studying early civilisations from around the world. Knowledge Organisers detail important dates and vocabulary for the children to learn in each historical study.
At Oakhurst Community Primary School, we follow the learning intentions from the National Curriculum for Geography. The five main areas we look at are:
1. Geographical enquiry
We study and investigate our local and distant geography, making comparisons and conclusions of our understanding of areas taught.
2. Knowledge and understanding of places
This takes our focus to human and physical geography, learning about the features and characteristics of the different areas of our world such as climate and vegetation as well as mountains, rivers and volcanoes.
3. Geographical skills
We use atlases, technology and maps to increase understanding of our world’s elements such as our continents, countries, rainforests and deserts as well as how our maps represent these.
We learn about our surrounding environment ourselves, investigating by observing, measuring and recording.
5. Environmental change and sustainable development
Children delve into learning about weather patterns and changes in the environment – both from natural and human causes – including land use, the water cycle and how the processes of the human and physical world are interdependent.
As part of our presentation of the music curriculum, we work alongside the Swindon Music Service. Our curriculum makes the most of cross-curricular opportunities; making effective links to our topics as well as using elements of the Charanga scheme as part of our teaching and learning. We are proud of the fact that our children are given the opportunity to start learning a range of musical instruments over the course of the time they spend at our school:
● Year 2 – recorder
● Year 3 and 4 – ukulele
● Year 5 – guitar
In addition to this, we have a large choir who participate in many events and concerts, including the annual Young Voices events.
For further information on Charanga, please click here.
At Oakhurst, we believe that leading a healthy, active lifestyle is a very important facet of child development. We employ a specialist sports coach within the school, who delivers a wide range of sporting and athletic activities. At the core of our PE curriculum is the notion of access for all children. As a school, we regularly participate in a range of sporting and athletic competitions.
Personal, Social and Health Education
We teach Personal, Social, Health and Relationship Education as a whole-school approach to underpin children’s development as people and because we believe that this also supports their learning capacity.
To ensure progression and a spiral curriculum, we use Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE and RHE, as our chosen teaching and learning programme and tailor it to our children’s needs. The mapping document: Jigsaw 3-11 and statutory Relationships and Health Education, shows exactly how Jigsaw, and therefore our school, meets the statutory Relationships and Health Education requirements.
Here, at Oakhurst Primary School we value PSHE and RHE as one way to support children’s development as human beings, to enable them to understand and respect who they are, to empower them with a voice and to equip them for life and learning.
‘Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work, aiming to prepare children/young people for life, helping them really know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.’
We provide clear communication to parents about what is taught in RHE lessons. Below are some helpful documents for our parents and carers:
- Information for Parents and Carers Leaflet
- LGBTQ Parent Leaflet
- 01. Being Me in My World Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
- 02. Celebrating Difference Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
- 03. Dreams and Goals Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
- 04. Healthy Me Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
- 05. Relationships Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
- 06. Changing Me Jigsaw 3-11 Parent Overview
For more information about Jigsaw, please click here.
How can I find out more?
We are always more than happy to help.
If you have any queries, or you would like to find out more, please use the Enquiry Form found by navigating to the ‘Contact Us‘ tab on the main menu. Alternatively, you can direct your query to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in contact with the relevant member of staff.