News & Views article
Why are teachers still using Oak?
08 July 22
With 93% of teachers telling us they’re keen to use Oak into next year†, we’re delighted that we can continue supporting schools as we move forward in our mission to deliver excellent curriculum content and support teachers’ expertise.
Amongst an outpouring of support for Oak since we shared the news of our long-term future, we’ve spotted some teachers asking a fair question: sure, it helped with disruption, but what are teachers using Oak for now?
Yes, we were founded in a bid to help keep pupils learning throughout school closures – but teachers, ever innovative creatures, have found new uses for the thousands of free, high-quality resources that were born out of our pandemic partnerships. We’re still learning more about our 200,000 weekly users, but here’s what we do know about why teachers are visiting Oak…
To get a headstart on planning
We still have over 40,000 resources available for free, to support you in delivering 10,000 lessons across most subjects from EYFS to Year 11. With no logins or subscriptions required, it’s still super easy to find and download high-quality lesson materials for a vast selection of topics – with over 90% of lessons having downloadable quizzes, slides and worksheets.
So it’s no surprise that we’re still seeing teachers dip into our Teacher Hub to save time and find inspiration. In fact, teachers have downloaded over 1.2 million resources since September 2021.
Schools have been using Oak to inform their curriculum structure and delivery. For each subject and key stage, we have a curriculum map that details our fully-sequenced units and lessons. These resources can be borrowed as a source of inspiration for those teachers taking on new challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.
These maps can also be used to quickly match our resources to existing plans and see where they might fit in – which is especially useful for those that are well practised in their subject. We know that department leads have been ‘topping up’ existing banks of shared resources with Oak’s resources so colleagues can easily access and adapt them to suit their needs. And why not? As Headteacher Sam Harries says, “[Oak] is there, it's free, and from what we've seen, it's quality.”
Head to our Teacher Hub to see what resources are available to complement your upcoming lessons.
To find foundations for a great lesson, in any topic
The time of teachers is incredibly precious – and creating lesson resources takes time.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, teachers are saving time by turning to Oak’s resources as a foundation to help structure their class materials.
All our resources have been crafted by experienced teachers, for fellow teachers, so you can rely on them to help you confidently deliver great lessons in any subject, no matter your specialism. Over 90% of our slides and sheets are downloadable in formats that allow you to directly edit, so you have ultimate flexibility in how you use them. If you’re taking on a new topic and wondering where to start, it’s always worth taking a look at our Teacher Hub to see if we’ve got existing content for you to use.
To plan for those unplanned days
Pandemic or not, finding and setting last-minute cover for absent staff remains a consistent challenge. A sick day can mean a hurried tussle of finding cover that non-specialist staff can deliver whilst re-calculating how to keep pupils on track with your carefully sequenced plan.
Not being able to join pupils in the classroom can be frustrating, but Oak has continued to help take the pressure off, with pupils starting over 15 million lessons in our online Classroom since September 2021.
A little planning ahead before the new term can help ensure that your pupils stay on track with targeted, teacher-led lessons, regardless of what life throws at you.
Oak’s lessons are also easy for non-specialist staff to navigate, and handing over a structured plan can help to keep pupils engaged in your absence. “Cover teachers really like Oak” says Rachel Watkins, Head of English. “The natural pauses in the video lessons leave space for questions and discussion. This is especially powerful when the person covering is non-specialist or unfamiliar with the topic and it’s definitely improved pupil engagement.”
Of course, finding and bookmarking relevant lessons in advance can be time-consuming – which is why we’ve collated a complete lesson and resource directory for easy reference. Download your copy to quickly search and filter by your needs.
We’re still learning
We exist to support teachers, and we're always looking for ways to adapt and continue doing this as best as we can.
But we can only do this with your help. Tell us what we're doing well and what we could do even better so we can keep learning. If you have any thoughts, feedback, or questions, get in touch with us.
† 93% of teachers currently using Oak, survey conducted March 2022.