In This Section
The curriculum at Oakgrove ensures that all students have a broad and balanced education. The school believes that its programme of study builds effectively upon progress at the primary stage and is suitably challenging for all students. Specialist teachers ensure that all national curriculum subjects are covered and that links between, and across, subjects are carefully explored. Oakgrove’s students come to school to learn and the learning experience should be exciting and enjoyable, with each student working to the full limit of their abilities.
An important part of the work at Oakgrove is the school’s Shuffle Days. Students are given the opportunity to explore topics in more depth and choose areas which interest them. Connections are made across the different subjects to ensure that the curriculum is experienced as an organised whole, rather than a series of separate subjects being taught independently. The school incorporates the latest research into methods and styles of learning and this is a particular focus in tutorials and Life Studies lessons.
All subjects identify opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness within their programmes of study and there is a strong focus on literacy and numeracy across the curriculum, not just in English and Mathematics.
The Life Studies programme is a highly structured and comprehensive course covering much more than the traditional personal, social, and health education. It embraces environmental awareness, theories on learning, citizenship education and much more. The weekly themes of Life Studies lessons are reflected in the school’s assembly topics.
Targets for Learning (TfL)
Targets for learning has been an integral part of life at Oakgrove since the school opened in 2005. In its current form, both Key Stage 4 and Post Sixteen students have the opportunity to attend a targets for learning meeting twice a year.
Students and their parents/guardians discuss with a member of staff the current progress of the student. The students supported by their parents/guardians decide which areas of their academic life that they need to focus on in particular over the short term to boost their chances of success. Targets can be specific or more generic dependent on what targets the student chooses. These targets are then recorded and their class teachers will be able to see the chosen subjects to focus on and support the students further.
Targets for learning has always been a powerful way of discussing and setting targets for the student, by the student. At the second meeting of the year the progress towards those targets is reviewed and whilst some targets may continue, new targets are set for reflection at the next meeting in the following school year in a cyclical fashion.
Whole School English and Maths
English and Maths expertise is essential to all students across the age and ability range, in order for them to effectively access the curriculum and make progress in all subjects.
English and Maths skills are embedded in lesson planning, delivery of content, exam preparation and feedback to students, ensuring that standards of literacy and numeracy are consistently high in all areas.
The Directors of English and Maths take an overview of the application of these skills in all subject areas, which are monitored through regular lessons visits and work scrutinies conducted by Subject Leaders. They liaise with a range of staff to establish good practice and provide training where necessary.
Key Stage 3 Overview
Years 7-9 students follow traditional subjects in a broad curriculum. Students are taught in sets for almost all subjects and homework is regularly set. All KS3 students study English; Mathematics; Science; History; Geography; Religious Education; Technology; a Modern Foreign Language; Computing; Art; Music; Drama and PE.
All students also follow Oakgrove’s innovative Values and Ethics programme, which includes elements of citizenship, study skills, and personal, social and health education; it also ties in with the assembly programme. Options for KS4 are chosen in the spring of Year 9.
Oakgrove Key Stage 3 Course Information
Following the Government’s decision to abandon National Curriculum (NC) levels at KS3 and allow schools to develop their own systems for tracking student progress, Oakgrove has developed its own set of KS3 assessment tiers. Each subject in years 7-9 has its own set of five tiers, each with four levels of competence within it (Launching, Developing, Progressing, Mastering). These tiers are a hierarchical set of skills from tier 1 up to tier 5 and are linked to progression on to GCSE.
Students’ work will no longer be marked using NC levels but instead using these Oakgrove tiers. Students have a copy of these tiers for each subject. All marking, TfL reports, end of year targets and end of KS3 targets are now be expressed in terms of the new tiers. Work is now being annotated with “Tier 2-P” or “Tier 3-D” etc.
The expectation is that students should progress a minimum of 6 points on the scale over the course of KS3, equating to an average of 2 points per year.
The publication below explains how the tiers work.
Year 9 Options
Key Stage 4
The school’s Key Stage 4 curriculum offers students an unusual degree of choice. Both within the core, and especially within the options structure, students are able to follow different pathways to suit their needs and abilities and maximise their success in gaining qualifications.
- English Language and Literature
- Double Science
- Two from either Geography, History or French
- Life Studies
Students then choose three further options from an extensive list, which includes:
- Art GCSE,
- Business Studies GCSE
- Business BTEC, Drama GCSE
- Music GCSE
- Music BTEC
- Film Studies GCSE
- Geography GCSE
- History GCSE
- Religious Studies GCSE
- Sociology GCSE
- Computer Science GCSE
- Creative iMedia
- Design Technology GCSE
- Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE
- Photography GCSE
- Child Development GCSE
- Sport BTEC
- Triple Science
Oakgrove KS4 Course Information
Moving On to Sixth Form
At age 16, the majority of students choose to stay at Oakgrove and join the Sixth Form.
