Curriculum

Lower School consists of 5 classes and covers Early Years up to Year 6.

Hugo, Plato,Dewey, Socrates and Confucius

Our experienced Primary and Early Years team are dedicated to inspiring and encouraging every individual to have high aspirations from an early age, recognising their own potential and supporting others in achieving theirs. A focus on developing social and independence skills exists at the forefront of learning, thus supporting pupils in being confident and life ready. We believe in regular praise and reward, maintaining high standards and levels of challenge, working together as a team whilst celebrating independence, and above all to achieve this through having fun and enjoying lower school life with mutual respect.

Our Early Years provision is skilfully structured, allowing students to access daily social, academic and communication intervention which targets the needs of each individual. Close links are made with the other classes, particularly Key Stage One, allowing pupils to prepare for transition into a new learning environment.

Our Primary curriculum is a rich balance of national curriculum subjects alongside outdoor learning and extra -curricular opportunities. Crucially, our curriculum model offers support and challenge at levels appropriate to the needs and interests of each individual and reflects the diversity of individual need. The curriculum also develops enterprise and technology skills, and raises awareness of their place in the wider world with an eye on the future.

The Challenge Curriculum

Our unique Challenge Curriculum offers thematic approaches to learning where pupils are provide opportunities to plan for, organise then implement a final challenge event which links in with their termly theme.  In the past, students have organised a garden party, produced and released an album and even sold their own brand of Space Chutney…in the shops! The Challenge curriculum brings the National Curriculum to life, empowers and motivates students and offers them a contextualised and therefor meaningful platform for learning.

Challenge Curriculum Overview: KS3 and Lower School 2018-2019

Click on the link below to see the curriculum map for your child’s class/key stage this term. This gives an overview of topics being covered, so that you can support your child in their learning.

Locke, Spinoza, Appiah, Descartes – Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow a secondary curriculum. The Staff team are aware of students’ individual learning and social needs and aim to provide their entitlement in an accessible and personalised way. The curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils study the whole range of subjects.

All students are taught English, Maths and Science as core subjects. Class groups are organised according to teacher assessment and performance data. In addition to the targeted teaching that the groups provide, students will follow an accelerated reading scheme and phonics programme in their English groups.

Key Stage 3 follow a Challenge based approach to the curriculum. This is a way of teaching and learning, whereby many areas of the curriculum are connected together and integrated within a theme/topic. Subjects are linked to a curriculum group (see below). Classes are taught in their tutor groups and organised into smaller groups for varied and differentiated activities within the lesson. All students are taught by a range of teachers. Students will have certain subjects in specialist rooms.

·  Challenge Curriculum links with core subjects and includes - RE, Science, Humanities, Citizenship & LOtC (Learning Outside the Classroom), computing, Careers, MFL (French, Spanish & German) & Philosophy 4 Children.

 ·      Creative Development - Art, Music & Drama.

·      Individual lessons - Design Technology, Food Technology, PE, PSHE  & SRE (where possible staff will link subjects to the challenge curriculum topic).

Click on the link below to see the curriculum map for your child’s class/key stage this term. This gives an overview of topics being covered, so that you can support your child in their learning.

  • Locke, Spinoza, Appiah, Descartes

Lipman, Turing, Murdoch - Key Stage 4

Pupils in Key Stage 4 work towards accredited qualifications in English, Maths and Science at levels appropriate to individual needs and abilities (Entry Level or GCSE). 

All students study Home Cooking Skills, Arts Award, Philosophy for Children, Physical Education, PSHE, Relationship and Sex Education. In addition, Y11 students are taught ‘Life Ready’ which incorporates life skills, Careers and Citizenship.  

Many of our students study WJEC accreditation modules including: languages, humanities subjects, Design and Technology, Music and Art. 

Students in Class Lipman study similar curriculum areas to that of WJEC through Personal Progress ASDAN accreditation. The Entry 1 qualifications in Personal Progress are approved qualifications made up of units in the following areas: Literacy, Numeracy and IT; Independent Living Skills; Personal Development; Community Participation; Preparation for Work.

Click on the link below to see the curriculum map for your child’s class/key stage this term. This gives an overview of topics being covered, so that you can support your child in their learning. 

  • Key Stage 4

Levels Explained

For your information, the below table compares levels and entry levels against A level and GCSE grades.


Bentham, Avicenna - Sixth Form

Our Sixth Form consists of Years 12 and 13.

The main aim of our Sixth Form is to prepare students for life after Hazel Oak.

In a purpose-built facility, we offer a range of experiential courses at Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2 and GCSE to meet the individual needs and capabilities of the students. We are able to provide a personalised approach to the curriculum in terms of level of study as well as options of subject.

Established links with local businesses and colleges enable us to provide a range of business and work related learning opportunities as well as transition visits in preparation for moving on at the end of Year 13. 

