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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Home Page

Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Oaklands Curriculum

Oaklands – the ‘Inside-Outside’ school


Oaklands School is a very special place; from the majestic oak tree outside the school building to the spinney at the back, it is full of nature, open spaces, and opportunities to learn. Our school building is unusual: built in a square with a garden and playground at the centre. All of our classrooms have outside space and look out onto trees and play areas. This ‘inside-outside’ aspect of the school building perfectly reflects the ‘inside-outside‘ way of living and learning at Oaklands for every member of our community, whether staff, parent or child.


At Oaklands School, we believe that our curriculum should be rich, creative and challenging in order to engage and motivate our children. The Oaklands curriculum offer comprises all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils and is both explicitly taught and embedded in our practices and environment. We strive to provide the highest quality opportunities for all of our unique children to achieve meaningful progress in a broad range of skills from their own starting points. The majority of pupils have a diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and all have communication and interaction difficulties, which can mean the wider world is a very over-stimulating, confusing and challenging place to be. Our classrooms and whole school fabric are therefore controlled and calm, a low-arousal space to enable our children to relax and become more open to learning. In order to ensure that our children have firm foundations in learning when they leave us, we have developed a rigorous approach to planning and sequencing learning, supported and informed by our own ipsative assessment system OPAL (Oaklands Progressive Assessment Ladders). 


Our Areas of Learning from Autumn 2021 and related assessment frameworks are as follows: 

Areas of Learning  

Related assessment including OPAL ladders 


Emotional Regulation & Wellbeing 

  • Emotional Regulation Skills Ladder 


Communication, Interaction & Social Skills 

  • Communication Skills Ladder 
  • Interaction & Social Skills Ladder 


Physical Development 

  • Physical Development Skills Ladder 
  • PE within the National Curriculum  
  • National SEND Swimming Rockhopper scheme (Yr6 only) 


Independence & Life Skills 


  • Self Care Skills Ladder 
  • Self Care in the Community Skills Ladder 







  • Literacy Skills Ladder 
  • Oaklands Reading Profile 
  • Phonics screening test (when applicable) 
  • SATs papers (when applicable) 




  • Mathematical Skills Ladder 
  • SATs papers (when applicable) 

Science & environmental education 

  • Whole school Eco Awards 


Creativity & the Arts (includes RE)


  • Oaklands Art Passport 
  • ArtsMark awards 



If you would like more information regarding our curriculum please contact our Deputy Head Ingrid Spencer: