Lesson planning

1 August 2021

Using our new curriculum maps to support your classroom planning

Chris Fountain

Subject Lead (English)

As bags are packed and alarms set this week, many are setting out with the hope for a ‘return to normal’ as teachers return to their classrooms.

But as we get back into the swing of early mornings, endless marking, new classes, subjects, and exam specs, it’s important that we don’t let ‘normalcy’ return in one area in particular — and make sure we avoid a return to the unsustainable levels of planning and resource creation seen before and during the pandemic.

Oak is remaining open and free to use to lighten the load in whatever ways we can. We want to give you more time to focus on what is most important: teaching fantastic and challenging lessons tailored to the young people in your classroom.

We have your resourcing needs covered with a sequenced curriculum of fully resourced lessons across 28 subjects, stretching from EYFS literacy to key stage 4 Latin, via key stage 3 maths and key stage 2 music. All developed by fellow teachers and expert organisations to give you everything you need in one place.

However, we know that prepared resources don’t necessarily make planning quick and easy, so we’ve revitalised our Teacher Hub lesson information and curriculum maps in all subjects so that we really can make your lesson and curriculum planning easier.

Here’s how our Teacher Hub and curriculum map changes can help.

Folded chart with Oak logo representing a curriculum map

Find the right lessons easily

We’ve improved the readability, layout and navigability of all our curriculum maps. The structure, style and contents of the documents are consistent so you can easily locate the right information you need if you work across multiple key stages or subjects. We’ve also added lesson by lesson details on both the documents and Teacher Hub so you can find the right lessons without nearly as much searching.

Understand every lesson’s core content

Once you have found potential lessons, we want it to be clear and obvious whether the lesson is appropriate for your students. In the lesson overview for each lesson on the Teacher Hub, as well as on the new curriculum maps, you will find a ‘pupils will learn’ summary for every lesson. This summary of core learning, knowledge and content in the lesson makes it easy to select the right lessons for your class.

More easily map your curriculum against Oak’s curriculum

We want you to be able to seamlessly slot Oak lessons and units into your existing school curriculum. Across the Teacher Hub and curriculum maps, we’ve started to include National Curriculum links and recommended prior and future study units so you can decide how an Oak unit fits into your curriculum sequence. We have also included curriculum themes in a number of subjects so you can see how units from different year groups, and even different key stages, fit together and link with each other.

Think deeply about a lesson’s place in the curriculum

As well as a consistent and standardised amount of core information about each lesson, in some subjects we have also added additional information to support your thinking about the subject. In key stage 4 history for example, you can find disciplinary knowledge and substantive concepts for all lessons. Along with curriculum themes, this information can help you think deeply about how to get the most out of the lesson.

Be prepared for the lesson

Across the curriculum, we’ve provided equipment requirements and flagged extra considerations where appropriate so you are well prepared for the lesson. This will help you know if you need to get some extra materials before the lesson, or whether you need to check whether the lesson content is appropriate for your students.

Find the curriculum maps easily

You will now find links to the relevant curriculum map throughout Teacher Hub. Links can be found on every unit overview, lesson overview, subject key stage and subject year group page so you will never be far from the information you need.

We know that our Teacher Hub changes and curriculum map updates are not the finished product so we hope this is a good place to start as we continue to experiment with ways to make planning with Oak a quick and effective thinking process.

Over the coming academic year, we’ll be working to add more information to all lessons as well as new features so that your planning can be as effective and hassle-free as possible both in and out of the classroom.

Start browsing our curricula maps in Teacher Hub now.