Students develop their independence through life skills sessions, travel training and Sport and Leisure sessions, which can take place in community facilities such as bowling and swimming.

Accreditation Explained

CoPE (Certificate of Personal Effectiveness) and AoPE (Award of Personal Effectiveness) 

Both awards are taught in conjunction with other subjects but with a greater emphasis upon developing key ‘life skills’. Pupils complete a number of different challenges which contribute towards a credit. Units include: Communication, Citizenship and Community; Beliefs and Values; The Environment; Expressive Arts (optional); Vocational and Diploma Preparation; Independent Living; Work Related Learning and Enterprise; Sport and Leisure; Health and Fitness. Each pupil will receive a Personal Development Record Book and a folder for their evidence.

With CoPE (a two year course), our students will focus on developing the following skills: working with others; improving own learning and performance; problem solving; research; discussion; oral presentation. Students are expected to ‘Plan’, ‘Do’ and ‘Review’ for each key skill. 

For the coming academic year, students in Year 13 will undertake the one year AoPE, and follow the same units/modules as those students undertaking CoPE. The only difference between CoPE and AoPE is the length of study as AoPE is a shorter 1 year course. 

ASDAN short courses

ASDAN Short Courses are flexible, portfolio-based programmes designed to accredit up to 60 hours of activity and skills development across a range of topics and curriculum areas. Currently, subject areas include Gardening, Science/Technology and History, although other short courses may be available in future. In some instances, students will have the opportunity to choose which course they would like to pursue.  

ASDAN Personal Social Development (PSD)- Entry Level 1, 2 or 3

The PSD accreditation is for students who are working at entry level. The qualification offers imaginative ways of supporting young people in: becoming confident individuals who are physically, emotionally and socially healthy; being responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society and embrace change; managing risk together with their own wellbeing.  Links will be made to the CoPE and AoPE, and students will therefore have lots of opportunity to work collaboratively. 

Functional Skills (Mathematics and English) - Entry Level 1 to Level 2

Pupils at Hazel Oak Sixth Form work towards Functional Skills qualifications in mathematics and English. These courses explore the skills required to function in areas of work, around the home and other real life scenarios. The qualifications are recognised by a large number of employers and are applauded for their focus on the practical application of the skills taught.

Pupils will work at a level which is suitable for their ability whilst also offering an element of challenge. They will take formal assessments at the end of Year 12 and Year 13.

Please contact Mr. Kordan for further information regarding these courses.

GCSE Mathematics

Re-sits in GCSE Mathematics are available during Sixth Form although pupils will need to attend lunch time tutorials in order for this to be accessed. Please contact Mr. Kordan if you are interested in this option for your child. 

Duke of Edinburgh- Bronze (Year 12)

This practical and adventurous award involves a range of Life Ready skills including volunteering, physical skills, learning a new skill and taking part in an expedition. In the past, students have volunteered at the retired Greyhound Trust and accessed activities at the Combat Sport Centre. 

BTEC Home Cooking Skills- Level 1 or 2 (Year 13)

The programme is a practical course based around cooking simple, economical meals. Students will be expected to cook a 1 or 2 course meal depending on the level they are at. The course incorporates basic cooking skills, health and hygiene and how to economise. 

Our students also have weekly Philosophy for Children and Relationship and Sex Education sessions.

Levels Explained

For your information, the below table compares levels and entry levels against A level and GCSE grades.


Phonics and Reading at Hazel Oak

In lower school, there is a daily focus of phonics aiming to teach children how to read, write and spell words. These skills are developed throughout the day across the curriculum.  In Early Years and Key stage 1 the use of Phonic Bug books, Bug Club and Collins Big Cat books reinforces progression as well as interactive games on the Phonics Bug Website. Phonics play and multi-sensory activities are used to enable children to progress within their phonic phases.  In upper school phonics teaching is part of English lessons and pupils are developing phonic skills through word, sentence and paragraph building in their phonic phases. Spellings are provided on a weekly basis across the whole school from a progressive scheme that focuses on the development of spelling patterns.

We have recently introduced the Accelerated Reader scheme throughout all key stages. Since the new school library launch in September 2017, the scheme has proved successful in developing and improving comprehension reading skills across the school. The pupils have welcomed the scheme with enthusiasm and enjoy the challenge of reading quizzes online. A range of books are used within the scheme, giving the children a variety of texts to read from a range of genres. Parents can access the website to see their child's reading journey  and choose books in their reading range to support reading at home. As readers become more independent there is a wider variety of texts to read from the library or home.  Guided reading sessions use a wide of texts from different genres, enabling children to identify a variety of writing forms that are available to us.

As a school we subscribe to Solihull Children's Reading Group which provides links with Waterstones book shop in Solihull for reading workshops and visits from local authors, illustrators and passionate readers. These experiences are invaluable for our pupils to further develop reading for pleasure and life skills.

Approach to Phonic and reading schemes