Oak updates

12 October 2023

New curricula: what you need to know

Tom Rose

Education Director

It’s official: our new curriculum plans have landed!

From today, you can see everything we’re releasing this year for English, history, maths and science from key stages 1-4, plus primary geography and secondary music in our new curriculum plans. You can also download new early-release teaching resources for a taste of what’s to come.

Why are we making new resources, when 95% of teachers are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of our resources that already exist?

It’s because they were made during the pandemic for remote teaching. As we design our new resources, we’re making big improvements to better help you teach in the classroom.

In this blog, we'll explore what you need to know in order to get the most out of them.

What are we releasing?

We’ve been working closely with our partners, subject experts and hundreds of teachers, to bring you brand new curriculum plans and teaching resources.

Curriculum plans

We’ve launched new interactive plans for the following subjects:

For KS4 subjects you can choose from different exam boards.

Use them as inspiration for your own planning, or to see where our new teaching resources could be used to update what you’ve already got.

The plans have been built in line with our rigorous curriculum principles. For each subject and phase, we’ve shared the thinking, structure and focus behind the plans to inspire your own approach.

This is just the start. We’ll be sharing much more information within the curriculum plans in the months ahead to help you develop your school curriculum.

View our new curriculum plans today.

New teaching resources

Over the course of this year, we’re releasing all-new and improved slide decks, worksheets and quizzes for every unit and lesson in the plans. They’re designed first and foremost for the classroom, and give you a quick starting point for your planning.

We’ve shared fully resourced early-release units to give you a taste of what’s to come.

53% of Oak-users said they'd increased their confidence in curriculum design and 47% reported that it improved their curriculum. (ImpactEd Report, 2023)

What’s new about the teaching resources?

As well as being designed specifically for use in the classroom, the resources have been built around the latest evidence on how pupils learn, including SEND best practice. Plus, they’re editable, so you can tailor them to your pupils’ needs.

They’re created by teachers, rigorously checked by experts, and tested in classrooms. All so you can feel confident in the resources you use.

A life saver… I didn’t think you could beat the previous Oak resources.

Alisha, Secondary Science Teacher

When can I start using the resources?

From today, you can view the curriculum plans and download our early release units.

Over this academic year we’ll release the lessons and teaching resources on a rolling basis, as soon as they’re ready. By summer 2024, you’ll have access to everything we’re releasing for these first subjects. More subjects will follow during the 2024/25 academic year.

We’ll also continue to share more information and guidance about how and why we’ve developed the curriculum plans in the way we have.

Who has made the plans and resources?

They've been created alongside expert teams composed of our partners, independent subject experts and Oak subject leads. And now, through our partners, we’re working with hundreds of experienced teachers to create thousands of new, sequenced teaching resources for each lesson and unit in the plans.

What if they aren’t the right fit for my pupils?

We can’t plan a curriculum or lesson that is contextualised for your school and pupils, and nor should we try. What we offer is a head start on planning, a solid foundation on which you can build great curricula and lessons.

You can download our resources and edit them as much or as little as you need, from tweaks at lesson level to creating curriculum sequences that are right for your setting. How will Oak look in your school? That’s entirely up to you.

40% of Oak users save on average 4 hours per week. That’s teachers getting back more than 4 weeks per year! (ImpactEd, 2023)

Where can I learn more about a subject curriculum you've released?

Explore our interactive curriculum plans to learn about the thinking, structure and focus behind each plan. Filter to see the year groups that are relevant to you and select ‘threads’ to see how learning builds over time throughout the curriculum. ‘Threads’ are repeated ideas that run through key stages.

For more information about each curriculum, visit our help centre.

Which exam boards do you align to?

At KS4 we’ve initially provided plans that cover the specifications of at least the two most popular exam boards in each subject (as measured by Ofqual data).1 We hope to increase the range of exam boards across all subjects in the future.

You can select the exam board in our interactive curriculum plans and it will show you the lessons and resources to deliver that specification; all the curriculum plans are identical at KS3, whichever exam board you select.

You won't see this in maths, simply because the exam boards’ specifications are very similar, with our units covering these requirements by aligning closely to the national curriculum KS4 programme of study.

You can also select higher and foundational tier unit options in maths and science.

What if my subject isn’t covered?

We’ve already kick-started a process to find partners to create new curriculum plans and teaching resources for a wider range of subjects. We’ll start sharing these from autumn 2024. Find out more about the subjects and phases we’ll be covering.

Send us your questions and feedback

Is there a question we haven’t answered? Feedback you want to share? Please drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.

How can I keep up to date with new resource releases?

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  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-qualifications-market-report-academic-year-2021-to-2022