We offer a broad and exciting curriculum for all of our pupils, enhanced by a range of additional educational opportunities which include educational visits, visitors into school and residential experiences offering a range of outdoor activities. Good use is made of the local village and the facilities and amenities it provides. The development of Key Skills is seen as very important in our curriculum. Following a teacher assessment the next steps in teaching are identified for each individual pupil and individualised programmes are developed. Time is allocated on the timetable each day for the teaching of key skills in addition to the teaching of English and Maths. The curriculum at key stage one, two, three and four is based on the National Curriculum programmes of study which has been highly differentiated and adapted to meet the needs of our pupils.
Sex and Relationships education (SRE) programme
Pupils at West Oaks follow a sex and relationships education programme which clearly follows LA guidelines. The programme is delivered as part of our PSHCE curriculum by experienced staff. It seeks at all times to teach sex education in the context of moral responsibility to oneself and to others.
Throughout the programme we inform, involve and support our parent/carers. Workshops are offered to parents and carers as is access to resources within the school and community. Parents and carers have a legal right of withdrawal from all or part of the sex education programme, except those parts which are included in National Curriculum Science. Parents and carers wishing to withdraw a pupil should write in the first instance to the Principal.
While the concepts of faith/belief can be a little abstract for many of our pupils at West Oaks we will still attempt through our Personal, Social, Education and R.E. programmes to pursue the following main aims:
To promote tolerance, respect and a better understanding of other religions / beliefs.
To build on the pupil’s own and family / community experiences and values in an attempt to make them better future citizens.
When appropriate, we sing, tell stories, read poetry together, we share our skills and experiences. Themes are taken as appropriate to the time of year, particular festival, Saints Day, etc. [e.g. Shrove Tide, Lent, Easter, Saint Patrick, Eid, Mother’s Day].
Assemblies celebrate religious festivals from a range of faiths. R.E. and assemblies are delivered in a way that is appropriate to specific groups of pupils.
We aim to develop morals and maintain standards within the school through our assemblies and pursue themes such as sharing, giving, peace and caring for people within the community. Pupils may be withdrawn from Religious Education and collective worship by a written parental request.
Lower school (FS, Key Stages 1, 2 & 3)
The Lower School curriculum is planned around a Creative Curriculum with a thematic approach which links subjects together making it more meaningful for pupils. Pupils are encouraged to learn in an active way and are encouraged to explore and investigate through meaningful play activities and first hand experiences.
Class groups are organised on the basis of the age and the needs of individual pupils, with pupils of similar needs being taught together. The Creative Curriculum allows for pupils of different ages within the key stage to be taught in the same group. The curriculum is enriched by outside visits, visits to the donkey sanctuary, horse riding, swimming, church visits and many more, depending on pupils’ interests and the current curriculum theme.
14 — 19 (Key Stage 4 & 5)
Key Stage 4
The teaching of individual key skills in addition to literacy and numeracy continues to be an important focus in key stage 4. Pupils continue to follow the full range of national curriculum subjects through the Creative Curriculum. In key stage 4 we begin to introduce Foundation Learning qualifications.
Key Stage 5
The 16+ curriculum aims to develop the skills necessary to ensure a smooth transition from school to college and adult life. There is a strong emphasis on developing the skills necessary for independent living through personal and social development, key skills and applied and vocational learning. The teaching of key skills based on the needs of the individual continues to be of primary importance.
The 16+ curriculum is designed so that all pupils attain a qualification in Foundation Learning by the end of the time they leave school. All pupils follow a very individualised Personalised Pathway with Foundation Learning units and the curriculum content carefully chosen to support the needs and interests of the individual whilst also reflecting vocational learning and independent living.