Hazel Oak’s whole school curriculum is a cross curricular approach with a core focus around:

  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Life ready skills
  • Emotional regulation
  • Understanding and applying literacy and numeracy skills in a functional sense

To achieve this, subjects are categorised into the following themes:

Increased Literacy

Reading, writing and speaking & listening are key skills directly impacting on social, emotional and communication development. Literacy is therefore taught and assessed through every subject. Here are some examples around how this is achieved:


These lessons focus purely on the fundamental literacy and maths skills.

Literacy Service station lessons include:

  • Spelling/Phonics
  • Grammar and Punctuation
  • Handwriting
  • Exploring Text Type
  • Reading

Maths is taught using a combination of the following approaches:

  • Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) mastery approach 
  • Problem Solving, Fluency and Reasoning Approach

Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) mastery approach

Concrete step of CPA

Concrete is the “doing” stage. During this stage, students use concrete objects to model problems. Unlike traditional maths teaching methods where teachers demonstrate how to solve a problem, the CPA approach brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical (concrete) objects. With the CPA framework, every abstract concept is first introduced using physical, interactive concrete materials.

Pictorial step of CPA

Pictorial is the “seeing” stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem.

Building or drawing a model makes it easier for children to grasp difficult abstract concepts (for example, fractions). Simply put, it helps students visualise abstract problems and make them more accessible.

Abstract step of CPA

Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children use abstract symbols to model problems. Students will not progress to this stage until they have demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem. The abstract stage involves the teacher introducing abstract concepts (for example, mathematical symbols). Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation, and mathematical symbols (for example, +, –, x, /) to indicate addition, multiplication or division.

Problem Solving, Fluency and Reasoning Approach


Fluency in maths is a fairly broad concept. The basics of mathematical fluency – as defined by the KS1 / KS2 National Curriculum for maths – involve knowing key mathematical facts and being able to recall them quickly and accurately.

But true fluency in maths (at least up to Key Stage 2) means being able to apply the same skill to multiple contexts, and being able to choose the most appropriate method for a particular task.

Fluency in maths lessons means we teach the content using a range of representations, to ensure that all pupils understand and have sufficient time to practise what is taught.


Reasoning in maths is the process of applying logical thinking to a situation to derive the correct problem solving strategy for a given question, and using this method to develop and describe a solution.

Put more simply, mathematical reasoning is the bridge between fluency and problem solving. It allows pupils to use the former to accurately carry out the latter.


What is problem solving in maths?

It’s sometimes easier to start off with what problem solving is not. Problem solving is not necessarily just about answering word problems in maths. If a child already has a readily available method to solve this sort of problem, problem solving has not occurred. Problem solving in maths is finding a way to apply knowledge and skills you have to answer unfamiliar types of problems.

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 whilst presenting a contextualised and therefore meaningful platform for learning. 

Progression through the Key Stages

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

Hugo, Plato, Dewey, Socrates, Rumi 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. The curriculum delivery in Dewey and Socrates bridges EYFS style delivery into the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum with a focus around ‘readiness to learn.’

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.

Locke, Spinoza, Appiah, Descartes, Warnock – 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. 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.

Lipman, Turing, Murdoch - Key Stage 4

All students are entered for entry level 1 to level 2 literacy and maths. GCSE maths is offered for those students who can sit the exam and can achieve a good grade.

Pupils in class Turing and Murdoch are taught entry level 1-3 Science modules from the AQA syllabus. 

Students in class Lipman study ASDAN Personal Progress modules. This qualification is made up of units in the following areas: Literacy, Numeracy and IT; Independent Living Skills; Personal Development; Community Participation; Preparation for Work. Lipman are awarded Science modules through ASDAN Personal Progress.

All students study WJEC accreditation modules including: languages, humanities subjects, Design and Technology, Music, Art, Drama and Physical Education. 

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.

Bentham, Avicenna - Sixth Form

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

We are based at Solihull College, giving students access to facilities such as the gym, canteen and the  library. We offer a range of experiential courses at Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2 and GCSE (maths only) to meet the individual needs and capabilities of the students.

Accreditation Explained

CoPE (Certificate of Personal Effectiveness) 

COPE is taught in conjunction with other subjects but with a greater emphasis upon developing key ‘life skills’. Pupils complete several challenges over 2 years. 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. 

Our students 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. 

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, students are studying ‘Planning a Trip/Residential’, although other short courses may be available in future. 

ASDAN Employability

  • Students have opportunity to regularly visit a work placement (as a group), and therefore gain hands-on experience. In conjunction, they work through a range of modules including:
  • Fundamental Skills: The skills needed as a base for further development 
  • Communication Use numbers Manage information 
  • Personal Management Skills: 
  • Teamwork Skills: The skills and attributes needed to contribute effectively 
  • The working environment
  • Work with others
  • Think and solve problems Participate in projects and tasks

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 group, 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 many employers and are applauded for their focus on the practical application of the skills taught.