Our Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage

The EYFS curriculum covers our children from two years until the end of their Reception year. The Early Years curriculum caters for the wide range of special needs in Acorn and Oakleigh School. We build on the knowledge we have on the child to individualise learning and provide an environment that allows the child to learn and develop to their maximum potential.

Children follow the EYFS curriculum and the areas are as follows:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Curriculum

Introduction
We strongly believe that our pupils deserve a curriculum which is personalised, relevant, motivating, balanced, innovative, has meaningful real life contexts for learning, and has appropriate breadth. We provide a multi-sensory approach to learning embedded within a creative, individualised and exciting framework, which is delivered through holistic experiences.

We are mindful of providing our children with challenging expectations.

We recognise the need for our pupils to develop the pre-requisite skills needed for learning those required in the National Curriculum subjects. Children have access to a wide range of literacy teaching, including differentiated storytelling, phonic awareness, and early mark making and  writing opportunities.

These skills may develop laterally and in very small linear steps.

We view the curriculum as the contexts for learning at the very earliest developmental levels.

Individualised planning ensures that children build on existing levels of knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding. We nurture these areas to help the children to make progress at their own rate.

Children learn best in an environment which recognises and values the whole child. We help our pupils to develop their Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Sensory and Physical Development. Sensory and Perceptual development and Learning through ICT are strands which run throughout our curriculum. ICT is seen as an enabling strategy, and will be used to increase their access to the outside world, enhance communication, and develop environmental control as well as exploring their own interests.

We plan and organise the curriculum so that all pupils take part in activities that are meaningful to them and which have learning objectives that are relevant and challenging. We use a range of teaching strategies and approaches within each lesson so that all pupils are involved and appropriately supported to learn.

We support pupils to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes that will help them to have interesting lives outside school and to make the most of the opportunities available to them after school.

We recognise the importance of learning through Play, in order to develop all aspects of the developing child, including their emotional well-being, cognition, social skills and physical development.

Curriculum Structure
Our curriculum is divided into three strands, which are:

  • Pre-formal - approximately P1-P4
  • Semi-formal - approximately P4-P8
  • Formal - approximately P7-National Curriculum age-related expectations

Our curriculum recognises four areas of learning.  These areas are in line with the children’s Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and Personal Learning Plan (PLP) areas, thus ensuring that we are truly addressing the individual needs of each pupil, tracking from their EHCP right through to the curriculum which is provided on a daily basis.

These are:

  • Communication and Interaction Development
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and Physical Development

Our overarching themes run a three year cycle and include the following: The Senses, Shapes/Pattern, The Seaside, Ourselves, Colour, Water, Light and Dark, Movement and Animals. The purpose of using themes is to provide children with teaching and learning which is embedded within fun, motiving and meaningful contexts which capture the children’s interest. Additionally they encourage a broad and enriched curriculum to be delivered.  Pupils will be expected to revisit earlier learning but engage in a more challenging learning outcome. This process ensures a sense of progression and embeds learning through necessary repetition which monitors progress and real understanding, and provides opportunities for generalisation which are crucial for our pupils at this stage.

Termly Themes
The Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children all follow the same Termly Themes.  These are on a three yearly cycle, which ensures opportunity for repetition, consolidation and extension of skills laterally and linearly.  These themes provide exciting, motivating, meaningful and purposeful contexts for skills-based learning. 

Additionally they encourage a broad and enriched curriculum to be delivered.  Pupils will be expected to revisit earlier learning but engage in a more challenging learning outcome. This process ensures a sense of progression and embeds learning through necessary repetition which monitors progress and real understanding, and provides opportunities for generalisation which are crucial for our pupils at this stage.

Our theme cycle is:

Cycle 1
The Senses Shapes and Pattern The Seaside
Cycle 2
Ourselves Colour Water
Cycle 3
Light and Dark Movement Animals

Please see our 3-Year Cycle document (PDF) for a further breakdown of our themes for children in KS1 and KS2.

If you would like more information about our curriculum, please contact your child’s class teacher or the school office.

Religious Education

Religious Education (RE) is taught across the school, in regular faith-based gatherings and as part of a cross-curricular approach. We have also adapted our acts of collective daily worship. At the end of each day we gather in class to reflect on our achievements and what we have learned about each other and the world, through creating a peaceful, calm atmosphere.  Each class approaches this in a way that is meaningful to those pupils. These end of day reflections and the recognition of pupils’ achievements are an important aspect of RE at Oakleigh & EYC

We aim to promote the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of all pupils; to contribute to their personal development and well-being; to contribute to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and understanding and to offer opportunities for spiritual development and the deepening of understanding of the significance of religion on the lives of other – individually, communally and cross-culturally. RE is also taught through work on social and emotional development and through the school’s approach to Equalities.

The overall aims for pupils are:

  • To develop a feeling that they are special, that they are part of something special, and that they matter.
  • To experience the awe and wonder of the natural and manufactured world.
  • To experience a range of feelings and emotions.
  • To enjoy learning about and experiencing aspects of religion because it is taught in a stimulating and interesting way that inspires them to interact and communicate.
  • To support the development of the numinous sense (awe and wonder); as well as supporting pupils’ personal and spiritual development by encouraging self-awareness and celebrating the identity of each, individual child.
  • To create an atmosphere in which children feel safe, happy and free to be themselves.