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Oak Tree School’s curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of learners, all of whom have a diagnosis of Autism or associated complex needs. Our curriculum is designed to be flexible, aspirational and bespoke. Learning is highly sequenced, ensuring consistency of approach across all areas.  

Oak Tree School’s Curriculum is designed to:  

  • Ensure pupils enjoy learning, and are motivated to progress and develop their skills 

  • Ensure learners leave school with the highest levels of literacy and numeracy possible 

  • Encourage learners to be active members of their communities and make a positive contribution 

  • Have an increased quality of life, supported by specialists who know them well 

  • Ensure learners have the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will benefit them in their adult lives, including community participation and the world of work.  

  • Ensure learners are able to achieve self-regulation 

  • Flexible pathways responsive to the changing needs of our learners.  

Early YearS Foundation Stage 

At Oak Tree, EYFS learning continues until the end of year 2. We recognise that our learners, in their beginning stages of special education, require to be taught pre-requisite skills (‘learning to learn’) to access more formal education in the future. The curriculum is play based. Early literacy, phonics and early numeracy is taught whilst focussing on learning to learn and attention skills, establishing effective communication systems and developing independent self-help skills. 

At the end of Year 2, pupils will be placed within either the Forest, Sage or Emerald Pathways, depending on the child’s abilities, parental preference, and future aspiration.  

Forest Pathway 

Pupils/Students access the Forest Pathway from Year 3 onwards. Learners on the Forest Pathway follow an adapted National Curriculum, where learning is broken down into small, sequential steps and tailored to the learning needs of each pupil. At the heart of the curriculum lie the core subjects of maths, English, Science alongside PSHE/RSE and Humanities. Phonics is taught daily, as well as daily reading sessions. Learning is thematic and relevant to pupil's developmental need.  

Pupils, where possible, will prepare for their journey into Key Stage 4, including potential qualifications and routes to employment.  

Emerald Pathway 

Pupils/Students on the Emerald Pathway are working below their age-related expectations. Pupils/Students are taught core subjects English/ Maths/ Science, which have been created and individually tailored to the needs of our students through multidisciplinary knowledge and approach. Pupils/Students are also taught discreet subjects from the Equals semi formal curriculum such as: My play and leisure, The World About Us, My Communication, My Dance, My Independence, My Physical Wellbeing. Pupils are taught to generalise the learn material to ensure that learning is meaningful, developing life skills.  

Meadow Curriculum 

Pupils/Students following the Meadow curriculum are working significantly behind their age-related expectations. This curriculum is a multi- modal, multi-sensory approach, with a focus on communication, cognition and social and emotional development.  Pupils/ Students have the opportunity to develop their self-care skills and independence. Pupils/ Students have access to specific learning approaches such as PACE, and multi-sensory learning tools. Occupational and Speech and language therapy is embedded within this curriculum.  

PLIM targets 

Throughout the day pupils/students will be working on their EHCP outcomes from which Personal Learning Intention Maps (PLIM’s) will be developed. The student’s areas of challenge will continually be worked upon in depth focusing on whether the students are able to develop their generalisation of the skill, fluency, maintenance and increase in independence to put this into practice. This will then be reviewed and discussed at the student's annual review, highlighting the progress given and any area of need.  


Oak Tree School will implement its curriculum strands by:  

  • Teachers starting point for curriculum delivery is their knowledge of the individual learner combined with their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) outcomes 

  • From EHCP outcomes, teachers will break down these long-term targets into granular and sequential targets outlined on individual PLIMS.  

  • Targets are often agreed upon in a multi-agency manner, including parents, therapists and teaching staff.  

  • Using an adapted form of the National Curriculum, or using well respected, peer reviewed curricula (Equals Semi Formal Curriculum) 

  • From year 9, there is a clear focus of preparation for adulthood, and careers-based learning 

  • A large proportion of the curriculum is devoted to life skills, personal skills and careers, directly linking to pupils EHCP outcomes.  

  • Progress across all areas of the curriculum is assessed via the school's online assessment software – Earwig 

  • Individual therapy plans, and therapeutic support, is integrated within the classroom provision.  

  • The curriculum is cyclical, with important themes revisited regularly, ensuring knowledge is stored in the long-term memory.  

  • Executive functioning is a key part of learning and development.  

  • The creative arts form an important part of the curriculum, increasing self-confidence and self-esteem.  

  • Teaching is multi-sensory, creative and enticing to learners.