Teaching and Learning
The Oakleigh curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences which we plan for the children. Our curriculum is based firmly on the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, but at Oakleigh we consider therapies, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Key Skills such as behaviour, mobility, communication and independence to be essential for our children.
Children of Nursery and Reception age work on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
We follow the same curriculum as all mainstream schools, but we use schemes of work adapted for our children and then we further differentiate to meet our children’s individual needs. This ensures that our children have their full curriculum entitlement and could transfer to another school easily if appropriate.
At Oakleigh we follow both the Literacy and Numeracy strategies, starting with basic communication, pre literacy and pre number skills. The curriculum also includes English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, PE, Music and RE. ICT runs as a strand through every subject, and augmentative and alternative communication systems such as Makaton signing, symbols, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), photographs, Big Mac communication aids and objects of reference are used as appropriate.
For further information, please ask to see our schemes of work.
If you are not happy about the curriculum at Oakleigh, please discuss this with the Headteacher, and if this is not resolved, with the Governing Body.
Each child has a termly IEP (Individual Education Plan) drawn up for them by the teacher in consultation with parents / carers and other professionals. This identifies the child’s strengths and needs and lists approximately 5 targets, which the child will work towards during the term.
Parents / carers receive a copy of the IEP at the beginning of each term, together with a Programme of Study. This outlines the different curriculum activities in which the children will participate throughout the term. Children will be working towards their IEP targets during the activities in the Programme of Study.
At the end of each term the child’s success in meeting their targets is evaluated, and you will receive last term’s scored off and evaluated IEP, together with the new one at the beginning of the following term.
If you would like to see our planning and recording systems please ask.
The school sets appropriate whole school targets using P levels (Pre level 1 descriptors), against which attainment can be measured. Progress in these are detailed at the pupil’s Annual Review, but can be discussed at any time.
Do the children get homework?
Some of our children may have work sent home to do.
Most of the targets on the IEP can be worked on at home as well as at school. Please speak to the class teacher if you would like more ideas for activities at home.
We have a Homework Policy – which is in the Starting School pack.
How are we informed of progress?
This is done in many ways: the annual review report and meeting, in your home during the annual home visit, in the daily home-school book – when your child comes home with a Well Done sticker to celebrate a bit of recent progress or a Certificate of Achievement. Progress is also shown on the scored off and evaluated IEPS, and of course is discussed when you are talking to the teacher on the telephone or at school.
We have two minibuses of our own and the use of a Barnet bus and driver. The children go out about once a week or fortnight and whilst they sometimes go out for a “treat” e.g. a summer day’s outing, all the outings are Educational Visits and used to support a given area of the curriculum. e.g. shopping (Maths and PSHE), to the park (Geography, Art, PSHE), an Art Gallery (Art), or a Museum (History, Geography).
Are there any extra costs?
Yes, there are, but not very much! There are 'one-off' costs for outings, such as an entrance fee and ice-cream money for a child on a day’s outing or the cost of bringing in a theatrical performance to the school. The Governing Body has a policy whereby we ask parents / carers for a voluntary contribution towards these costs.
We do not currently take the children on residential holidays, as they are so young, but parents / carers would be advised of the Governors’ Policy on costs if we were to do this.
Sending money into school
Whenever money is sent into school, please send it in (via the bus escort if your child travels to school that way) a sealed envelope with your child’s name and what the money is for written clearly on the front.
Do we provide specialist equipment?
Yes. We do all we can to provide children with the appropriate equipment and aids needed to be comfortable, progress and have full access to all activities.
Sex and relationship education
Sex and relationship education in its broadest sense is part of our everyday work at Oakleigh. For example, we teach the children not to make inappropriate contact with others, or to kiss strangers; we respect the children’s dignity and privacy.
Sex and relationship education in a more direct sense is not an automatic part of our curriculum. However, should the need arise for an individual, the Governing Body has a policy whereby parents / carers will be consulted first in order that a balanced approach can be taken to this aspect of the child’s education. Parents/Carers have the right to withdraw their children from the sex and relationship education programme.
Religious education and worship
“Schools are required to provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and physical welfare of pupils at the school”.(E.R.A. 1988).
Religious Education plays a primary role in the fostering and development of children’s spiritual, moral,social and cultural understanding.
The family is the most important factor in helping to develop our children’s awareness of religion in its many shapes and forms.However, school offers R.E. in order to widen the children’s opportunities for religious awareness.
At Oakleigh, respect for the belief of others (or their choice not to hold religious beliefs) is fundamental to all we do. R.E. at Oakleigh reflects the broad traditions of Christian belief. We take this to mean the basic values, morals and principles, which are fundamental to all religions.
We have children and staff from many cultures at Oakleigh and consider this to be a real asset in ensuring our teaching encompasses these values which are common to all religions.
Collective worship takes place during greeting, lunchtime, home time or at whole school assemblies.
A candle or a plant may might provide the focus for the children to feel and think in an open minded way. The word God is sometimes used when we say thank you in our collective worship time.
If you do not wish your child to participate in these activities, alternative arrangements will be made. Your child will be working with an LSA (Learning Support Assistant) on appropriate activities.
What after Oakleigh?
Oakleigh is a primary school, so children can only stay until the end of the school year in which they become eleven.
During the Annual Review before a child’s last year at Oakleigh, we discuss secondary-age schooling with parents/carers.
Most of our children transfer to Mapledown School, Barnet’s secondary school for children with severe learning difficulties.
Visits and introductions are made well before the transfer, but if you would like to visit Mapledown at any time, the details are:
Headteacher: Steve Carroll
Telephone: 020 8455 4111
The Annual Review system makes sure that Oakleigh continues to meet children’s special needs. If a child needs to transfer to another school, however, this would be to one assessed as more appropriate to the child’s needs, and within Barnet wherever possible.