Our next Parent Workshop will be on Wednesday 22nd May. This will be an opportunity to find out about The Carers Centre and to learn more about how to support children's sensory differences.
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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Educational Visits

At Oaklands we want our children to experience as much of the world as possible and to be able to engage with their community and beyond in meaningful ways. Our Independence & Life Skills Curriculum ensure that our pupils can gain a range of skills and experiences in the wider world, including:

  • How to communicate and regulate themselves in less familiar and public spaces
  • Road safety & awareness
  • Who is a trusted adult and helper
  • What the local community has to offer
  • How to keep themselves safe in less familiar and public spaces
  • What is expected behaviour in different settings

By engaging in well planned educational visits across their time at Oaklands, we hope all of our unique pupils can enjoy their communities and the memorable enrichment experiences we offer. Educational visit learning is tailored to the needs of children in each pathway and broken down into progressively challenging stages, to ensure that key skills are repeated and consolidated to increase future independence.


Nurture Pathway

Learning to transition to different areas around school is the first stage of working towards being able to experience new places beyond the school gates. This is done through repetition and use of songs, as well as motivators and visuals to support children to understand where they are going and to have access to resources to be able to be regulated with support from staff. Over time, we support children in working towards independent self-regulation. As children develop their ability to transition to different places within school without becoming dysregulated or anxious, support is gradually reduced.

Once children are able to confidently transition around school, we begin to prepare them for experiences outside of school. This involves becoming comfortable and familiar with safety equipment e.g., high-vis vests, wrist straps and harnesses (used only as necessary and according to thorough Risk Assessments). We also prepare children for what they will experience outside school with photographs and videos, as well as visual timetables and now/next/then boards to help them understand the structure of their experiences outside of school.

Nurture Pathway educational visits begin with exploring the local area such as the surrounding streets and Evington Park, eventually working towards accessing local amenities such as Evington Library and local shops. We expect children to be developing their self-regulation, Reading the World and communication and interaction skills as part of these valuable visits.


Willow Pathway

Unless children are new to the school, we would expect children in the Willow Pathway to have developed the skills needed to transition happily around the school. Therefore from Autumn 2 Willow children will begin to engage in local community visits in meaningful ways. These include: playing with peers in the local park; beginning to communicate through a chosen method in local shops; finding cooking ingredients or chosen items in local shops; sharing playground spaces with other children; choosing books in the local library.

Children in the Willow Pathway continue to develop their ability to regulate in different settings whilst supported by staff, working towards independent self-regulation. Available resources to support regulation include: familiar staff; preferred objects for comfort or stimming; communication aids where appropriate; visual resources to support understanding.


Elm Pathway

Children in Elm Pathway will generally be confident to transition around school and have lots of experiences of the local community, which have developed their communication and self-regulation skills. Educational visits in the Elm Pathway extend learning in the classroom to interactions in the local community. These experiences include visiting local shops, visiting the local library, as well as Evington Park. Planned learning opportunities include finding and purchasing cooking ingredients and preferred items, finding preferred books and sharing space with others in the library, how to play safely and with others on playground equipment, as well as safely travelling on the pavement to a given destination with support. Safety equipment, such as wrist straps and harnesses, are sometimes used to support children in this pathway whilst working towards not needing these to keep themselves safe when they are outside of school.


Cherry Pathway

Children in this pathway are mostly able to effectively transition around school and have a wider range of experiences in the local community and beyond. They engage in similar educational visits to children in Elm Pathway, with more advanced skills being taught. These include planning for cooking sessions and working towards independently finding items in local shops, getting themselves a library card and taking out and returning books, and playing with friends in the playground. Cherry Pathway children are also working towards independently being able to travel to a given destination in the local community, as well as crossing roads independently.



All of our Year 6 children take part in swimming lessons on a rota throughout the academic year. Our swimming curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of learners, with children in our Nurture, Willow and Elm Pathways developing their confidence to be in the water and independence skills in changing, and our Elm & Cherry Pathway working towards the National Swimming Awards.


Supporting families

Part of our programme to support families includes workshops on developing children’s independence skills and sharing strategies for taking their children into the community. Please see our website for dates for the workshops.