Oakfield High School and College Curriculum Overview

‘Learning Today for Our Tomorrow’

Our curriculum allows all learners to have parity of opportunity, be life ready, harness their potential, creativity, have rich experiences and broaden their life choices. The Confederation of School Trusts in their paper ‘Knowledge Building-school improvement at scale’ (2021) stated that possibly the strongest school improvement lever we have is the curriculum. The principle of ‘powerful knowledge’ (Young et al…2014) stated that ‘the most powerful knowledge is the knowledge that goes beyond ‘common sense’ (what we acquire in our everyday experience).

Our curriculum therefore gives our young people agency. The OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 framework is based around the idea a young persons’ education now should prepare them for the future world. The ‘powerful knowledge’ should empower and equip our young people with the knowledge, character, virtues, learning skills and competencies for learning and for life. The values of our curriculum align with the OECD framework to allow our learners to thrive in the global world.

The cycle of collaboration from our Laboratory school work has put curriculum development and subject knowledge at the heart of school life. Our collaborative approach to curriculum design as part of our Laboratory School status, is based on the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 framework and the idea of powerful knowledge. There is a sequenced plan of professional development for subject leaders and for subject areas to develop, share and use evidence to inform curriculum design.

Oakfield offers a well-planned and broad curriculum rich in opportunities for all learners.  The key stage 3 curriculum offers learners the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities creatively and academically.  At key stage 4 and 5 the curriculum is personalised for the individual developing their skills, interests and preparing them for their next steps. The curriculum is flexible, responsive and meets the need of individual learners. The curriculum maps highlight that all learners have access to the full range of subjects and opportunities offered.  The personal development programme provides opportunities to enhance and support learners developing their knowledge and skills in a more independent and creative way.

The curriculum organisation is high impact, inclusive and relevant. At key stage 3 learners are in classes grouped by ability in each year. At key stage 4 and 5 learners are grouped by ability for all the core subjects.  In option groups, learners are in mixed ability groups. The accreditation offered is based on the ability and needs of the learner and their assessment pathways.  Learners are supported at transition points in making choices about the curriculum areas they want to follow.  Year 9 and 11 have a pathway interview, where they are supported in their choice of options and are able to discuss their progress to date and their future choices.  This is supported by the development of an individual learning plan for learners in years 9 and 11.

The curriculum includes opportunities and experiences which best meet learning and development needs. Through clear strategic planning our curriculum provides not only memorable experience, but is rich in opportunities from which the learners can learn and develop transferable skills. The acquisition of knowledge and development of skills is carefully planned to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. To allow progression and aspiration the programme of study is developed clearly highlighting learning objectives, assessment opportunities and adaptive teaching.

Student Agency in Learning (SAIL) is embedded within the curriculum and this is to develop greater agency of learning. Through a range of mission’s learners apply their knowledge from across the curriculum. During regular coaching sessions learners share their aspirations, set targets and discuss their progress in both individual lessons and towards their agreed targets.

Learners are able to make impressive progress due to the curriculum design, as it is based on and adapted using assessment data. All accreditation is based on assessment to allow learners to make exceptional progress.  Learners use and apply literacy and numeracy in many work-related areas such as floristry, hospitality and catering and construction.  Literacy is embedded and encouraged; examples of this are reading during form time and through our words for all project.

Learners at Oakfield achieve the highest level of qualification and accreditation that is available to them. There is a wide range of accreditation offered including GCSE’s, BTEC’s, Entry level, NCFE, NOCN, ASDAN, entry pathways and personal progress. There is are many culturally rich opportunities for learners to develop their character skills throughout school and college.

The curriculum has significant opportunities for learners to develop agency and really allows them to participate in their community and to thrive. Our SAIL curriculum is anchored in aspirations for all, it provides the platform in empowering and equipping learners with the foundations through a coaching and goal setting approach for success and lifelong learning.

There is an extremely strong emphasis on preparing learners for the world of work and in the development of the skills needed for learners’ future life. The curriculum supports careers advice and guidance. Throughout key stage 5 there is a strong emphasis on transferable skills and there is a well-planned programme of work experience. 

Curriculum Intent