Oak updates

27 March 2024

Introducing our languages and MFL curriculum partner

Alice Harrison

Languages and MFL subject lead

Alice Harrison is our Oak MFL subject lead. Alice is a qualified teacher of languages and has worked in education for over 30 years as middle and senior leader in schools in the Northwest. She has worked on several national projects and was also chair of NALA, The National Association of Language Advisers.

Developing our new primary languages and modern foreign languages curricula

Our focus is on lowering workload and supporting teachers to increase their expertise. Over the coming year we’ll be creating a new KS2 languages and secondary MFL curriculum with teaching resources designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and to help you develop your own curriculum.

Our fantastic partners reflect the diverse range of educational providers and expertise across the country. We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

I am delighted to announce that we will be collaborating with The Cam Academy Trust to develop our new primary French and Spanish curricula, and our new secondary curricula in French, German and Spanish.

The Cam Academy Trust is a community of schools in and near South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon, working to secure educational excellence for all students, aged 3 to 18 in 11 schools incorporating pre-school, primary phase, secondary and sixth forms.

CAT’s international principle enshrines a clear international emphasis in their educational provision both within and beyond the formal curriculum, including a strong commitment to the high-quality teaching and learning of new languages in all their schools.

Under the leadership of CAT’s Director of languages and international education, Rachel Hawkes, the trust first pioneered the teaching of phonics in the early 2000s. Their current primary and secondary languages curricula are culture-rich, research-led and practice-informed. Rich content gives units their contexts, whilst key language ideas drive finely sequenced progression.

The Cam Academy Trust is supported by Twyford Church of England Academies Trust, Oak’s curriculum partner for secondary English, the home of Teach West London teaching school hub, and NCLE Language Hub.

Our languages & MFL curriculum principles

Our guiding principles are a rigorous guide to guarantee that our new curriculum is grown from a strong foundation of core values and key ingredients, ensuring that our curriculum is cohesive and enriching. In primary languages and secondary MFL, our curriculum plans will:

  • Focus on the knowledge and skills specific to languages, including:
    • Phonics (which sound spelling correspondences); vocabulary (which words); grammar (which grammar points);
    • Listening, speaking, reading and writing, the use of reference materials and the integration of these skills where appropriate.
  • Knowledge selection is based on frequency which also enables cultural enrichment and the development of a personal repertoire.
  • Apply our sequencing principle through frequent and planned recombination and application of phonics, vocabulary and grammar in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to first develop understanding and then make independent communication possible in new and authentic contexts.
  • Develop pupils who have cultural curiosity and are inspired and equipped to communicate across the wider world.

One of our curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups.

Our overall curriculum approach

These design and technology-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with.

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