Key Stage 5
The Sixth Form opened in September 2009, with new state-of-the-art purpose built facilities. It offers a wide range of courses and qualifications. There are over 25 level 3 courses, almost all of which are A level courses or BTEC level 3 courses. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to re-sit GCSE English and Maths.
There is an exciting enrichment, sports and community action programme. This includes accredited volunteering awards, Young Enterprise, Duke of Edinburgh, Student Voice, trips and visits, house events and careers and further education preparation. Most sixth formers go on to university.
The school meets the Department of Education 16 to 19 study programme, requirements in the following ways:
- All 16 to 19 students are given the opportunity to take a study programme which reflects their prior attainment, education and career goals.
- All study programmes include substantial academic or applied and technical qualifications and non-qualification activity, including work experience.
- All students who do not hold a GCSE graded 9-5 in English or Maths are required to work towards the achievement of these qualifications.
- Study programmes are focused on progression to the next level of education, a traineeship or apprenticeship, or other employment.
- All study programmes include non-qualification activity, such as tutorials, work experience, personal or study skills, and support in choosing options to ensure progression into employment and higher education preferences.
Find further information about Oakgrove Sixth Form or checkout these course guides:
For more information about the curriculum at Oakgrove please contact the Subject Leader if it is a subject specific query or Mrs N Irwin-Morris, Deputy Headteacher if it is a more general enquiry.
Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural (SMSC)
Oakgrove School is committed to developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of students and adults.
We have a dedicated policy on this important aspect of the school’s work and all subject areas contribute towards it.
In brief, Spiritual development is the development of the non-material element of the human being which animates and sustains us. It is about a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.
Moral development is about the building of a framework of moral values which regulate behaviour. It is also about gaining an understanding of a range of views and the reasons for this range and developing opinions about different views.
Social development is about students working effectively with each other and adults and participating successfully in a multi-racial, multicultural society.
Cultural development is about students understanding their own culture and other cultures and contributing positively to living in a multi-racial, modern, democratic society.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural opportunities are identified and emphasised throughout the school’s curricular and extra-curricular activities and provision and impact are carefully monitored.
Equality and British Values
Oakgrove School believes that diversity is something which should be celebrated. A combination of staff and students are members of the Diversity Committee, which is supported by Governor Carol Howells and led by an Assistant Headteacher.
Celebrations and educational events take place throughout the year to promote equality and to teach about the various aspects of life in Modern Britain. Oakgrove School complies fully with the Equality Act (2010) and school policies incorporate the relevant public sector equality objectives.
British Values underpin Oakgrove School’s practices, both in the classroom and the wider community. Throughout the curriculum and our assembly programme, the school explores concepts of spirituality and respect. This develops student’s knowledge, understanding and tolerance of other beliefs.
Morals, values and ethical dilemmas are explored through Life Studies lessons and students are encouraged to consider their opinions and develop their reasoning and debating skills. Oakgrove recognises that it is part of the school’s role to challenge extremist views and safeguard students against radicalisation. The school believes that educating both staff and students is a powerful weapon against this.
At Oakgrove, the More Able programme aims to provide an enriched experience for the students involved and forms an integral part of our commitment to cater for the individual needs of every student.
The school defines More Able as meaning students who have exceptional ability in a subject / subjects as opposed to students who may merely be “able”. Typically 5-10% of a year group might be on our More Able register. The More Able register applies to all subjects – academic, practical and aesthetic.
Students are identified as being More Able in specific areas by their subject teachers. This can happen at any stage of their development and is a recognition of the individual student’s natural gift or talent for that subject area.
Once they have been identified, students are then challenged through innovative lesson content and extension material plus opportunities to take part in engaging enrichment opportunities through our Showcase Evenings (KS3, KS4 and KS5) and the Extended Project Qualification (KS5). The aim of these projects is to foster and encourage an enthusiasm for learning within the students, which will result in a More Able Showcase Evening for parents to attend and an AS level qualification for the Extended Project at KS5.
Mentoring and target setting
Target setting will be completed and discussed as part of the Targets for Learning days, whilst the enrichment and extension of these students will be catered for in everyday classroom activities. Selected students in KS4 are also mentored by More Able KS5 students in order to support students with both the content of their GCSE courses as well as encouraging their future aspirations to achieve top grades at ‘A’ level and potentially apply to Oxbridge for University study.