Oak updates

9 December 2020

New year, new subjects

Katie Marl

Primary Curriculum Design Lead

What started as a schedule of weekly online lessons to keep pupils learning during lockdown has very quickly become a vast teaching resource supporting schools everywhere. Our teachers and curriculum partners worked flat out to launch as many subject areas as we could in September, but we knew we had more to do.

We were particularly aware of needing to find ways to bring creative and practical subjects into the Oak offer as well and make it representative of a diverse and broad curriculum for all subjects and skills.

So, we’re really excited and proud to say that with the new year comes our curriculum subject expansion. This expansion contributes almost 1,000 more lessons to our offer, pushing the boundaries on which subjects can be delivered asynchronously.

In response to requests from teachers, we took on the task to create lessons to both plug gaps in our existing provision and build in some vital practical and creative subjects too. We’re thrilled to announce that as of next term, we will be launching lessons in:

KS1 & 2 Art, Craft & Design

  • KS1, 2 & 3 Design & Technology
  • KS1 & 2 Drama
  • KS2 Languages (French & Spanish)
  • KS1, 2 & 3 Physical Education
  • KS3 & 4 RSHE
  • KS2 History (in addition to our existing offer)

All available to view on our website.

Visualisers at the ready

Design & technology and art, craft & design lessons have been frequent requests since the initial Oak lessons were produced. Both faced similar difficulties – how to present practical exploration that was accessible to all learners in the Oak lesson format. With visualisers at the ready, both subjects have provided lessons that combine a visual feast of inspiring stimulus, alongside opportunities for learners to respond creatively.

Art, Craft & Design

The first exciting thing you will notice about this subject is the change in title, a reflection on the National Society for Education in Art and Design’s (NSEAD) thoughts on the breadth the ‘art and design’ curriculum should provide. With lessons teaching areas such as textiles, printing and photography, there are lessons to support aspects Key Stage 1 and 2 learners have already explored in school as well as new areas to discover.

Oak teachers cleverly combine study of works by famous artists with opportunities to create a sketchbook, as well as sharing how their own sketchbook develops through the unit.

Design & Technology

Creating lessons in the knowledge that learners have limited access to much of the equipment required provided a real challenge for this subject - but luckily the Design and Technology Association (DATA) were up for the task and units for learners in Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 are being created. Whilst most units require little more than a pen, paper and items readily found around the house, in order to provide breadth and depth in coverage some units do require equipment that it is envisaged schools will be able to provide in a take home pack.

On y va

Primary languages

The challenge facing the primary languages team was how to design a curriculum for both French and Spanish that will lead seamlessly into KS3 MFL. With their extensive experience and research-led philosophy, Research in Primary Languages (RiPL) were the perfect partner to support us with this.

Lessons are fast-paced, active and carefully build on learning to enable learners to quickly demonstrate progression and proficiency. The unique style of languages teaching at primary level is clearly evident and will support both specialist and non-specialist teachers.

Group activities, alone

Not often grouped together, drama and PE faced similar challenges in producing asynchronous lessons. How do you create lessons for learners to complete independently, when collaboration between learners is such a fundamental part of classroom practice for these subjects? Oak teachers rose to this challenge.

Primary Drama

Creating a sense of audience when learners are working independently is the challenge facing our drama team. National Drama has combined the skills and talents of drama teachers and actors, working hard to create lessons for Key Stage 1 and 2 that provide drama skill development and theatre skills through the common topics and themes covered in primary education. Look out for the creative ways prior learning has been activated and personal experience is utilised.

Physical Education

Drawing on the expertise of both the Association for Physical Education (afPE) and the Youth Sport Trust (YST), the Oak lessons provide cognitive, physical and personal development for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 learners with a ‘health’ thread running throughout. The PE teachers have worked tirelessly to create lessons that overcome the lack of space and equipment many children face whilst offering opportunities for personal competition and goal setting. Camera tracking technology has been utilised to enable physical demonstrations to be recorded without learners missing any of the action.

Sensitivity required

Relationship, Sex and Health Education

A subject that needs to be taught with the utmost sensitivity needs a team experienced in providing opportunities for reflection in remote learning. The teachers from the Bright Futures Educational Trust have engaged learners through setting a tone appropriate for the range of topics presented. Key Stage 3 & 4 lessons cover both statutory and non-statutory areas.

We want more!

Primary History

Following high demand, popular history topics at Key Stage 2 are being added to the existing primary lessons available on the Oak Teacher Hub and Classroom. Ark Curriculum Plus have leapt to the challenge which will allow schools to further align their curriculum with their remote provision.

Our curriculum maps for Art, Craft & Design, D&T, P.E, Drama, Languages and RSHE are available now so you can start planning for the new term. The lessons will be released throughout January and February.

Keep an eye on @OakNational social channels and make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter to be notified when they’re available.